So, you want to start your own company. You want to create something from scratch; a product, a service, an experience. So what are you waiting for? Most likely, you are scared – or worried. There are a lot of things to be done and a lot of risk involved, but does that mean it is not a risk worth taking?
No matter what your company consists of, there are things you must consider before becoming financially dependent on your own dream. TV shows like Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank may seem like all the guidance you need, but there are a lot of basic steps to first consider. Do not be intimidated by the administrative and legal tasks involved: face it head on! The first steps include to, of course, identifying what kind of business you want to start and then write a business plan that clearly states what you will need in order to run a successful business. If you do not know the steps or feel uncertain about what kind of business you want to run, this is not something you should be doing on your own and you should ask someone for help. Before entering a new market, every entrepreneur should know to research the competition. Do not forget to study both successful companies within your field, as well as failed ones. By learning what others did wrong, you can save yourself from repeating their mistakes.
Since you are running a business that you own and are the founder of, it is crucial that you understand finance – both your own and your company’s. These intertwine naturally since you are the head of both, and if one goes down the drain, the other will be in serious trouble. Part of understanding finance is to understand the start-up cost: how much capital will you need and how can you get it? You can go the risky but interest-free route and use your savings, or take the more traditional route of taking a government-backed loan or apply for a research grant. You can also get investors, however you might not want to give up equity at such an early stage. Usually you will want to pick a bank or credit union that is convenient, but check out your local credit unions since they often provide better deals than banks. In the spirit of not over-complicating your company, do not worry about business accounting software, and do not worry about not being on top of it enough by keeping it simple. The early stages do not need too much complexity or fancy software: you can simply create a spreadsheetwhere you can enter money you spend and money you receive. Bookkeeping is simple, at least at first. All you need are Revenue and Expenses columns, and you can add more as you go.
The crucial and not-so-fun steps of registration and licensing may differ quite drastically from country to country, so make sure you have covered everything before you put your company in full gear. The legal steps include determining the legal structure of your business and what form is best suiting: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company, corporation, nonprofit, or one of many other forms. You will also need to register for things such as a tax identification number, worker’s compensation, and unemployment and disability insurance. Part of this includes obtaining licenses and permits required for you to legally and safely run your business. When tackling the issue of registering a company name, remember thata lot people agonize endlessly over dreaming up the perfect company name. Do not do that. If you are waiting until you come up with the perfect name, you might never get started. Instead, at least for now, do not worry about coming up with the perfect name, the perfect URL or even the perfect website design and promotional literature.The most important thing is to get started, and the rest will come to you. You can always update your company name later on, and either way your business can operate under a different name than your company name.
Depending on where in the world you are starting your company, you will need different permits. Even different areas within the same country may have different requirements. Make sure you ask around to be completely sure have gotten all of your legal work done before getting into the real fun of it.
Starting a business requires a lot of work, but the reward tends to also be bigger. Thanks to modern technology, things are (in some ways) easier than ever. You do not have to spend most of your capital on advertising since you can connect to your target audience directly via social media, and you do not even need to own a physical store to sell your product, since web stores are more popular than ever in present day. There are endless opportunities and methods to go about starting your business, and all you need is some knowledge and a whole lot of determination.