Most of my articles till now were to get people interested in entrepreneurship; see if they’re actually made to be entrepreneurs, the perks of being an entrepreneur, and also the disadvantages of being an entrepreneur.
The point of writing all these elaborate articles were to lure all you entrepreneur enthusiasts out there who found these articles helpful and are waiting for more. So, for the ones who stuck on, I will be telling you, or rather, guiding you throughout the entrepreneurial process. Yes, there will be a lot of motivating articles too, but we’ve arrived at the part where I provide technical knowledge.
10 things you should know before setting up your business –
1. Do you have ample knowledge about the business you’re going to get into ?
It’s alright if you don’t. It’s just a question that you need to answer just so you can realize that you need a partner, or a founder employee to help you out. Steve Jobs didn’t know how to build computers, and it didn’t stop him from founding Apple.
What you should know is that knowing the technical aspects of what your business does is an effective bonus, and that makes it easier for you to talk to investors, other potential partners, etc., but if you don’t, then I’m not suggesting you to go become a rocket scientist overnight. I’m just asking you to learn enough to pitch to investors, and customers.
2. Do you have a great team ?
When I say “great team” , I’m not talking about their talent, or brilliance ( I’m sure you have a Mark Zuckerberg in your team ) . I’m simply talking about passion, and vision.
Are they really passionate about what you do ? Do they share your vision for the company’s future ? If they’re too cocky about their skills and boast about how they could land a high-paying job at Google, then I’m not sure it’ll work out well for the both of you. It’s best to part ways before starting up, instead of carrying a toxic person on-board.
3. Do you have a marketable name ?
A good business name; a marketable name, usually has 2 or 3 syllables. Google, Facebook, Uber, Apple, LinkedIn, Qualcomm, WhatsApp; see the similarity ?
Simply uttering the name must make people trust your company with your services. It’s also easier to creatively make advertisements, billboards, videos and pictures. Marketing is really studying people and how their minds work. And their minds work best, and react in the best way to friendly, marketable, short names.
4. Do you know who your customers are ?
Knowing who you’ll be selling to can help you define your business. Do some research into your potential customers, and their habits. This will help you target your customers in such a way that you conquer that tiny customer base.
Investigate what kind of customers who usually buy your services, what services they’re buying, and how they find these services. With this information, you can precisely define your ideal customer. This will include the age, average salary, status in the society, the kind of job, etc., You can literally define a person who will definitely buy your services. Then you aim for the people who resemble that ideal person (There will always be a margin to settle for).
5. Is your company registered ?
Granted, that you can avoid taxes and still run small businesses under the government’s noses, but what if you’re going big ? If you’re setting up offices and hiring interns, then you need to make sure your company is registered.
If you’re working in your garage, and building something really cool, you’ll have to eventually sell a lot of those products to a lot of people and maybe even get investors on-board. And investors definitely want the company to be incorporated. Here’s something about how to incorporate your company – How to incorporate a company.
Most of this will probably seem gibberish, so it’s best to get a lawyer to help you out once you’re ready to be incorporated.
6. Do you understand how much you really need to live ?
There’s a reason why I keep referring to entrepreneurship as a lifestyle. It requires a lot of hard work, regardless of what your business is. If you’ve decided to start a proper business, then you need to understand the money that revolves around it. Rent, living expenses, insurance, loans (if any), among other things that don’t pay for themselves.
You need to understand that you’ll be pouring in money into all these other factors that don’t aid your business directly. So, forget luxury, wooing girls, or anything of that sort for a while atleast.
7. Is your trademark available ?
You might think that whatever name you came up with for the business is not owned by anyone else, but you never know. Just to be sure, check if there is someone else owning the trademark to the name you thought of. Otherwise, you’ll have to change the name later and waste all that marketing money that you poured into for the previous name.
You can check trademark rights online. Just Google it.
8. All the legal stuff –
You need to decide the structure of your business – Are you a single person owning all the stakes and risks ? or do you have partners who will split the stakes of the company ?
There are also certain licenses you need to even start doing business. There are also tax issues that you need to handle. A smart move will be to consult a lawyer who can help you with all this. The last thing you need is some technical legality or administrative detail to stand in the way of your success.
9. Do you have a business plan ?
Yeah, I know this is a clichéd thing to say, but a business plan can be so much more than a draft for investors to see if you’re professional enough. A business plan is a guide for you to follow for when you lose direction; it will be your holy book to go to when you feel lost while doing business.
The whole concept of doing business is a strategy based game with lots of competitors standing in your way. A business plan will be your strategy guide. It is fairly simple to write one. There are lots of templates online that you just need to fill out, and voila !! You have a business plan.
10. Finances; What you need to know –
You’ll firstly need a current bank account to get your business going. And you shouldn’t just go to the bank you used to go to back when you were a consumer. Banks vary with their services; and some are more business-friendly than the rest. Find that bank and go to them.
As for the finance needed for you business, the banks themselves might provide you with a loan. If you’re a student, chances are they won’t provide you with a loan regardless of convincing you are. So your next best option is to prepare a business plan and go to an investor. Investors don’t care if you’re a student or not. As long as he/she believes you can handle running a company, anyone’s okay to invest in. All you have to do is sell your idea to them.
If nothing works out, you could put in whatever money you have; start small, and prove to the investors, or the banks that your business works.
Feel free to share the article with your friends, family, or anyone who’s interested in starting a business.