People need a list of essentials for starting their own business. Covering things from the type of business model to the location where you’ll be working, there are so many custom variables so it’s really difficult to come up with a one size fits all list.

That said, here are our top five steps for getting yourself started with your own business.

I – Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Heard the famous saying from Ice cube? Well it applies to you when it comes to starting a business. You need to take stock of your situation in life.

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Why do I want to start a business? Is it for more money? more freedom and flexibility? both? Or maybe something else entirely?
  • What skills do I have right now that I could use for my next business venture?
  • What industry knowledge do I have?
  • What type of business do I want to run?
  • How much capital do I have to invest?
  • Do I want to do this part-time or full-time?

your answers to these questions will lay the foundations for your next steps.

This step isn’t supposed to put you off starting a business, it’s more about getting you thinking and planning ahead.

Passion on it’s own just isn’t enough.

You need to have a plan of action, set goals for yourself and know where you stand with everything.

The last thing you want to do is start a business and focus on your weaknesses. What are you strengths? Make sure you cater to those strengths and use them as much as can.

When you get started with your business, it’ll probably take over the majority of your life for the foreseeable future so you want to make sure it’s something you’re willing to give 110% to for the medium-term at least.

II – Study Your Industry

Once you decide on a business that suits you, you want to evaluate your business idea. Who are your target customers, what are you going to be selling and who is your competition going to be?

At this point it’s also important to consider how much money you’ll need to get started.

To find out how much potential your market has, there are a few questions you need to find the answers for…

  • How badly do people need the product/service you offer?
  • How big is the market? Are there a lot of people searching and paying for this?
  • How easy or difficult is it to acquire a new customer?
  • How much is the product/service you offer going to cost you?
  • What investment do you need to get started?
  • Is your business evergreen or is it something that is seasonal?

You can even take things further by thinking about the needs that aren’t being met in the marketplace at the moment. How can you improve on the things that are already out there? What will be your unique selling point?

This is a great time to study your competition, find out what they’re doing (and what they’re not doing).

You really want to take as much time as you can to study your competition. We’re so ¬†lucky right now to have access to fantastic competitor analysis tools that pretty much reveal everything that your competition is doing.

Understanding exactly what your competition is doing, how they’re providing the products and even what’s missing with their offering will put you in the best position to create something better.

III – Go Legal

Registering your business is something you can’t forget about. You may want to work with an attorney to clarify all the details and figure out your best option and the type of legal setup will vary depending on the type of business you want to setup.

You want to spend some time discovering and weighing the positives and negatives of each type of business formation.

You also want to decide on a business name and check to make sure that it’s available for you to use!

IV – Create A Plan

Creating a business plan is a crucial part of your business startup phase. As the famous saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

This is especially true if you will be looking to finance your business startup through a loan or any other form of outside financing. Creating a business plan will help you figure out how much money you need to get started. It’ll also help with figuring out where the money will be going exactly.

A business plan isn’t a one off thing that you just need to get out of the way to launch. Having a business plan is like a roadmap, it is something that you will refer to continually as you progress in your business and move forward.

Even if you don’t think you need a business plan for your particular business idea. We highly recommend that you still go through the planning process. Ask yourself all those questions and write down your answers. When it comes to starting a business you need to make sure you know where you stand.

You need to cover all the bases to give yourself the best chance of success.

V – Getting Started

Phew! You’ve done it! You’ve brainstormed business ideas. Asked yourself all the important questions, researched your competition, created a business plan and maybe even pitched and successfully funded your venture!

You’ve got the money in the bank and now you’re ready to go!

But it’s not time to celebrate just yet.

You’ve still got a chunky list of things to do.

Find a location, maybe negotiate a lease for the premises, buy inventory (if you’re selling physical products), hire staff and set your prices. It’s worth noting that none of this applies at all if you’re running an online business.

If you’re running a physical brick and mortar business, there are a few things you want to consider:

Business location – this will have a direct impact on the type of customers you attract so is definitely something that needs to be thought through.

Price – Can you afford to pay the lease in the place you really want to be?

Parking & public transport – Can people find you easily and are they able to par their vehicles? If they aren’t able to get to you easily they may just use your competition instead.

Competitors – Do you have many competitors within a close proximity to you? If the location is saturated with competition, you may want to think twice about setting up shop there.

Local laws and regulations – Find out if local laws and regulations will stop you from doing anything you want to do in your business. Make sure there are no restrictions that will limit your business in any way.