We have nearly 334 million companies worldwide (source), making life easier for people with their products and services. Yes, you read right! Are you thinking to become the next? In this information-flooded era, it is easy to get lost while figuring out the right steps.
Data says, “ Almost 20% of businesses fail within the first year and 65.6% fail before the tenth year mark”(source). To set ourselves apart we need to start right with the trusted method.
Today, we will help you figure out the right steps to start a business. Your soft skills play an important role in helping you endure the process. So, work on the right mindset including your problem-solving skill, decision-making skills and adapting ability.
Guide to start a business:
1. Market research:
To start a business, market research is always the foremost and the most crucial step. If you have not decided on your niche, make a list of things that you are passionate about. Figure out what aligns with your passion and market demand. Knowing your “why” is important to keep working.
If you have a firm idea, research the demand for your product or services. Understand whether the demand is for a period or period independent.
The next step in the market research is to know your customer preference and their purchasing ability. It is better to go for an idea that has period-independent and location-independent demand to sustain longer.
2. Competitor analysis:
Look up the companies that provide similar services or products as yours. Go, through their brand image, customer satisfaction rate, product speciality, product quality, and marketing strategies. This will help you to know what is going on in the market and where the gap is. To succeed either you need to fill the gap or raise the quality and customer satisfaction rate.
A thorough competitor analysis helps to break down the launch and marketing strategy. You can go for physical as well as digital analysis. Know the top performers of your niche and understand why they are leading. It could be their product quality, brand image or high customer relationship management rate. Pick the traits that you must have in your niche to be a leader.
3. Finalize your idea:
Based on the above research, brainstorm vigorously, we need to zero in on our idea. A SWOT analysis will help you know the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Based on the points that you have jotted down make a roadmap. Remember, an entrepreneur should not only cater for the present needs but also be far-sighted. This will help you select a scalable business.
Your idea and approach will give you an edge in the competitive market. It is important to go for the product that has demand as well as aligns with your interest.
4. Decide location:
The location factor varies according to your business ideas based on whether you are up for a product-based business or a service-based business. For product-based businesses, it is crucial to select a location that facilitates an easy and inexpensive commute, to raw material. The business should be at an approachable distance for your customers. If you are thinking to start a business in Qatar, here are a few points that will help you finalize your decision.
Service-based business is location independent. However, you should prefer a location that has good internet speed.
5. Know your business structure:
Let us move towards the technical steps we need to go through to start a business. Usually, there are five types of business structure- Sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company, Cooperatives and corporations. However, it slightly changes from country to country. We have a detailed blog on helping select the right business type for your idea in Qatar.
6. Know the compliance requirements to start a business:
The compliance requirement depends on the business type and niche. You can start off business single-handedly, but gradually you need members to get your task done. Running a business heavily depends on the rules and regulations set for the firm. A business owner must ensure the company abides by the compliance of the country. This not only assures the smooth running of the business but also builds a good reputation in your potential customers’ eyes.
7. Register your business:
The next, important step in the process to start a business is registration. Each business has its own license requirements. For example, to run a food business in Qatar you must have a “ medical health card for your restaurant staff in any case. You must later get municipality license” (source). In India to start a food business, you need a FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) license. In the USA you need Foodservice license. Likewise know about the license your business will need based on the country you are looking forward to start a business. If Qatar is on your list, we might be of help.
8. Grow your business:
Congratulation, you did kickstart your business. Amidst all the ups and downs your focus should be on growing your business. Feedback, improvement and scaling is the key to growing the business. Work on the feedback that your product or service is receiving. The feedback helps to know what is the requirement of the customer. Accordingly, we can mould our services to increase the customer satisfaction rate.
By now, you have a mental map of how to proceed and start a business. Clarity of steps and idea is a must to be distinct and proficient in your approach. These stepwise guides will help you in the roller-coaster journey of starting and running a business.
As we have said several times, yet remind you again- starting your own business is an exciting as well as exhausting process. You need to be patient till you see the dawn in the process of starting a business. In this roller-coaster journey, if you need a hand we are just a call away. Puvanesvarar Consulting has been helping ambitious entrepreneurs, step up the ladder faster for 15 years. He is a business coach and business compliance consultant.