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4 Steps on How to Start a Business

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4 steps to starting a business

Do you have a brilliant idea you are eager to bring to life? Perhaps you are tired of working under others and ready to be your own boss.  Whatever the case, starting a business is not for the faint-hearted.

Time, money, and determination are required to bring your vision to fruition. Even then, it’s not guaranteed you will succeed. About 50% of small businesses fail within their first five years.

4 Steps To Starting A Business

Thus, to ensure the odds are in your favor, we have a step-by-step guide on how to start a business. Follow these steps for starting a business, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful venture.

1. Conduct Market Research

First and foremost, it is essential to know if your idea is one you can commercialize.

Understanding your target market is critical to knowing if there is a genuine need for your product.

Identify potential customers, competitors, and trends in the industry. To do that, you need to know what your market is like.

Become familiar with your competition (competitive analysis), noting what they are doing right and what they can improve upon.

In addition, get to know your target audience. Depending on your business industry, your target audience could be narrow (men or women, children or elderly, etc.) or extensive (all ages, all genders, etc.).

Other things to consider include:

  • Demand
  • Market size
  • Location of business vs. customers
  • Market saturation: how many businesses are doing what you are doing?
  • Pricing: what is the average price for your service/product?

Once you feel your market, you will better plan a strategy to penetrate it.

2. Write Your Business Plan

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. You return to it whenever you feel you are losing your way or need to reevaluate a specific part of your business structure.

A formal business plan includes the following:

  • Executive summary: What is your company about, and what makes it successful?
  • Company description: What problem does your business solve?
  • Market analysis: Who are your competitors and consumers?
  • Organization and management: How will your company be structured internally?
  • Service or product: Go into detail about what you offer consumers.
  • Marketing: What is your brand look and feel? How will you promote your business?
  • Sales: What are the selling points, and how will you bring in customers?
  • Funding request: If you ask for funding, make a case for your business.
  • Financial projections: How will your business fare in 5 years? Talk numbers.
  • Appendix: Any supporting documents (references, resumes, pictures, permits, etc.)

A solid business plan contributes to organization and structure in a crucial stage of your business as it is just beginning to grow. It also helps attract investors and business partners.

3. Fund Your Business

Exploring funding options, such as self-funding, loans, angel investors, venture capital, or crowdfunding, is vital to starting your business.

Speak to business mentors to understand how much money your startup will need.

Funding A New Product

For example, if you’re idea is for a product, you will need investment to do the following:

Intellectual Property Protection

Consider patenting, trademarking, or copyrighting your product or its components to protect your intellectual property.

Build a Prototype

Develop a more detailed prototype that closely resembles the final product. This can be used for testing and refinement.

Te5sting and Iteration

Conduct alpha and beta testing to gather feedback from potential users. Use this feedback to refine and improve your product.

Manufacturing or Development

Identify suppliers and manufacturers if your product requires physical production. For software or digital products, focus on development and testing.

Regulatory Compliance

Ensure your product complies with any relevant regulations or standards in your industry.

Marketing and Branding

Develop a strong brand identity and marketing strategy to promote your product. Consider online and offline channels based on your target audience.

Sales and Distribution

Determine your sales channels and distribution strategy. Will you sell directly to consumers, through retailers, or online platforms?


Plan a launch strategy to create buzz around your product. Consider a phased launch to gather momentum.


Self-funding is something several entrepreneurs do when they first start a business.

Otherwise known as bootstrapping, self-funding means tapping into your savings and producing the necessary amount.

The pro of this is that you maintain control of your business. The con is that it may be very costly and hurt your wallet. There is a high risk of bootstrapping.

Another way to fund your business is to secure an investor. Venture capital investments are offered in exchange for some control over the company. This is in the form of equity, which differs from a loan.

Be sure to use your best judgment if you find someone interested in investing in your business. You want to retain sufficient control over your business while securing adequate funds.

4. Select Your Business Location and Name

Deciding on your business location and name are two of the most important decisions you will make when starting your business. Both can easily make or break your company and directly affect success.

Therefore, be strategic. You want your business to be located somewhere where there is a strong demand in the market and where you can easily capture your target audience. Whether in the online space or a brick-and-mortar location, you must consider the regulations your business will be subject to.

When determining a name, develop a few ideas and go with what feels right. Your business name should embody your business, appeal to your audience, and fit nicely on the tongue.

Once you have the above steps, the fastest and easiest way to start a business is to register it as an LLC. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business entity for startups and small- to medium-sized companies. An LLC has few restrictions, is inexpensive, fast to set up, and protects you in lawsuits and debts.

Look into how to register an LLC in your state to get started.