The process of starting your own business is never smooth sailing. It is indeed a bumpy ride, but the journey is worth it. To help you to sail through your entrepreneurial cruise, remember the following crucial things before you start your business –
Fund Your Startup Wisely
Financing your new business is one of the biggest hurdles in your startup journey. Several new entrepreneurs reach a dead end due to lack of funds. However, there are a couple of funding options you can consider before you relinquish your dream.
Most of the entrepreneurs start by using their personal savings. It is commonly known as bootstrapping or self-funding. It’s probably a good time to save some money now!
If you don’t have enough savings, you can apply for a business loan. However, getting a loan sanction from a bank is not easy. Banks are very selective about their debtors. You will have to present your revenue records, your business plans, your previous career, among others to convince for a loan.
The following funding options will require you to endorse the promising potential of your company –
Venture Capitals are professionally managed firms ready to invest in dynamic and young startups. They, however, place their bets on most favourable startups and on founders with prior experience. Helion Ventures, Blume Blume Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Accel Partners, among others are some of the most active Venture Capital Firms in India.
Generating funds through crowdfunding is another option. It implies taking a loan, an investment, or a contribution from more than one person at the same time.
Business Incubators and Accelerators are firms that offer booming businesses with monetary, administrative, and advisory support. Staying true to their title, these firms accelerate early-stage businesses by offering internet, electricity, a co-working space, along with monetary investment. In India Villgro, TLabs, Amity Innovation Incubator, among others, are some popular Business Incubators.
Know Your Way Around Registrations and Legalizations
As complex as the legal formalities are, you cannot shelve the manifold bureaucratic processes if you are serious about your startup plan.
As a new entrepreneur, you will first require you to choose the business structure of your company. This could be a Sole Proprietorship, a Private Limited Company, a Partnership Firm, a Limited Liability Partnership, or even a One Person Company.
After selecting your company structure, getting these crucial registrations in order will be your next priority. These include — Registration of your Business Name, Startup India Registration, Registration with the Office of Inspector, Shop and Establishment License Registration, Registration for GST, Registration for Profession Tax, and Registration with Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. To start with, look into how to pay GST online and GST Invoice Excel.
In addition, you will also have to obtain a Business Bank Account, a Digital Signature Certificate, Director Identification Number (DIN), a Permanent Account Number (PAN), an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and a Tax Account Number (TAN).
Do thorough research on each of these legal intricacies depending upon your business structure, state, and federal rules, as these apply differently.
Protect Your Business With Insurance
When you start as an entrepreneur, you are already exposing yourself to several risks. A single blow could even wipe out your small business before you have even started. Fortunately, there is a wide range of insurance types to choose from.
Business insurance for your startup is crucial because it will not only protect your business assets, but also your intellectual property, financial asset, and physical location of your company, among others. To start with, you can consider applying for the following common business insurances — General Liability Insurance, Product Liability Insurance, and Commercial Property Insurance.
Make Your Presence Known
This is probably one of your biggest challenges you will face as a new entrepreneur. After launching, you want to be noticed. Chalking out a good marketing strategy will help you get through. Since we are the internet generation, reaching out to consumers through the web is the most effective way, and digital marketing will be your survival guide.
Start working on a promotional campaign to advertise your services and products. Creating an attractive website or social media channels will be important. While working on internet marketing, you will often come across the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a digital strategy to help you gain maximum views for your website.
Start your research on SEO, Paid Google Ads, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing, to design your promotional campaign.
Ask for a Helping Hand
Having your own business has a certain ring to it, but you cannot do it all by yourself. Let’s face it, you cannot be in all the departments at all times. Don’t hesitate to admit that you will need a helping hand.
It is always helpful to have a go-to person in a bottleneck situation. Consider hiring help for your small business who will help you sail through your arduous journey. An attorney and legal advisor, an accountant and financial advisor, a digital marketing expert, a human resource specialist will be the first few effective hires you won’t regret making.
Don’t Underestimate Your Competition
You may be a genius, but that is no excuse to believe that others are not. Along with thinking like an entrepreneur, you should also think like a competitor and a consumer. Delivering what consumers want, gauging their buying decisions, targeting demographics, will save you from experimenting, and improve decision making.
Testing the waters before you launch in the market is an important trait for an entrepreneur. Your ideas should be out of the box, which will help you make your mark. Studying your competition thoroughly and not underestimating its potential will help you come a long way.
Applying structured guidance in your real-world experience as a new entrepreneur will keep you from falling into a pit, improve your outlook, and will boost your confidence and marketability.
Before taking the plunge, learning an additional skill will do you good. There are abundant online courses for entrepreneurial pursuits. These cover a variety of subjects, from technical to marketing, to interpersonal interactions, among others. Entrepreneurs need to be good at a variety of skills, don’t they? Knowing your strengths and weakness will help you decide on the right course for you.
Every new entrepreneur needs to take several risks, right from the startup’s ideation to its fulfilment.