Are you an entrepreneur at heart? Have you always dreamed of making your dream business a reality?
While starting a business can be very exciting, it involves many essential steps to ensure it has the best chance of success.
While many of these steps may seem straightforward, gaining the education that ignites entrepreneurship can be beneficial. This way, you will know the ins and outs of running a thriving business.
REGENT Business School offers a Higher Certificate in Business Management that will teach you the core concepts of business and how to be a triumphant entrepreneur.
This article will show you eight simple steps to start a business. It will also help you determine whether entrepreneurship is the right choice for you and your career aspirations.
Is entrepreneurship for you?
Before jumping headfirst into starting a business, you first need to determine if you really want entrepreneurship.
While 60.4% of people believe that there are great entrepreneurial opportunities in South Africa and that they possess the skills to become entrepreneurs, it is not for everyone.
It all starts with self-assessment.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do I want to start a business? (I.e., what is your motivation? Money, freedom, the chance to help others, etc.)
- How much capital do I have to risk?
- What industry do I have experience in?
- Do I have any unique skills that I can use in my business?
- Am I willing to invest a lot of time in my business?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you can also consider whether you have the necessary entrepreneurship qualities and skills. These include things like:
- Tolerance for high risks
- Communication skills
- Passion and ambition
- Leadership skills
Asking yourself these questions and considering your strengths will not necessarily ensure success. However, it will help you determine if you genuinely want to be an entrepreneur.
Top 8 steps to follow when starting a business
After you have completed your self-assessment and determined that entrepreneurship is for you, you can move on to planning and creating your business.
Follow these steps to start a small business from scratch.
1. Refine your business idea
The first step is to find and develop your business idea. You likely already have something in mind, but now it is time to choose precisely what it is you want your business to be.
- What industry will your business be in?
- What services or products do you plan on offering?
- Who do you plan on selling to?
2. Do market research
It is not enough to have a business idea and run with it. Instead, you need to conduct thorough market research to determine whether there is a need for your product or service.
You also need to determine who your target customers and competitors are so you have a more realistic understanding of the direction you are going in. Find this information by:
- Searching on Google
- Reading books about your target market
- Reading relevant news site articles
- Researching famous people and businesses in your industry
This will help you validate your idea and know for sure whether it will be able to succeed or not.
3. Write your business plan
After you have done your validation, you can create a business plan. Your business plan is essentially the “roadmap” for your business that will help you progress and reach your goals.
It should include information about your finances (such as your startup and operations costs), your products and services, business structure, milestones and metrics, and more.
4. Make your business legal
Once you have your business plan, you can choose a business name. Make sure that your business name has the following characteristics:
- It suits your business type and offerings.
- It reflects your business vision.
- It is easy to remember and search for online.
- It isn’t already taken.
Once you find a business name you like, you can register it with the federal or state government to make your business legal.
5. Develop a brand strategy and identity
Aside from having a unique product or service to sell, your brand also needs to be a driving force behind a customer’s decision to purchase from you.
Your brand identity is not just your logo and business name. It is a set of principles that tells your business’s story, creates consistency, and builds customer trust.
Make sure you keep the following in mind when creating your brand identity:
- What you stand for.
- Your unique selling proposition (what makes you different from competitors).
- Brand voice and tone.
- Visual brand identity.
6. Pick your business location
If your business is online, you will not need a storefront. On the other hand, you must pick a location if you are starting a business that needs a physical store.
Some businesses can be run from your home office. But, if you plan on selling physical products (such as clothing) or physical services (such as massage therapy), you need to rent or buy a space.
When deciding on your location, keep your target customers in mind and make sure it is easy to get to.
7. Build your website
Your business website is its online home. For most businesses, customers will immediately look at a business’s website when considering purchasing something.
Thus, you must create a user-friendly website that aligns with your brand identity and values.
Remember to include all the necessary information on your site that your customers could need to finalise a sale.
8. Market and grow your business
After you have created your business, it is time to put it out there for the world to see. You can use several marketing methods and tools to get the word out.
These include methods such as:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Paid advertising
- Traditional marketing
- And more
Just be sure to keep your target customers in mind at all times when you work on your marketing plan.
Learn how to become a successful entrepreneur with REGENT
Starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur can be extremely rewarding. It all comes down to having the necessary skills to turn your vision into reality. Need help developing those skills? Have a look at REGENT’s Higher Certificate in Business Management which will equip you with all the skills and expertise you need to become a successful entrepreneur.