How To Start A Small Business: A Guide (Steps And FAQ)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Starting a business with your own idea can be exciting and rewarding. With a plan and innovative ideas, professionals can effectively manage time and the amount of money they want to invest in their business. Financial, strategic and legal planning can be important factors for making a business successful from the beginning. In this article, we discuss how to start a small business by reviewing some steps and necessary skills along with related frequently asked questions.

Related: 14 Profitable Small Business Ideas To Boost Your Income

How to start a small business

Understanding how to start a small business and planning thoroughly before starting a business can help professionals achieve their organisational goals. Here are some helpful steps that you can follow to get started with the business idea:

1. Start with a good business idea

A good business idea can work as the foundation for successful business goals. Avoid hesitation while making business plans on your own. It can be productive to find business ideas that allow you to deliver something unique to the target customer base. Here are some effective business ideas that you can choose:

  • event planning

  • copywriting services

  • computer training

  • graphic designing

  • financial planning

  • photography

Related: What Is A Business Plan? (Types And Importance)

2. Conduct research

When starting a business, focus on the requirements of customers, the quality of products or services and competitors that are already available and successful in the market. Knowing your customers can help you plan business strategies in a way that the product or services you are offering stand out from other competitors. If you find it difficult to introduce your product in an efficient way in the market, look for a different approach and implement small modifications to your plan accordingly.

Doing surveys and talking directly to the target audience can help in getting real expectations and preferences. Many professionals conduct a strength, weakness, opportunity and threat (SWOT) analysis at the beginning stage of their businesses. SWOT analysis can allow you to understand the possibilities of how well the product or service is going to perform in accordance with the current variables in the market. This can also help in correctly strategising business ideas.

Related: What Are Business Requirements? (With Tips And FAQs)

3. Develop and write a business plan

A complete and effective business plan can tell about the current and future business goals. Developing a business plan is helpful in defining the business goals and the possible ways to achieve them. Writing a business plan can be an effective way to understand what improvements you can make to increase the performance of your product or service. Here are some tips that can help you write a business plan:

  • Title page: Creating a title page and including contents in it can make it easier for investors to navigate through your business plan.

  • Purpose: This section of your business plan includes all the necessary details about your approach to market and business operations. While writing the purpose, mention whether you are looking for an investment. Include an approximate amount or the share you are going to offer to the investors.

  • Product description: Describe products or services the business is going to offer by mentioning important details. Explain the relevant features of the business and what it can offer to the target audience. In this section, you can also include how your product is going to compete with the existing competitors.

4. Know your finances

Knowing your finances is an important factor to consider before starting any business. You can use external funding such as reaching out to angel investors, crowdfunding, venture capital, small business loans or small business grants. Ensure utilising available resources optimally at the beginning of the business and only make necessary purchases. Knowing and making a well-estimated budget can allow professionals to determine the possible profitability the business is going to make in the future.

Here are some tips that you can follow before finding an investor for the financial expenditures of the business:

  • look for local funding or search for grant funding

  • get a small business loan from the bank

  • ask someone close or relatives for a loan

  • use your personal savings

5. Establish a team

Establish a team that can support your vision and assist you in achieving the goals of the business. A team may include employees, mentors, customers, investors and business partners. Make sure the business partners have the same goals and the employees possess relevant skills to enhance the business. Explain the business idea, goals and the necessary steps to the investors.

Related: Guide: How To Write A Welcome Message For A New Employee

6. Protect the business

Protecting the business can help for achieving long-term success. Starting a new business may require a lot of effort, money and time. This is why protecting it with the best possible insurance can be very helpful. Here are different types of insurance you can consider for protecting the business:

  • General liability insurance: This type of insurance covers claims related to property damage, bodily injury, libel or slander.

  • Business income insurance: In case of any incident within the company premise such as fire, theft or wind damage, the business income insurance can help to cover or replace the loss in income.

  • Data breach coverage: If you lose some of your client or employee data by any means, a data breach coverage can help you with financial help to recover the damage.

Essential skills for starting a small business

There are certain skills that you can develop and improve to focus on your ideas and goals. From explaining your concept to others to convincing the target audience, gaining relevant skills can form a successful business. Here are some of the essential skills:

  • management skills

  • organisation skills

  • communication skills

  • attention to detail

  • sales skills

  • problem-solving skills

  • negotiation skills

Related: 20 Business Skills You Need And How To Improve Them

FAQ about starting a small business

Here are some common questions related to starting a small business with their answers:

What is a business idea?

A business idea is a concept that professionals can use for building a commodity or service that they can offer for the money. There are many tested and proven methods for developing a business idea. Finding an innovative idea is important for attracting investors, firms and interested parties. Implementing a business idea at the right time when there is a demand for the product or service in the market can lead to a profitable and successful business. A successful businessman often finds brilliant business ideas which fill the potential business opportunities in the market.

Related: 7 Environmentally Friendly Business Ideas (With Benefits)

Is it possible to start a small business with less money?

Many professionals are able to launch a successful business without a direct fund. Carefully use your skills like negotiation, sales and attention to detail and develop an innovative idea through which you can offer something unique to the market. Once you have an idea of how you are going to initiate the first step, you can then focus on funding. While launching your new business, keep working on your current source of income.

Related: 17 Business Questions To Ask When Starting a Business

What is the easiest business idea?

An easy business to start can be the one that requires the minimum expense and the least amount of time. For example, a drop shipping company can run without buying, storing or tracking stocks. Consequently, it removes the hassle of inventory management. In this business, other companies can manage the business orders and inventory, pack goods and ship it to the destination.

When is a good time to start a business?

The best time to start a business depends on individual preference. It can also vary depending on the type of your product or service. Before starting a business, consider which time of the year can be perfect for you to launch the business. If the business offers a seasonal product, the best time for you to launch the business can be a quarter before the predicted busiest time of the year.

Related: What Are Career Opportunities And How To Choose The Right One

What is a good business structure?

A business structure can depend on the type of company and the industry. A successful business structure can help the company to set realistic goals and the strategic steps for reaching the goals. Making a business structure is an important step that you can do while planning to start a new business.

It can be tough for you to decide the perfect business structure to follow, ensure thorough research and take your time before finalising the business structure. Research and analyse how each entity for the business structure is going to affect the company. This can help in finding the business structure that suits the business plans and goals.

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