Disclaimer: There is no single possible timeline that fits all businesses. The timeline suggested here is composed of general good-practices and sound techniques. It is up to you to decide which order of the steps outlined below is most beneficial to your business. By reading further, you agree that this app is not liable for anything that may go wrong with your business. The final decisions are always yours.
Here is a full article with tips for how to get business ideas, and thoughts to help you determine whether an idea is right for you. Starting a business is not simple. There are many business challenges that you need to overcome, and getting the right business idea is just one of them.
You should also be able to plan the business. You do not necessarily need a full business plan, but you should be able to plan to a sufficient degree that there are no major blind spots. For business planning tips, please take a look at our article for how to plan a business and if you feel you need more help, you can take a look at our business plan example.
Here is a video tutorial with 40 business idea tips that range from getting your ideas to gathering feedback to determining which ones are good, and much more.
In addition to this article, I created a number of resources to help you start your business. The resources are books, online courses and personalized business coaching. The books that might help you start your business are this book that helps you discover your business niche, this business plan book, this fundraising book and this book on the A-Z of how to start a business. Additional books that accompany these books on business fundamentals are marketing books. I recommend this marketing plan book and this introduction to marketing book if this is your first business.
If you feel like you could benefit from one on one attention and business coaching, check out my current business coaching offers.
Once you have a business idea that you like, the next step is to see if other people like it too. Before you try to see whether other people like your new business idea, you have to learn how to communicate it to others in the most effective way.
Take a look at our tutorial for clearly communicating your business to others in under 30 seconds by creating a business pitch.
Some people often worry about protecting their business ideas. If you are curious about this topic, please take a look at the article on how to protect business ideas and how to prevent employees from stealing clients with a non compete agreement. Here are two videos on protecting your business ideas.
Once you can communicate your business idea in a clear and effective way, you can begin to ask others for feedback. In the early stage of a business, as a rule of thumb, you want to get as much feedback and opinions from people as possible. You do not have to do as everyone tells you, but it is good to listen to many different types of feedback to help solidify your own vision of your project.
There are plenty of business ideas out there. You can create the next Google, or the next Apple, make some new tech gadget, open a restaurant, or a gym. They are all possible in theory, but are they possible for you in practice?
A very common pitfall entrepreneurs can fall into is underestimating the financial, time, and human resources their business idea can take. It is natural. Entrepreneurs tend to be very enthusiastic about their projects and often miscalculate the finances and overall resources that are needed.
If you feel you may need help understanding the financials of your business, you may want to look into working with a business financial advisor who can help you raise money from a bank, and explain overall structure of your business finances.
This is a nice place to be. There is some positive momentum and excitement building around your business idea, but at this point it is all theory. Now is the time to take the idea from theory to reality. Unfortunately, that can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky in a number of other ways. Here is an article that gives you some tips to try out your idea on a small scale cheaply to get more of a sense whether the big risk is worth taking.
Here is a full article on some tips for validating business ideas cheaply.
As you are going through the process of validating your idea with others, they will often want to take a think about it on their own and take a look at various additional materials. For that reason it is good to have a Web presence in the form of a website or a blog, maybe a Twitter account for quick communication, or at least a Facebook page. In my experience, having my own website early on has always been helpful because I could begin to experiment with various marketing strategies like SEO to see whether the pages on the site would rank well in Google search.
One of the ways you can easily validate your business ideas is to create a website that you can point people too. Sometimes a website can be a good tool for helping people understand what you are trying to do with your business. Here is a tutorial that walks you through how you can create your website easily and cheaply with WordPress.
This is perfectly normal, and in fact, should happen. No idea is perfect from the start. There are many details about it that will need to be refined throughout the lifetime of the company.
Your company can have a stable overall mission that it strives for, but how you go about accomplishing it can change according to what makes the most sense. Here is an example of a possible company mission statement: we will improve history education for kids k-12. Here are possible plans: 1) We will write better books and sell them to schools 2) We will create iPad apps and provide schools with iPads 3) We will work to have higher salaries for teachers which would improve education quality.
There are not sufficient plans of course. A sufficient plan has no major blind spots and takes into accounting the product, marketing, financial structure, etc. Other parts of this app get into this topic in more detail, and if you feel you may want 1 on 1 help planning your business, take a look at the extra-help section of the app to see how to get personal 1-on-1 help.
If all signs point in the right direction, and you are still as enthusiastic about the project, then it is time to begin thinking about turning this idea into a real company.
One of the first things you will need to consider is the type of company formation you need to have (Sole Proprietorship, LLC, C, S), and other legal issues.. You must consult an attorney who is qualified to help you with the basic company legal needs such as an NDA agreement, trademarks, employee and contractor agreements, and agreements between you and your partners if you have any.
There are a few main things you need to get right depending on the type of business you have. For many businesses, various types of business insurance are needed. If you have employees, you may need to look into managing basic HR tasks in-house, or outsourcing HR services so you can focus on your business. If you need a website, take a look at wordpress.org for a cheap and beautiful site you can make by yourself without needing tech skills.
One thing most businesses need is marketing. Ideally during the planning of your business, you would have a strong sense of how to best market your offerings. If you cannot get clients, you cannot have a successful business in almost any sense of the word. There are a number of articles on this app to help you with marketing. We have a few articles meant to help you get a solid understanding for how you will market your business. You can take a look at our introduction to marketing fundamentals article or read up on marketing strategies for different business types.
Different businesses require different technological needs. If you just need a basic website, you can create it for free with WordPress. And if you are selling something you can add a software package like Magento to your WordPress site. But if your business idea is a complicated social networking site, you will have to get very deep into various technology and either learn how to create the site on your own, or partner with someone or hire someone. For a glimpse of some modern technologies that enable social sites, take a look at our article about social media technology.
When starting your own company, it is strongly advised that you do a good amount of business planning. This doesn't have to mean that you must write a full business plan, but it does mean that you create a solid plan of action for how to start your business, and grow it. There are many sections and important things about in a formal business plan, but I'll try to simplify them for you. Before I simplify it for you, take a look at this video tutorial on how to write a business plan. It is a full tutorial, and will help you understand how to create a solid plan when starting a small business whether it is an online business or a common type of company.
Before or during your business planning process, one thing you should consider is which business niche to get into. Here is a tutorial on how to choose your business niche.
Now let me explain how you can create a simplified business plan when starting your business, and what the important things are to consider when choosing the best business to start.
If you are a first time entrepreneur, the ironic pitfall in starting your first business is that just about any plan seems pretty good to you. You are probably naturally excited about your business, and that excitement combined with a lack of experience can be quite blinding to the challenges that lie ahead. But the true benefit of business planning is to get the kinks out of your ideas before you actually start your business so that you can find ways to get around the challenges.
For that reason, if you are a first time entrepreneur, it is strongly advised that you get a mentor or an advisor to coach you through every step of the way. A good coach, mentor or advisor can help you avoid huge pitfalls in a relatively short conversation. And if you don't get that guidance, it might cause you to waste months and thousands of dollars pursuing a wrong and fruitless business strategy.
Now let me give you that simplified way to create your business plan. From all the components of a full business plan, there are three components that are especially important. These components are your product or service, your marketing and sales, and your financials. When you start your business, the business plan you create must have a solid strategy for how these three distinct components of your company will play together, and balance each other. Here is a video tutorial explaining this concept in more detail.
Make sure that you will be able to create a product or service for your business that will be competitive in the marketplace in terms of quality. Additionally, make sure that there will be natural ways to promote the product or service you are going to be offering. Lastly, make sure that the creation and marketing of your product or service happens at a price that will be profitable to you, and cover all the costs. That is the basic essential business planning that you need to do before you plow into starting your business.
Many first time entrepreneurs often ask whether they need to register their company. This question is a little bit of a tell that the entrepreneur is a beginner because the phrasing is incorrect. The right way to think about this question is whether you should register your business with the state to get liability protection in case your business gets sued.
It is a common good practice to register your business with your state. This will give you liability protection in case you get sued. The protection is that if you will get sued, it will be the business getting sued and not you personally. So your personal assets will be safe, and you won't be risking your home, car or other possessions. You can typically register your business as an LLC, S Corp, C Corp or another business entity type. It is best to consult a lawyer before registering your business as any particular entity type. Here is a video I made with my lawyer on the different business entity types.
What are your goals for your business? Do you just want to have day to day freedom and no boss? Or are you hungry to become a millionaire, and a billionaire? These are two very different goals that you should consider when starting your businesses. Different kinds of companies are better or worse suited for your general goals. So start with your goals first, and try to come up with a business idea and a plan of action for how you can reach your goals, whatever they may be.
If your goals are not to build a billion dollar business, but just to live comfortably, you can start an online business that will just allow you to make money from home, live comfortably, and have a lifestyle that you choose to have. This is actually the kind of company that I built, and I couldn't be happier. I am making money online, building my personal brand, and most importantly, being happy and fulfilled day to day. It isn't easy, but if you can start an online business and make it work for you, you will love your newly found freedom which you can use to become healthier, spend more time with friends and family, travel, or do anything else. Here is a tutorial for 50 business ideas that you can do online, working from home.
If you want to start a local small business, you will need to raise money to pay for rent, employee salaries, inventory, remodeling, and many other expenses. It is something that you can't also just quit at any time, and you must plan and prepare for very carefully. Plus, if you happen to be successful in that business, you may have to be in it for many years which means that it will have a very long term impact on your lifestyle and other parts of your business. Starting a local small business (sometimes called a brick and mortar business) has a lot more risk because of the time and money that you may put into it is often very substantial.
Here is a list of small local businesses you can potentially start: restaurants, barbershops, various stores or boutiques, gyms, local events, various kinds of home repair, and other similar local businesses.
Here is a full list of local businesses or services you can start: restaurant or diner, coffee shop, barbershop, nightclub, local event, most kinds of stores ranging from boutiques to grocery stores to jewlery shops, animal care or grooming, lawn care or landscaping businesses, moving businesses, gym, frozen yogurt or ice cream shop, a deli or a sandwich shop, a beauty salon or a hair salon, a spa, a daycare business, a hardware store, commercial cleaning or residential cleaning, car wash, general contractor business, dog walking or pet sitting, martial arts studio, or a dance studio.
Here is a list of potential online businesses you can start: blogging, affiliate marketing, elearning, create a channel on YouTube, become an author and sell books on Amazon and the Kindle, or become a freelancer or a local concierge. You can also create a mobile app or a website that provides some service or product or content that people can visit.
If you are a first time entrepreneur, you will probably make many common first-time entrepreneur mistakes along the way. That is common and costly. Of course, if you are starting your first business, you probably hope to avoid all those mistakes. But without proper guidance or advice, chances are that you will stumble right into all the common pitfalls. How can you prevent this? Many of the common mistakes are actually quite preventable if you get the right help in the form of a good mentor or a business coach or an advisor. They aren't free, but they are a good investment. Sometimes one piece of good advice can help you avoid months of wasted effort and save you thousands of dollars.
There are three different kinds of risk that you face when starting your business: financial risk, product risk and market risk. Financial risk is an obvious one to understand. If your business fails, all or most of the money that you had put into your business will be lost. This can impact your and your family's lifestyle.
Building a business is very difficult. There is quite a bit of financial difficulties and hardship, and many ups and downs along the way. For a little bit of wisdom and inspiration, take a look at our business quotes page. And good luck with your business!
I have created over 70 online courses on Udemy where I have about 60,000 students who are enrolled in my online courses. If you would like to browse my list of courses, take a look at my page with Udemy coupons and discounts.
And if you are confused about the Udemy discount and deal policy, check out the pages explaining how the Udemy sale system works and what the current Udemy deals are. In addition to learning about how to start a business from my online courses on Udemy, you can learn from me by checking out my business books.
And because I'll just know that at some point you will wonder about raising money for your business, here is a tutorial with 15 fundraising ideas and strategies.
One source of help could be SBA.gov. Take a look at that site to see whether it can be of help to you.
I am working on a full list of businesses or services you can start: restaurant or diner, coffee shop, barbershop, nightclub, local event, most kinds of stores ranging from boutiques to grocery stores to jewlery shops, animal care or grooming, lawn care or landscaping businesses, moving businesses, gym, a t-shirt business, gelato, frozen yogurt or ice cream shop, a deli, liquor store or a sandwich shop, a a beauty salon or a hair salon, a spa, a daycare business, hardware store, cleaning business that is either commercial or residential, car wash, general contractor business, dog walking or pet sitting, martial arts studio, or a dance studio.
I am also working on a list of tutorials for how you can promote certain companies. The first one I am working on is law firm marketing.
Here is a list of potential online businesses you can start: blogging, affiliate marketing, marketing agency, elearning, create a channel on YouTube, become an author and sell books on Amazon and the Kindle, or become a freelancer or a local concierge. You can also create a mobile app or a website that provides some service or product or content that people can visit.
I will be adding more examples of how to start different kinds of businesses. Here is an article of how to start a record label.
Article by Alex Genadinik