1. What’s my business?💼
First things first, you need to decide what kind of business you want to start. The possibilities are endless, so take your time with this one and make sure it fits your lifestyle, passion and goals. Are you looking for an online business, or would you like to open a physical location? Is your product virtual, or is it tangible? Maybe it’s not even a product you’re looking to sell, but a service or an unforgettable experience.
Once you figure this out, think of what this business means to you. It could be something you’ve never done before, but you’re eager and enthusiastic to learn about. It could be something that you’ve done for years, but only as a hobby. Many times, it’s simply your current job, but you’d rather do it on your own now.
These may seem like a lot of questions to ask yourself, but most answers will come to you naturally. After all, if you know you want to start a business, you probably already have some basic things in mind.
2. Who’s my audience?🧑🤝🧑
Now that you know what you’re selling and where, the next question is: to whom? It goes without saying that without a problem to solve and a person who needs your business, things aren’t really going to work out. Good news is, there’s almost always someone who needs your solutions - it’s just really important to find them, know them, and listen to them.
Make sure to never skip this step when starting a business. A little trick is to try and be part of the target audience yourself. If you want to sell luxurious holiday packages in South-East Asia because that’s what you’re interested in and couldn’t find the right service, you already have your target person nr. 1! Understanding your market is simply easier if you’re part of it.
3. What’s my plan?📝
You’ve already come far. By now, you have a good understanding of your product and market, so it’s time to put it all down on a one-pager for a great overview that will help with your future decisions.
A business plan includes things like an elevator pitch (keep it under 60 seconds, elevator rides aren’t super long), an audience overview, a SWOT analysis, marketing ideas (online? offline? affiliates? all?), and financial projections. This plan will be your ally when presenting your business idea to investors, partners, or even for yourself to better understand where you stand and where you’re going. If you’ve never made one before, no sweat - the good ol’ internet has plenty of templates ready to use.
4. What do others think?🤷
The most important thing is that you truly believe in your idea, but when starting a business it’s vital to get feedback and other opinions. They won’t all be helpful or actionable, but without a doubt you’ll hear some thoughts that simply didn’t cross your mind. Listening to feedback is a great way to gather input and inspiration, as well as a brand new view on things. Keep in mind that not every positive thought means everyone’s gonna love it, and not every negative opinion means your idea isn’t good.
Another point to make here is to carefully select who you’re asking for feedback. Got any friends or colleagues that started a similar business, or may know something about your niche? Get their input! If you think that feedback may get in the way of good relationships, maybe skip asking family members or close friends.
5. Do I know all the “stuff”?✅
Okay, this may not be the most exciting part of the process, but you have to go through it before the fun really starts! Before choosing the perfect name for your business or the funkiest logo, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.
- Do I know the tax implications of owning a business in this country? A wise man once said, taxes are inevitable. Make sure you know the rules, and check if you can get any benefits as an entrepreneur. Many times, you can!
- Can I sustain myself until my business becomes profitable? Money is great, but it probably won’t come pouring when starting a business. Therefore, it’s important to have a financial plan meanwhile. This could be keeping your current job, a part-time gig, or savings. Curious about when you can expect to stop putting money into your business, and start making some? Perform this easy break-even analysis: fixed costs ÷ (average price - variable costs) = break-even point.
- Do I know all the legal details around owning a business? Legal details can be a bit hard to digest, so check out if you need an advisor to start out. This of course depends on the type of business you own and your location.
- Do I have a business bank account? Keeping your business finances separate is important. In some countries, it’s not legal to run a business without a business account. Plus, you want all the time you can get to focus on your business, not on paperwork and old school banking affairs. We think bunq’s business account will fit your entrepreneurial needs.
Alright, there you go! These are the 5 first steps to start your business - from now on, the only way is up!🚀