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An artisanal bakery, a book shop, a restaurant, or perhaps a craft store—most of us have dreamt of “having our own little business” at some point in time.
As many as 1,67,000 businesses were set up in India in FY22, a 7.5% increase from the previous year. Entrepreneurship is now being seen as a viable career opportunity.
However, with so many different ideas and opinions, it can get overwhelming to begin an entrepreneurial journey. How to fill paperwork, how to raise capital and what are the legalities of running a business? Here’s your how-to guide to know everything related to starting your own business.
The first step to starting a business is knowing what to start. Business ideas are dime-a-dozen, and you need to find one that aligns with your interests. If you are unclear about what to start, you can choose from different industries and see if any of them piques your entrepreneurial curiosity.
If you are educated in a particular field, see for business ideas from that niche. The fact that you have knowledge in the field will help you immensely. Check for franchises in your niche. Instead of starting from the ground up, you can open a franchise if you have the initial capital.
Validating your idea might seem daunting, but it isn’t. It is finding whether customers will be willing to pay for your product. It saves you the effort, time, and money invested if people aren’t gung-ho about your products. Google Glass is an example of an idea that needed to be validated. With a price tag of $1500, even the benefits were not clear for its target market— no wonder the product tanked.
Here are simple steps to validate your idea:
Getting your legal requirements up to date is of prime importance. Let’s look at each of them.
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Registering your company as a legal entity increases your credibility and protects you from personal liability. There are six business entities that you can choose from.
It contains details regarding the founding members and establishes the founders’ and company’s rights, obligations, ownership, dispute resolution, and other aspects.
The authorisation to do business comes in the form of legal documents. Let us see what it entails.
Some other required documents are a Director Identification Number, MCA portal registration, Commencement of Business Certificate, Certificate of Incorporation, and Digital Signature Certificate.
Even though it isn’t mandatory, trademark registration is a recommended legal requirement if you are starting an online business. Trademark registrations deter others from infringing it.
Central, state and local taxes may be applicable for certain businesses. The Startup India initiative has introduced several exemptions and tax holidays for new companies and startups. Maintain a proper book of accounts and adhere to relevant accounting and taxation rules.
Your business plan provides a roadmap for structuring and growing your business. The primary objective of your business plan is to establish your plans for the future. It shows the milestones and goals you need to achieve to determine your growth.
A well-researched business plan is something that investors want to check out too. Your financial projections and how you aim to receive returns for your investors should be spelled out in the business plan. It is a major driving factor for investors to put money into your business. The business plan can be in the form of a document or a slideshow or even both.
It should contain the following:
There are several ways to get funding for your business. The first step is asking for money from friends and family or dipping into your savings. If bootstrapping is not possible, you need to engage with external entities.
Here’s what you can do:
Protect your business with the right kind of insurance. There is a lot of hard work that goes into building a business. Here are some of the ways to protect your business with the right insurance coverage:
To take your business to the next level, you need people to who you can delegate tasks. Here are ways to build the right team:
You have come from ideation to development. Now that you have money in your bank, you should find ways to create your product.
Once you have the product, reaching out to potential customers is next. Where do your potential customers lurk? Reach out to them on the channels they frequent. Write about your USP, and use that to benefit when contacting customers. Here are some ways to spread the word about your business.
The next step is to increase your sales by focusing on strategies that will work for your niche.
Here are a few things you can do to plan for the future: