A lot of people are looking at starting a business. as an option instead of just looking for another job. In the Middle East with the advent of new categories and types of business licenses, becoming a job creator seems to have an appeal. Before you decide to take the plunge, here are a few simple steps that you need to consider.
Before setting up
Before starting a business, make sure you prepare thoroughly even making sure that you are mentally prepared for when things will almost certainly go awry. To run a successful business, you must adapt to changing situations. We’ve all learnt that this year. Do some in-depth research with your peers and mentors to see the viability of the business as not just an idea but the practical side of setting up a business. An idea doesn't become a business without effort.
Tasks like naming the business and creating a logo are obvious, but what about the less-heralded, equally important steps? Whether it's determining your business structure or crafting a detailed marketing strategy, the workload can quickly pile up. Create a handy checklist to transform your business from a lightbulb above your head to a real entity.
Making the idea work
Refine your idea: Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders (in your sector) are doing and figure out how you can do it better. Do your market research well to ensure that you are on solid ground before you take the plunge and not just rely on your peers and mentors. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don't (or deliver the same thing, only faster and cheaper), you've possibly got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan. Everyone has competition – perceived or otherwise.
Creating the business plan: Once you have defined and have the idea in place, you need to work out the purpose of your business; who are you selling to; what are your end goals and how will you finance your start-up costs? These questions can be answered in a well-written business plan. A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it. There are lots of very easy posts and templates you can get online but you might need to tweak and change it as your business grows and changes to reflect these as well as how your needs change.
Check your finances: Many start-ups fail because they run out of money before turning a profit. It's never a bad idea to overestimate the amount of capital you need, as it can be a while before the business begins to bring in sustainable revenue. You need to determine how you're going to cover those costs and evaluate the means to fund your start-up. Find out if you need to borrow money. If you're planning to leave your current job to focus on your business, do you have money put away to support yourself until you make enough to cover your personal expenses? It's best to find out how much your start-up costs will be.
For this you need to work out your costs that cover the expenses of running the business from rents to salaries to other operating expense to costs of materials that will go into the product or in the case of service, the time to deliver the service. Find the right bank that will partner your growth. Most banks here are starting to offer more digital options for businesses and start-ups but do your research and find the right bank for your business.
Legal standing: Before you can register your company, you need to decide what kind of entity it is. Your business structure legally affects everything from your personal liability to business operations. One of the most common structures for small businesses, however, is the limited liability corporation. This hybrid structure has the legal protections of a corporation while allowing for the benefits of a partnership. Consult with a lawyer or if you are working with an accelerator, an investor or a mentor, ask for their advice.
Register your business: Once you have figured out your legal standing, do some research to find out what location would suit your business needs. Do you need a free zone license, a mainland one? There are several consultants that can help you figure out your needs from what each package offers that goes beyond just a license to operate. Check for operations details including packages etc.Find the right team: Unless you plan to be a one-man band, find the right core team will make or break your company.
Entrepreneurs need to give the "people" element of their businesses the same attention they give their products. Identifying your founding team, understanding what gaps exist, and how and when you can address these should be top priority. Equally important is defining roles and responsibility, division of labour, how to give feedback or how to work together will help to save time and money and put you one step closer to being scalable.
As an entrepreneur, your value lies in solving problems for other people or you solving problems within your organization. Be prepared for daily challenges but always have a plan.