Start a Business in 10 Easy Steps



To become a successful entrepreneur, you need to be willing to take a risk and take action. Don’t be one of the countless people who sit forever on a profitable idea because of a fear of failure! Following in the footsteps of other successful entrepreneurs can help you prevent some inevitable mistakes while pushing you to the front of the line. Learn from someone else’s errors and avoid unnecessary pitfalls on your journey. If you’re ready to get started and don’t know where to begin, you can follow the simple and effective steps outlined below. 

Outline Your Vision

A successful business plan begins with outlining exactly how you want your business to look and operate. You have to decide what you want your company to achieve and determine how you’ll measure your success. Don’t know where to start? Think about the basics: who, what, when, where, why, and how. 

  • Who is your target market or audience? 

  • What are their pain points, and how will your product or service improve their life? 

  • When do you plan to launch, and how often will you need to reach out to your audience? 

  • Where do you need to place yourself to get your product or service into the hands of your customers? 

  • Why are you creating this business, and what purpose does it serve to you and the community at large? 

  • And of course, how do you make your business profitable? 

If you can answer all these questions, you’re well on your way to developing a solid plan. Write everything down and be willing to edit as you learn new things along the way. 

Research Your Target Market

This is a step no one particularly likes. Research can be dry and tedious, but it’s incredibly important to the ultimate success of your business. Go back to your outline and consider who your target market is. Ensure that you understand whether your market is large enough for your product or service to be profitable. If it’s not, you can still create something valuable for a smaller market niche, but you’ll need to be painfully honest with yourself. Take the time to scrutinize the market value of your offerings. 

Once you’re sure the scope of your market is viable for profit, you’ll want to dig deeper into the minds of your potential customers. What are their habits, needs, and pain-points? Does your business model serve those specific needs as you currently envision it? If not, be willing to adjust your vision to meet the needs of your market. Consider using broad surveys, product testing groups, or even hiring a professional market research company to aid you during this crucial step in your business development.

Develop a Financial Plan

Here’s where things get juicy. Starting a small business doesn’t necessarily have to require a large upfront investment.  However, you’ll undoubtedly need to consider operating costs and minor expenses as you get your plan off the ground. Once you start turning a profit, you can then reinvest into your business to help it grow. In this stage of planning, you’ll want to outline all the expected costs at the different stages of your venture’s lifespan. Will you need office space, a large staff, or manufacturing equipment? Or can you simply offer an online service through a basic website? All these questions should be carefully considered and laid out before determining how you’ll finance the costs. 

If your business does require some initial start-up costs, you have plenty of options. Small sums can be obtained through payday lenders like More considerable sums can be obtained through banks, angel investors, crowdfunding, or government grants. Whatever you choose, make sure to recognize the varying interest rates for each option and how long you’ll need before you break even and begin to turn a profit. 

Create a Website

Whether you’re a retail or online business, you’ll want to have an attractive and professional website. Potential customers will use your website to vet your company before using or purchasing your offerings. Having an active and up-to-date site is vital for building trust with your target market. 

The good news is, creating a website for your business has never been easier! Gone are the days of having to hire expensive web developers to write code and design your site from scratch. With hosting platforms like Wix and Squarespace, regular folks can drag and drop their way to a beautiful website. If you simply don’t want to deal with creating it yourself, you can still outsource your web development - but you’ll want to consider the costs and savings for each option. 

Register Your Business

You’ve got your business plan and your website - great! Now it’s time to become official. Depending on the format of your company, you likely need to register your business legally. Having a formal business license will lend credibility to your company for potential investors, clients, and customers. 

Registering your business is also super important if you’ll be hiring employees and managing payroll. You’ll need a proper employer tax ID so that you can file your business taxes. Registering can also help to protect your business’ name, preventing anyone from stealing your company structure and identity. 

Build a Team

For your business to scale up, you’ll likely need to hire talented employees to assist your growth. This can be a tricky road to travel! It’s wise to take some time to learn about leadership communication and be fully prepared to be in a managerial position. Once you have a team in place, you’ll want to develop a supportive and inclusive company culture. Team building activities, cross-departmental collaboration, and opportunities for open communication will be critical to your company’s longevity and success. 

Approachable management and positive work environments will ensure employees are satisfied in their roles. With the advent of online reviews, it’s never been more important for CEOs and managers to consider their employees’ needs. One scathing online review from a disgruntled former employee could forever ruin your reputation with customers and future employees. 

Set Up a Sales Funnel

Until you’re ready to scale up to larger platforms, simple sales funnel software programs like Click Funnel can quickly turn your website from informative to active. Sales funnels work beautifully to convert site visitors into leads, who can then become paying customers.

Simple sales funnels work by guiding site visitors by the hand through the entire sales process. This step-by-step approach works to prevent them from becoming lost, confused, giving up, and ultimately leaving your site before making a purchase. Sales funnels can also use algorithms to help your site visitors reach a specific set of offerings for their needs. Whether or not they buy on their first visit, sales funnels also help you get access to their contact information so your sales team can follow up quickly and efficiently. 

Start a Content Marketing Campaign

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach designed to provide valuable, relevant, and consistent content to your target audience. This type of marketing can be consumed by your audience in many forms, and will ultimately tie back to your sales funnels. Online media like newsletters, blogs, and informative webinars all work in harmony to define your brand and offer value to potential customers. 

A content marketing campaign secures and grows your audience, builds trust with prospects, and positions your company as an industry expert. The dissemination of valuable content helps you gain readership and grow your online presence exponentially when readers share your content with their social networks. Content marketing is highly effective and is the primary marketing strategy for many businesses. 

Protect Yourself and Your Employees

At this point, you’ve invested a great deal of time, energy, and money into your business. Depending on how your business operates, your company is vulnerable to various risks. Just like you insure your home and vehicle, you'll want to equally safeguard your business investments. Consider working with a local business insurance agent to determine the types of risks to which your company is vulnerable. A professional can help you find an insurance plan to protect your business through everything from data breaches to employee injuries. 

Continue to Grow and Expand Your Offerings

There’s no formal stopping point when you’re starting and running a business. You’ll never be “done,” but at this point you should be well on your way to establishing your company on the open market. Expect to make mistakes. Expect small failures. Grow from what you learn along the way. Once you start turning a profit, reinvest in your company to grow your business and expand your offerings. Always be willing to try new things, consult with different people, implement new strategies, and take risks. 

With a willingness to adapt to change, your business will stand the test of time. 10 years from now, your company structure may look completely different - and that’s ok! As long as you remain open-minded, the world is your oyster. Go forth with confidence, and don’t forget to reach back to assist those coming up behind you.

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