Want to start a business? Anyone can do that. You don't need a degree, a lot of money in the bank, or years of business experience to start a business. What you do need is a strong plan and the drive to stick to the steps in that plan.
If you're reading this, chances are you already have that drive, but you may not know where to start. That is why we have drawn up a step-by-step plan with 7 essential steps for the starting entrepreneur.
1. The most basic question: why do you want to start a business?
More money? More freedom? Think carefully about this! What drives you?
Ask yourself the following questions to find out what kind of business you would like to run and what it takes.
- What skills do you have?
- Where is your passion?
- How much capital do you need?
2. A second fundamental question: what kind of business would you like to run?
Do you already have an idea? If so, you can skip this question. If not, no problem either. There are a lot of brainstorming methods for coming up with a good idea.
- What technologies can change life as we know it?
Can you beat the curve? Incidentally, you do not have to reinvent the wheel, applying an existing business model to your industry or niche is also a good revenue model.
- What is demand for?
If you come up with a solution to something that many people see as a problem, you will of course be paid for it. Problem solvers are always and everywhere needed.
3. Thorough Market Research
The most common mistakes when conducting market research are:
- Use only secondary research.
- Only use online resources.
- Only question the people you know well.
So let different people get acquainted with your product or service to find out what they think about it. A fresh look can make you suddenly discover something you've never thought of before, or something you've overlooked.
4. The legal aspects
It is wise to immediately take the possible legal aspects into account. This way you don't have to worry as much about someone running off with your idea or being sued for something you didn't see coming.
5. Write a business plan
A business plan is a description of how your company will develop. From the start to the intended result.
How do you write a business plan? You read that in this article!
At Holland Startup we choose to replace the business plan with the Lean Canvas method.
6. The financing
There are countless ways to get resources that can help you boost your business from the get-go. We explain 3 common ways:
- Financing your startup yourself. It may take longer this way, but you are in control of your destiny (and wealth).
- Apply for a small business grant. This can be a difficult process, but at least it won't cost you any equity. Of course you can claim the starter's allowance and the self-employed person's allowance, but it never hurts to research subsidies.
- Approach an incubator or accelerator. Incubators and accelerators are there to help start-ups to the next level. Most incubators offer resources, including office facilities and consultancy, but often you can also take advantage of networking opportunities and even seed funding.
7. Build a team
To scale a business, you need a team. You have to transfer certain responsibilities to others. The main reasons for outsourcing tasks are cost savings and shifting the business focus. When you want to grow, you can't do everything alone! Outsourcing your tasks is not just about saving money. Outsourcing is a crucial aspect of innovation and growth.
Important when building a team: always clearly state what the company objectives are. Make sure everyone understands his or her role within the organization.
Above all, realize that your work as an entrepreneur is never finished. You will be constantly working. When you do what you love, it's anything but bad!
At Holland Startup, first-time entrepreneurs realize their entrepreneurial ambitions. We guide, coach and finance young entrepreneurs to turn ideas into successful startups.
We enable aspiring entrepreneurs to build a SAAS software company Will you join us?