Article By: Ashish Rajadhyaksha
This Article is the 2nd in a Series of 3 Articles on “How to Launch Your Own Business?”
Starting a new business is an emotionally, physically and financially demanding journey that one takes due to various reasons. For some it’s a family obligation, while for others it could be a journey towards financial and professional independence and control. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important for an entrepreneur to embark on this journey with proper homework and knowledge in place. For every famous entrepreneur such as Dhirubhai Ambani of Reliance Industries of India or Bill Gatesof Microsoft for whom it wasn’t necessary to finish college to become enormously successful, there’re countless examples of entrepreneurs who could’ve steered their sinking ship with a little bit of extra training and systems.
So education, training and planning aren’t pre-requisites for a successful business, but they surely help! In the first part of the “How to Launch Your Own Business” Series, we looked at different types of entrepreneurs, their motivations in starting a business, and reviewed the simple Business Concept Template that helps crystallize thoughts, and creates a foundation for writing a formal business plan that any entrepreneur would later need to get meaningful funding from family & friends, banks, VC’s or anyone else who is interested in the concept.
In this second part of the above-mentioned series, we’ll review various facets of the first Planning Stage of any businesses’ life-cycle; later stages of Building Stage, Running Stage and Future Stage, respectively, are beyond the scope of this article series.
In the initial Planning Stage, an entrepreneur and his or her team needs to accomplish market research, business strategy and brand positioning outlines, figure out an appropriate corporate name and tax structure, sources & uses of funds, start hiring of competent staff, comply with all the startup regulatory/statutory requirements, plan the sales & marketing program, along with many other concurrent strategic and operational tasks.
Following are some of the key online resources available to help new U.S. entrepreneurs Get Going on their journey with an inventory checklist. Overseas entrepreneurs may use these as a starting point to figure out appropriate contact points in their jurisdictions.
Concept → ◊ Market Research ◊ Mentor Advisement ◊ Business Strategy & Plan Preparation
▪ www.google.com ▪ Family & Friends ▪ Focus Groups
Business Name & Structure → ◊ Business Structure (Whether Non- Profit, Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation?) ◊ Build or Buy (New Concept, Buy Existing, License or Franchise?)
Finance & Accounting → ◊ Self & Family ◊ Loans ◊ Seed/VC ◊ Accountant Hiring
Human Resource Management → ◊ Management ◊ Staff Search ◊ Employee Benefits
Legal & Compliance → ◊ Insurance (General Liability, Workmen’s Compensation, Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance) ◊ Leases, Permits & Licenses ◊ Intellectual Property
Sales & Marketing Strategy → ◊ Website ◊ Sales Leads ◊ Mailing Lists ◊ PR & Launch
▪ www.ebay.com ▪ www.paypal.com for credit card processing ▪ www.etsy.com to list any hand-made products ▪ www.google.com, www.facebook.com, www.linkedin.com, and www.twitter.com for online mktg, ads and social media marketing ▪ www.nj.gov/business & ▪ www.nyc.gov/business for Government contracts
Operations → ◊ Equipment ◊ Facilities