• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

December 19, 2013

10 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

Have a great idea but have no idea where to take it? Launching a business doesn't have to be as hard as you think. These 10 steps will get you well on your way.

Share
shalini

Serial entrepreneur and business coach Shalini Vadhera

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Shalini Vadhera

Special Offer

Step 1: Create Your Concept
Tap into your passion. When you love what you're doing, it won't feel like "work." This step is your initial ideation. Are you creating a product? Service? What's the name? Start dreaming, visioning, and have fun. And don't forget to write all that good stuff down!

Step 2: Your Competition
It's time to arm yourself with some research. What other similar products or services exist? What’s the price point? Where is it sold? Who's using those products and services? Are these businesses generating a profit? The more info you can get, the more educated decisions you will be able to make.

Step 3: Lawyer Up
Now that you've done you're research and decided on your kick-ass idea, product, and name, you need to protect yourself. Get a trademark. Buy the domain name of your company for the website and create an email address for yourself using that domain (example: me@mycompany.com).  Incorporate and make yourself a legit business. You can do all of this by working with a business attorney, or if you are working with a tight budget there are tools online, like LegalZoom.com, to do these things yourself.

Step 4: Define Your Brand
This is where you get to shine. What makes you and your products/services different from everything you just researched? Create a unique voice and a point of difference.

Step 5: Hire a Team
You’re going to need some help! Look for passionate team payers that want to help you succeed and share the same vision. Identify the most important players you need at this stage and bring them in to consult (pro bono).

Step 6: Create a Strong Corporate Identity
It's time to start building the brand. This is personally one of my favorite steps! Think of this as packaging your product but for your overall business. Presentation is everything. Take your time and get feedback from friends and family. The key elements to focus on are your name, logo, business cards, slogan, voice (and when I say voice I mean how does your brand speak to others?), color themes, packaging (if it’s a product), and overall presentation. If you were buying your product or service, what would you like to see?

Step 7: Develop Your Game Plan
Put your strategy in place and set goals. I like to use a calendar and create a three, six, nine, and 12 month road map. Delegate duties and empower your team to reach these goals and help you win.

Step 8: Set a Budget
Do you have the capital to reach your goals? Do you need to raise capital? If yes, how will you do it? Friends and family? Crowdsourcing sites? Venture Capital? Institutional? This is important to understand the difference between what each category of raising money means to you as a founder and to your business. Remember cash is king so sticking to your budget is very important and keeps you in control.

Step 9: Get The Word Out
This is where you get to broadcast about your great product or service. This is also a key component to helping you with a successful launch. Look at using all social media platforms to broadcast your brand. Hire a publicist (best money spent, by the way). Network like crazy and be a walking billboard for your brand.

Step 10: LAUNCH!
You are ready to become the amazing business woman you always wanted! Launch with a bang. Throw a party. Offer a special promotion to get people excited. And most important, service your customers like they are king!


Share
This Is A Developing Story
Connect with Marie Claire:
Advertisement
horoscopes
daily giveaway
Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Career and Money Tips
5 Snacks You Need at Your Desk

Orange chip dust on your black skirt is not a new trend.

Why Young Women Should Care About Equal Pay Day

This is important stuff, people.

10 Things You Never Want Your Coworkers To See You Do

It's like seeing your grade school teachers outside of the classroom.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook
Welcome!

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Continue
Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.

Continue