6 Steps for starting your own business
With the new boom and trend of being an entrepreneur, it is being viewed in many places the stories of startups that are being created around the world. Universities and governments are encouraging everyone to be entrepreneurs, since it is now the most “hot thing” that may exist. While entrepreneurs have always existed, the trend is pushing to have even more people get into the path of entrepreneurship. But as an entrepreneur something I have learned in this time is that although everyone says you have to be an entrepreneur, no one really tells you what and how you have to do it.
From my experience, I will share some steps to create a company. While my example is attached to how it’s done in Mexico, probably some bureaucratic and legal issues are different, similar, or even more simple in other countries. But generally the idea of starting your own business is almost the same.
Starting your own business
1. Create the idea, business plan, canvas model, etc.
For lovers of perfectionism, you may perform the various methodologies for a business idea and the perfect plan. For some this methodologies might be a good guideline since the business plan helps as framework for visualizing the business future. From my point of view, this is only helpful as a first support, because the reality of a business is very, very different from what is actually planned.
Here is a link to Entreprenur’s step by step guide for creating a business plan.
And below is the canvas model to write the structured business idea.
Or if you’re a person with an “action” approach that knows how to easily detect the market needs, you can skip the development of the different methodologies for generating a business plan.
Quite simply, what you must bear in mind first is the product or service that you want to sell.
It is also necessary to establish whether it will be a company of one person, or a group of people. In Mexico, companies of one person can be registered under the tax incorporation regime, or as an individual with business activity.
If entrepreneurship is taking under two or more people, you can create partnerships.
Similar to United States where you can drive your business as Sole Propiertorship, Limited Liability Companies, Corporations or Partnerships.
Here is a list of many countries and the type of entities for any business.
2. Having identified and contact suppliers
If you are going to open a retail business, you simply have to look for suppliers to contact them, get to know the cost of the product, payment options with the suppliest, cost and shipping time. As a retail, you just have to buy and sell.
In other hand, if you are going to build from nothing the product, as well you have to contact possible suppliers, but also get to know how to create it and learn the technical part of it.
If you are going to choose for a service business, you also have to contact suppliers for equipment, materials and supplies needed to do work. So once made contact and have talked with suppliers, you can go start to see how much is needed to invest in starting the business.
This step could be included in the business plan, but suppliers are definitely a very important part that allows any entrepreneur to know where he can get resources for developing the business.
3. Get an Accountant
If you are an accountant you can skip this part, if you’re not, it is better to look for one. We must be realistic, most of our energies should be focused on growing the business and not be too much concerned in making the monthly and annual statements. Also, if you do not have knowledge of accounting, it will take time to learn from it and then working on it. It is better to have an expert as partner rather than trying to look like as an the expert, but you’re not.
The accountant can guide you in tax requirements and other stuff that may arise when the business is already in operation. Also it can help with legal invoice settings, like in Mexico that is needed to have electronical certified invoices to verify income and expenses.
4. Get the business address
Whether a luxury property within a local mall, build on land or in the garage of the house, the important thing is to get an address so that customers know where to contact and visit you to see your products or services. We often hear that some successful entrepreneurs started in the garage, so at the beginning the most important thing is not where you are located, but to have an address. Do not misunderstand, to have a retail store or offices in a strategic location clearly will give an advantage and it is more likely to bring success to the business, but sometimes when it is no possible to get the best place, it is more important just to start running the business.
5. Registration at Government Offices
*This point explains what I have to do to registrate in mexican government offices. But if you want to go legal, you have to registrate at any point in your local government offices. Some countries might have easier processes, some might have longer, but it is highly probable that you have to do this.
To establish formally and legally the company in Mexico it is required to register with the deparment of Treasury to get an ID and an electronic signature called “E.Firma”.
So I had to get an appointment to get my ID, and then get another appointment to get the electronic signature. And in just like 2 weeks I was officialy registrated as a businessman.
So it is important to contact local offices to get guidance in which documents you will need to have a business registrated.
6. Running up the business
So far I have described the general steps before starting your own business, now what it follows is to set up the place, buy the materials from the suppliers, decorate the place or have a well organized office for receiving customers. It is time to open doors to the public. It is needed to run some marketing to start creating awareness about the new product or service being offered. Invite friends, family and possible customers to get involved with the great opening event to make the first sales.
Being an entrepreneur is not a simple thing, there are many details that happen on the way that you as an entrepreneur have to solve to grow the company. These steps for starting your own business may look simple, but when you start work on them, you begin to realize that there are things that college does not teach you.
If you are deciding to undertake this entrepreneurial adventure remember that it’s a lifetime marathon challenge.