LoginGet started

How to Start a Small Business

A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Start a Small Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

Whether you want to share your passion with others or become your own boss, starting a business is both exciting and daunting. You have an idea of what you want to do yet the question remains: where do I start? This guide is a great introduction into the steps to take as you begin the business building process. 

1 - Ideate - Define the what and how of your idea.

Putting your idea into words helps clarify the direction you will take. Make sure to take a moment to write this down, as the definition of your idea will guide the process of pursuing your passion.

2 - Research - Use this time to ask key questions in the following areas:

Demand: Do people want your product or service?

  • Friends and family are a great place to start asking about interest in your idea.

Competitors: Are there other people who offer similar products? 

  • Do a quick google search or ask around about your product or service to see if others offer similar products. Is there anything that competitors are missing or that you could improve on in your own product or service? Doing a scan of the competition will help you define how your brand will succeed in the marketplace.

Differentiation: How can your product or service stand out from competitors?

  • It’s ok if there are similar products, what’s important is that you add something to set it apart. Maybe it's your location, personality, or a secret ingredient. Once you put your finger on what makes your product special, you can leverage it to your advantage.

Pricing: What do people pay for similar products? How much should you charge for your product?

  • Step four will go into greater depth regarding budgeting and setting your own prices. However, take a moment to estimate how much it will cost to produce your goods and how much you plan to sell them for. Compare this proposed cost to those of competitors to ensure your expectations are within a feasible range.

3 - Write a business plan - Set out the steps you will take as you formulate and grow your business.

Where you are at - define your starting point

  • What do you have? (current production capabilities, inventory, design capacity)
  • What is your value add? This goes back to differentiation, what is your special sauce you’re adding, the thing that makes your product/service unique and sets it apart from the competition. 

Where you want to be - set and define segmented goals

  • What do you want your business to look like once set up? Defining this short-term goal is important as it provides the guiding vision for your immediate actions.
  • What do you want your business to look like in the future? This can be in a month, in a year, or in five years. Choose increments that fit your operational scale so you can still dream big but keep from getting overwhelmed. Defining your goals for the future helps orient your current actions and decisions.

What you need - define the tools, knowledge, and time you’ll need to turn your idea into a reality 

  • Refer to your earlier work in defining where you are at and what you currently have. Then contrast this with where you want to be. What are the missing pieces? Are there any physical supplies you need? Is there more research you need to do to find your place in the market? 

4 - Establish a budget - After you have your business plan, you can then transition to establishing a budget.

  • Write out your expenses and set up inputs for profit to track gross profit to make sure you are making enough money to satisfy the time and resources you're putting into your business. To keep from getting overwhelmed, we suggest an easy-to-use budget template to stay organized. 

5 - Create your brand - This can be as simple as coming up with your business name! However, if you want to add more to your brand, consider ideating on the following topics:

Logo - create a logo that represents your brand/product. 

  • A great tool to do this is Canva! Choose an easy to use template and simply personalize it for your brand's needs.

Mission statement - create a definite summary of the aims/values for your business. 

Colors and fonts - select a color palette and font for your brand to use in any content you create. This enables all outgoing content to have a signature feel. 

Set up social media - social media can seem daunting at first but in reality is an easy to use tool that can hugely grow your business with no or minimal cost. 

6 - Create a website - A website is a modern day equivalent of a business card, it provides a landing page for prospective customers.

  • If your business provides a product, a website is important as it acts as a digital storefront so you can reach and sell to a much larger audience. Creating a website can be daunting and take a lot of time, and choosing the right platform can be overwhelming. For a simple solution that allows you to quickly create your eCommerce site, we suggest using Rejoicy.

7 - Start selling!

You have all you need to get started with your shop/business. Of course, change, growth, and challenges are inevitable so make sure to ask for help when necessary. Starting a small business can be intimidating, but the reward of seeing your passion grow is worth it! 

Don't miss these stories:

Are you a creator looking to take your sales online? Our easy-to-use eCommerce platform empowers you to create an online shop and manage orders without having to worry about fees or sales tax.
Made with ❤️ in Northwest Arkansas.
© Rejoicy 2023