Some believe that their only alternative is to start their own business since the economic situation or unemployment status leaves them no alternative. There are those who have a great idea or product and would like to start their business. And there are also those who do not feel satisfied with their current job or boss and think they could do better work by their side. Here are the 15 steps to turn your idea into your own successful Shopify business.
1. Visualize the lifestyle you want to have in the next five years
The first thing to do, if you are thinking “how to start your own business,” is to visualize the lifestyle you want for the next few years. So, in your case, do the following:
Write how you want your family, health, and economic situation to be; your physical and spiritual state. Write everything that comes to mind, constantly review it, and improve it over time.
Dream big, don’t limit yourself; and above all, enjoy this process. This exercise is very important; this will determine the type of business you must choose to achieve the lifestyle of your dreams.
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2. Commit to learn and prepare for your business
Successful entrepreneurs, since they are thinking “how to start their own business” are constantly learning. They never say they already know everything. They recognize that products, techniques, systems, and technology are constantly changing. That is why they are updated through books, seminars, conferences, video courses, and training of mentors and business consultants.
On the Internet, there is a lot of free information with which you can start. There as well as payment material or services in which you will have to invest in expanding your knowledge and carrying out your business more effectively and successfully.
3. Investigate the demand for the product
This step is key if you want to undertake it successfully. Whatever the turn of the company, you should check that the product or service you have in mind has sufficient demand for the form, and at a price, you want to sell it. The products and services offered are available in the market because there are people who need them and are willing to pay to buy them.
Without such consumers, your business cannot exist. It is they who will give life and movement to your company. From your purchases will come the income to pay your bills, pay yourself, and make the business profitable.
Therefore, to start your own business successfully, you will have to determine if there are customers willing to pay for your products or services, before bringing them to light. In fact, there are digital tools to know the exact number of people who are looking for a certain product or service on the Internet.
My recommendation is that you start your own small-scale business using Shopify eCommerce store to test the results; meet the needs, tastes, and objections of your potential customers, without making large investments. This Shopify business store can be built with Shopify themes.
Another option is to work first for another person, in order to directly check the demand of the product and the magnitude of the profits, as well as, if you really would like to start your own business, in that industry, turn.
For example, if you want to sell food, you could do it through someone else’s business, to find out if your stews or desserts are sold well. Also, you could start selling at home, to know the reactions of consumers to the price and the characteristics of your product.
Through these years as a business consultant, I have met peoples who invested in business without conducting proper market research. They ventured and put their family in a critical situation. For after a short time, even less than a month, they realize that this business was not what they expected. Therefore, dedicate enough time to validate the business model you have thought. Make sure you like it, and it can be profitable for you.
4. Establish your goals for the first five years
To explain this point, I will give you an example. Suppose you want to set up a gadget business & a Shopify store to sell those awesome gadgets that you have. Since you calculate the profits, you will have in the next six months. The next step will be to describe how you would like your Shopify business eCommerce Store to be. Customize it to your taste with Shopify business themes. You can even visualize that it is not only one, but three restaurants that you have built.
Projecting the point you want to reach with your business in five years will help you define the annual action plan to achieve those goals.
5. Define your current status and the resources you have
Make an inventory of the resources you have; describe your current economic situation; and list the properties you could sell, such as houses, land, cars, machinery, etc. Also, add other types of assets to your business that might be of help to your Shopify Store.
Also, write down the knowledge and skills that you have acquired in the school and in the jobs that you have performed; although apparently they are not related to the turn of your company. Maybe you took a sales or graphic design course, worked as a waiter, or you like management, etc. All these elements will help you formulate your business plan and determine the resources needed to establish your business and successfully run a Shopify eCommerce Store.
6. Identify the motivations and objections of your potential clients
Take time to get to know your prospects and customers, where they are located, what they do, why they need your services or products, etc. This information will guide you to offer a good service and be efficient in your marketing processes and plans. Investigate the characteristics, motivations, and objections not only of consumers but also of those who decide to buy, those who make it directly, and those who influence the purchase decision.
For example, in the case of a toy, the user is a child. His motivations are to play with his friends. Presume that he already has a fashionable toy. He doesn’t care about the price, nor the way to get it. His mother is the one who decides to make the purchase. Because he does not want to continue listening to the child’s pleas or because he knows that this toy will make him happy.
However, his dad is the one who finally makes the transaction online so they can send it home as soon as possible. People who influence such a decision maybe a friend of the child, the seller in a store, or even those who appear in television commercials. If you know the people who are part of the purchase process well and understand their reasons and needs, you can design an effective marketing strategy, based on their characteristics.
7. Research and analyze your competition
Researching, knowing very well, and following your competition closely will provide you with elements to identify your strengths and weaknesses, know how to differentiate yourself from it, and design your action plan, to start your own business. You can learn from what he is doing well and overcome what he is doing wrong.
To do this, check your ads on TV, radio, newspapers, flyers, directories, and the Internet to know your marketing strategy and an estimate of the amount you invest in advertising. In fact, there are advanced tools on the Internet, for which you have to pay, to know all this information about your competition.
Visit their stores to see exactly what they offer and how they do it. Check the product or service lines they offer, their respective prices, and their main suppliers. Approach your customers or commission, someone, to buy or purchase their services to find out their processes and the experiences they provide.
Also, you can obtain information through the chambers of commerce, associations, and specialized magazines. In short, use all possible means in order to collect the most useful data from your competition and thus design your own business and a successful strategic marketing plan.
8. Set up a marketing strategy and budget
Start a business only when you have a good written marketing plan and capital to invest in advertising, promotions, and public relations. This marketing plan is part of the business plan. It should be based on the strengths and weaknesses of your business, the characteristics of your clientele and your products and services, as well as the analysis of your competition and your competitive advantages. Likewise, you must establish the measurement and evaluation methods of your advertising campaigns.
For this, it is necessary to know all the marketing tools that you can apply in your business, taking into account what your competition does. Examples of advertising media are television, radio, newspaper, website, social networks, e-mails, flyers, coupons, seminars, hiring vendors, demonstrations, and advertisements.
Select the means you will use depending on the type of business, your objectives, and the budget.
9. Prepare a projection of income and expenses
Many entrepreneurs want to know how to start a business without money. But according to my experience, some capital is always required to start a business. Unless someone finances everything at the beginning or that covers your personal expenses.
Estimating how much money you will need to create and operate the business will be a key piece in designing the right business plan.
10. Draw a plan to get the necessary resources
Formulate an action plan to gather the required investment. Consider the cost of the equipment and materials, the operating expenses, and the capital needed to support your family during the time it takes to make the business profitable.
At first, it will be difficult to obtain loans from banks or other government institutions. So, you will most likely have to turn to your friends, family, and even the same equipment or material suppliers. However, you must establish a good relationship with the bankers so that in the future, they support you with credits. It is very important to keep good control of your income (inputs) and expenses (exits) to avoid financial problems.
You will also have to show profits annually. Then your investors and bankers see that your business is profitable and you will be able to pay the loan. But this will also imply that you have to pay taxes.
11. Research the corresponding licenses, permits, and legal structures
Establishing a business legally depends on the country, state, and city in which it is located. I suggest you search online or go to the corresponding institution and ask for all the necessary requirements to start your own business.
In some cases, it will be convenient to hire accountants, specialist professionals, and lawyers to help you carry out all the procedures, and thus do not get into expensive problems. Remember, cheap is expensive. In addition, some businesses require several certificates, licenses, and permits. Therefore, better advice and ask. For some government agencies, “ignorance is no excuse”.
12. Build a team of advisors and assistants
Write down all the people who could help you to start the journey towards your five-year goal. Specify the relationship you have with them and the type of help they will provide. Some can support you financially or provide you with valuable information. They can also refer you to other people or simply offer you moral support.
In the same way, look for experts in the areas that you do not master, to advise you in the decision making process. In certain countries, there is free help offered by the government of business consultants to help you during the process of how to start your own business and then expand it. Search the Internet or ask in your municipality, department, or delegation.
13. Gather support information
Gather all the information you deem appropriate to support your business plan. Some documents that you should include are financial estimates, quotes, contracts, market studies, diagrams of your business, insurance, catalogs, designs, articles related to your business, resumes of the owners and key people in your business, as well as of your team of advisors, payment of taxes and credit records.
This information is very important, especially if you plan to apply for financial support through a loan or from an investor.
14. Execute your plan and make corrections along the way
Once you have armed your business plan, it is time to execute it. In the process, you will identify certain deficiencies and perhaps make some wrong decisions. However, this will help you to make the necessary modifications and improve what is necessary.
Remember, always talk and discuss with your team of advisors, about the progress of your business, the challenges that are presented to you as well as the successes, that’s what they are for.
15. Enjoy and celebrate every moment
Remember that the goal is to realize that dream you visualized before starting your venture. Therefore, try to enjoy every step you take and every new stage you experience. As you progress, you will be closer to reaching your goals and achieving the lifestyle that you so long for.
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Starting a business with Shopify Store is not easy. But, if you follow these steps, you will avoid many bitter drinks in the process. Having a well-structured business plan is essential to create a successful company. Do not lose sight of what motivates you at any time. This will give you the strength and focus on moving forward, even in spite of adversities.
Remember that the path of entrepreneurship is not for everyone; if you manage to overcome the obstacles that arise, you will get the success and the quality of life that you deserve to have.
This article is written by Dave Wilson. Dave is the marketing head at Debutify. They at Debutify helps you to build a high converting Shopify store in minutes, not hours, without any technical knowledge at all. Follow them: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram.
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