Do you dream of being your own boss?
Do you dream of setting up your own venture? Wondering how to start a startup in India
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Being an entrepreneur can sound daunting but breaking the process down into simple and doable steps will get you started. If you are ready to launch a business, here is a startup guide.
1) Identify a great business idea
All successful startups start with a powerful idea. Here is a startup guide for Entrepreneurs with steps for building a startup. The first step in launching a startup is identifying a problem and finding ways to solve it. There are a few ways to go about this. You can mine your personal interests and see if there are any products/services you can sell related to your hobbies or something that would solve a common frustration in those fields. You can research existing products and look for market gaps or common complaints about popular products.
2) Validate the business idea
Once you zero in on your product/service idea, it’s time to understand whether there’s a real market and demand for it. Before you go all out, you need to know whether there’s a significant number of people willing to pay to use your product, and the best way to do that is through your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You can set up a store (a virtual store is cost-effective) to take pre-orders, launch a crowdfunding campaign, or create a beta version of the product. Direct customer feedback to understand how your product is being used is invaluable.
3) Put together a business plan
How to start a business plan?
Formalize your business idea and streamline the business creation process by thinking through things methodically and formulating a structured business plan. It should describe your products/services in detail, include information about your industry, operations, finances, and thorough market analysis. A solid business plan is essential to raise funds, which leads us to the next step.
4) Secure funding
Raising money for your startup is one of the toughest parts of the entrepreneurial journey. Without funding, you risk not being able to pay for your operating costs. You can look to various avenues such as friends and family, angel investors, venture capitalists, and banks to secure funding. To make sure you raise adequate funds, estimate your costs and cash flow, including loan interest rates.
5) Build a strong network
Surround yourself with the right people who will support you as you go forward and live your dream. You’ll need mentors, business advisors, accountants, insurance professionals and bankers who you can turn to whenever needed. Apart from this, you also need to find the right co-founder, the team, vendors, suppliers, and partners.
6) Build a customer base
Finally, once you’re ready to go live with your startup, chart out a marketing plan to spread the word and attract customers. Use social media marketing, rewards and loyalty programs and influencer and affiliate marketing to reach your target audience. You can also give out free samples and demos and sponsor local events. Remember to ask for direct customer feedback and continuously improve your startup’s offerings.
While these six steps give you a gist on how to launch a business, there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes.
Learn the basics of entrepreneurship and get the right guidance by signing up for National Entrepreneurship Network’s (NEN) courses.
So, if you are a young professional or a college student who dreams of turning an entrepreneur, Wadhwani Foundation’s National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) can help you to put together the basics and launch practice ventures through its experiential and immersive entrepreneurship courses, which are free of cost. The courses entail practical knowledge, projects and assignments, access to mentors, pitch simulators and pitch days, and a lot more.
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