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Are you an aspiring entrepreneur who is battling to create a viable business idea?

No need to worry because you are certainly not alone in this!

People who have attended high-ranking business schools may struggle when it comes to producing innovative business ideas.

Even the most successful entrepreneurs might have been forced to try out many different business ideas before settling on one that actually worked.

Since we live in a world with an endless amount of opportunities, it can be quite confusing to start comparing all the different options that you got.

You might also feel as if all business ideas have already been done and that you will never be able to come up with something unique and one that would be successful.

If you’d like to start a business but have no idea where to begin, you need a guide to assist. Well, there’s no harm in beginning an eCommerce business solely for the sake of making cash.

But if you are looking for long-term sustainability in your business, you’ll require some basic guidelines for that.

Here is a guide on ways to start a business from scratch when you actually have no idea where to start making money online.

Tips if You Want to Start a Home Business But Are Short on Ideas

a woman thinks about her passions while come up with an idea for her new business

The world is certainly your oyster with regard to business ideas and opportunities. However, there are several factors that you should consider when figuring out a viable business that you could start!

Tap into Your Passions

There’s no replacement for a person with a passion. Passion alone can truly move mountains for you. While people may steal your ideas, your words, or even your products, when it comes to business, no person can steal your passion and self-drive.

Since your work will fill a huge part of your life, ensure that you do something that you’ll enjoy. Avoid settling for anything less than your true happiness. Remember that life is lived once. So, ensure that you make the most of it by committing to something you love.

In general, there are numerous businesses you could start. From operating a taxi service, manufacturing a product, or even beginning a pet sitting business, you have many options.

Try a low-budget business idea such as opening an online sticker shop. It’s most preferred by small business owners. Besides being popular, they are easy to create as well as store.

You may either design yours or look for a professional sticker maker who can assist you to create your stickers better and faster.

Research the Market

Now that you already know what you’d like to do in your business, you need to carry out the research. Discover Google keywords that associate with your business and find out what people are doing.

You could choose something that people are doing, but you’re sure that you can make the existing business model better. Or you could pick something and build it from scratch with your new methods.

Set Financial Goals

Certainly, you didn’t start your business just for money.

However, to have a sustainable business, you’ll require to set realistic goals and use a dashboard to track crucial business metrics.

Begin with small goals then gradually advance. Begin with daily goals. Ensure that each step you take does something that takes you closer to your ultimate goal.

Consider Marketing

Undoubtedly, marketing is a fundamental element of the general process of running a business.

You need to incorporate it in your business plan since it will be responsible for nearly all communications with your clients: events, branding and PR, affiliate campaigns optimization and utilizing lots of new software for that, analytics, competitive analysis, and numerous other things that will aid you to succeed in a particular niche.

Make Your Content Shareable

Most entrepreneurs feel like coming up with a website and creating content should get things going.

Well, this will certainly help if you pick a website-building platform specifically made for SMB use cases. However, the reality is that you should make that content stick.

Your content should address the need of the customer, and their pain point, or assist the customer to realize how your service or product can fix their issue.

Build a Following

If you’re starting your business, ensure that you influence those few people that may use your product and leave positive feedback about you.

It’s not solely about creating a product and then selling it; it’s about making a product that lots of people will enjoy sharing.

Begin with an email list. Offer updates about your particular product and put down educational blog posts focusing on the pain points of your users.

It may seem simple at the moment, but once you begin, it will be complex. And that’s why you should plan things before they go out of hand.

Launch Something You Can Sell

You can start with something you truly love.

That said, you need to learn ways to sell it correctly. Consider taking some branding courses to learn more about selling basics.

Discover ways to pitch your product to your customers. Generally, these are simple things that have a massive impact on sales.

In case you’re ready to launch something entirely new, ensure that you follow the first tip and perform some research on your target market before you begin selling your product.

Although being new and distinct can be frustrating at first, all you should do is think outside the box! You could create an online store that specializes in gifts for individuals who have a difficult time picking a gift for their loved ones at a given event.

Be it thank you gifts, retirement gifts, or gift ideas for employees — there are endless possibilities!

Begin with WHY

Professionals often recommend businesses to begin with their WHY. In other words, WHY are they selling what they’re selling? Establish your WHY of business.

What will customers get if they buy from you? And what is your USP that nobody else can offer?

Identifying WHY you’re in business is a vital step when building your business from scratch. This is because regardless of whether you realize it, sooner or later you’ll be on your way to determining the WHY of your business.

What’s more, most entrepreneurs think that earning lots of money is the exciting part. Well, the sad truth is that it is not. The exciting part is the learning process.

The process which ultimately makes you a better person. After getting that flavor of self-transformation, you’ll have a different perspective on entrepreneurship.

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Home Business

You might have already refined your idea, but you don’t know the steps to take to start a business from home. Tasks such as naming the business and designing a logo are obvious.

using a computer to build a business plan

So, what about the less-heralded, but equally important steps?

Regardless of whether it’s establishing your business structure or coming up with an all-inclusive marketing plan, the workload may quickly pile up.

Instead of spinning your wheels and being confused about where to start, the following checklist can transform your business from just an idea to a real entity.

Let’s get into it.

1. Write Your Business Plan

Since you’re the proprietor, coming up with a business plan assists to formalize your idea and may streamline the business-development process by making you sit down and think about everything methodically.

Having a solid understanding of your “known unknowns” is vital because it means that you’re not actively prioritizing figuring out a solution right now.

And this is much better than being caught off guard or unprepared, especially if you hard time answering these questions when seeking funding.

Here’s a list of what you should expect:

Business plan outline

  • Executive summary
  • Company name & description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization & management
  • Product or service line
  • Customer segmentation
  • Marketing strategy
  • Logistics & operations plan
  • Financial plan

Choosing a Business Name

First, you need to understand that your business name is your marketing’s universal facet since it shows up everywhere you do.

Ensure that you keep things simple and concise: get a name that explains clearly what you do, that’s brief but memorable, and that correlates with your mission and vision statement.

While this isn’t an effortless task, it’s very attainable with a little ingenuity.

Market Research is Key

Conducting market analysis is one of the best methods of starting a business.

Market research aims to better understand your target market and even competitors to come up with an effective business plan.

What is the potential opportunity size?

In most cases, entrepreneurs are too dismissive when it comes to small markets. And although the market size needs to match your ambitions, the opportunity size of a particular niche is identified by several other dimensions.

For instance, if a product category consists of quite a few active customers, and the product’s cost is relatively high and needs repurchase, then that’s an appealing opportunity that founders aimed at market size may miss.

Who’s Your Target Audience?

The term “target audience” refers to a group of people that you’re planning to sell your products and/or services to.

Therefore, understanding your target audience will make it easier to get new customers and draw in prospective buyers to your website.

Establishing your buyer personas upfront may help you succeed, including getting higher interaction on your social media channels to a more significant ROI for your ads.

Who’s Your Competition?

So what does your target market’s competitive landscape look like?

Are there lots of competitors, or just a few? In case there are numerous competing businesses in your specific niche, it’s usually an indication that the market is well established.

While that’s excellent for ensuring demand exists, it will also need you to differentiate what you provide (to some extent) to attract customer attention and ultimately build market share.

2. Secure Financing For Your Business

graphs and charts showing the potential financials for a business

Generally speaking, your business plan will assist to identify how much money you’ll require to get up and running. The following are common methods of funding your startup.

  • Business loans

Do you have a solid personal credit history and require startup financing? Then the best option would be to get a business loan from a reliable lender.

  • Business grants

Grants are mostly issued to target businesses depending on a range of factors such as veteran-owned, specific for-profit, minority-owned, women-run, etc.

  • Crowdfunding

If you wouldn’t want to take the conventional funding route, you may always crowdsource funds from a team of people online.

  • Shopify Capital

You could get financing that aids approved merchants in getting the funds they require, without lengthy/ strenuous bank approvals or even giving up a section of their company/ business.

  • Personal investors

Startups may also finance their companies via angel investors or VCs, or even family and friends in the early stages.

3. Pick a Business Structure

Selecting the right structure generally involves balancing the financial and legal protection you require with the flexibility provided by various options. Since this is an important decision, you should think about it carefully before launching your business.

Generally, business structures vary depending on your country and area. However, common types—that might go by different names in your location—are sole proprietorship, LLC, and corporation.

So, what do they entail?

  • Sole proprietorship

It’s an ideal option if you’re the only individual involved in that business, and is often the lowest-effort structure to go after. That said, it leaves you liable for that business and its activities. While you can hire employees as a sole proprietor, you’ll require an employer identification number (EIN) to do this. And this means registering your business operation.

  • Limited liability corporation (LLC)

In the US, a limited liability corporation (LLC) is a popular type of small business entity. It offers liability protection for its business owner(s). That means you’re not financially responsible in case legal claims are made against your business. Typically, an LLC can be created by one or more owners.

  • Corporation

This is a business structure whereby proprietors are taxed independently from the entity. Apart from owning the business, each Shareholder has a fractional share of that company.

The advantages of a C corp are usually enjoyed by well-established, multinational corporations, such as Apple and Walmart.

But, they could be leveraged by small businesses that are looking to collect investment by issuing stock.

What about legal structure factors?

Consider the following:

  • What type of business are you forming?

Some structures tend to be more suited to businesses of a specific scale or within a specific industry. It may come a moment when you have to restructure to work with new partners. For instance, it’s common for large businesses to request their suppliers or partners to be incorporated.

  • Where’s your business located?

In general, your country’s laws will specify the different structures you could create and whether or not you require a business license to start.

  • How many people are there?

If you’re doing it alone as a solo founder, then you might look at streamlined options.

And if you got a business partner or different people with company ownership, you’ll have to consider more advanced options to make sure everything’s set up and shared correctly.

4. Get a Business License & Permits

After understanding how to start a business, check out what federal, state, and local licenses you require to operate legally. It’s prudent to consult a small business attorney to get advice before launching your business.

It’s also worth noting that your startup is subject to the laws and regulations governing businesses in your specific region, as well as laws specific to your industry.

For example, a food service business has to follow certain licensing and regulations when it comes to handling what it sells.

Nonetheless, it also has to look out for its marketing efforts’ legalities and to trademark and copyright laws.

5. Get Federal & State Tax ID Numbers

Here’s a summary of what you should expect:

Federal tax ID

A federal tax ID (a.k.a. employer identification number) is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to organizations and businesses for tax purposes. It acts as the Social Security number for your business.

You will need an EIN if:

  • You have any partners in the business (i.e., it’s a multi-member LLC)
  • Your business is established
  • Your business consists of other employees apart from yourself
  • You have a retirement program for self-employed individuals such as a solo 401(k) retirement plan
  • You’ll take over an existing business through purchase or even inheritance
  • You file for bankruptcy
  • You’re looking to open a bank account.

Having an EIN will

  • Protect you legally
  • Help you when filing taxes
  • Assist you to establish credit
  • Help secure your info.

State tax ID

For starters, this is separate from your EIN. While an EIN is issued by the federal IRS, a state tax ID is issued by your state.

In comparison, a state tax ID shares the same objective as an EIN since it helps your business abide by state laws. That said, each state comprises different requirements, tax laws, and regulations. So you’ll need to research your state’s laws to find out whether your business will require a state tax ID.

Remember, laws differ from state to state. You could start with your state’s taxation department, secretary of state, or department of treasury. Contact them to determine any state tax ID requirements you might require.

6. Open a Business Bank Account

Consider opening a business bank account and obtaining a business credit card since it will make it much easier to manage your finances. Keeping professional and personal finances separate will also make doing your taxes simpler and may also assist you to automate some of the key financial steps to operating a business. Undoubtedly, doing this will be highly beneficial if you’d like to know how to start without money.

7. Obtain Business Insurance

Generally, business insurance helps secure your assets and small business from anything that might go wrong. Each state has different requirements and laws concerning insurance. And although your state might not require it, it would be best to provide yourself and your business with extra protection.

Some common examples of business insurance include:

  • Liability insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance

8. Market Your Business

This is an integral step to ensure your business succeeds:

Brand your business

It may be a difficult task to build a brand from scratch, but it’s vital to stand out in a world of competition.

It’s worth acknowledging that a brand entails more than simply your name and logo, it’s how people perceive you anytime they engage with your small business.

Here are some common elements of branding:

  • Brand logo

It’s a symbol made up of images and text that primarily identifies your business. A good logo not only expresses your values but also communicates whatever you do.

  • Company colors & fonts

Your logo, font, and colors play a massive role in your visual identity.

Since visuals tend to tie into human emotions, they can aid in reinforcing your position and brand experience.

  • Brand positioning

This will make it clear who you serve. It usually communicates to your target audience why you’re the ideal choice for them and what distinguishes your products from other competitors.

  • Voice, tone, & messaging

With a recognizable and consistent voice throughout your touchpoints, your brand will sound more human and will help engage with your particular audience on a personal level.

  • Create a website/ online store

Quite frankly, creating a website or online store for your business is profitable and rewarding when done properly.

Having a digital presence will gain credibility with prospective customers and ultimately make it easier for them to access your business, as compared to visiting a physical store.

Final Thoughts

Starting a new business can be frustrating, specifically when you’re trying to overcome the fear and confusion.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You only need the right info and a bit of guidance on ways to think up business ideas, and then approve of them before taking that huge step into entrepreneurship!

Fortunately, you can use this guide to start your business startup.

Build something awesome!

References

  1. https://wanderingaimfully.com/start-a-business/
  2. https://www.zenbusiness.com/blog/how-start-business-no-ideas/
  3. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4686-how-to-start-a-business.html
  4. https://www.shopify.co.uk/blog/how-to-start-a-business#11
  5. https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/startup/starting-small-business-at-home
  6. https://www.smallbusinessbonfire.com/start-small-business-no-idea-start/
  7. https://realbusiness.co.uk/want-start-business-no-ideas-problem-solved
  8. https://theentrepreneurridealong.com/what-type-of-business-should-i-start/