There are 7 steps involved in getting your business from concept to reality, follow these and your business will launch in no time.
Launching a business in 7 easy steps
Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 7 simple steps can help you launch your business idea.
Choose a name
How will your business be known? Will the name be descriptive or distinctive? The name of your business could have big impact on its future, so take time to get it right.
Once you’ve decided on a name, you need to check with the CIPC if the name is available before registering it (see step 6).
Write your business plan
Writing a business plan will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully. It basically outlines what your business will look like, and how you plan to get there. A business plan is essential for any business, regardless of its size. It should cover the following:
- Your business goals
- Marketing initiatives
- Industry research
- An operations/management plan
- A financial plan.
Resource: Free Business Plan Template Download
Find a location
The location that you choose will depend on the type of business that you plan to start. While it may not matter much if you plan to start an online business, it is critical for restaurants, retailers and other service businesses.
When looking for a business premise, you should consider the following:
- Do you need to be near to customers?
- Do you need to be close to suppliers?
- What features must your premises have in terms of size, parking, security, etc?
- Do you intend to lease or purchase your premises?
- Do you plan to operate your business from home?
Finance your venture
Drafting your business plan will give you a good idea of the amount of money you’ll require to start your business. There are several options available to you here. You can apply for government backed loans, venture capital or a bank loan.
Some entrepreneurs “bootstrap”, or self-fund, their business, others turn to friends, family, investors and other lenders to obtain funding.
Here are 4 Funding Sources to get you started.
Decide which form of ownership is best for you:
- Sole proprietorship
The decision affects more than just your taxes. It’s best to set up from the start with the end in mind. There are several different types of business you can operate under here’s a brief overview of your options.
- Sole proprietor: The business has no separate legal existence from its owner. You can use a business name or your own name and as a sole trader you are responsible for the liabilities of your business.
- Partnership: This involves two or more people who legally share profits, risks and losses according to a partnership contract, which is established at the onset of the business.
- Company (Pty Ltd): The most common type of company used by small business. It has more regulatory requirements and is a legal entity separate from its shareholders/owners.
There are several legal requirements for new companies. In South Africa, start-ups are subject to the New Companies Act. You need to list your company and business name with the CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office).
You must also register with SARS for VAT and get a tax number for your business, get necessary business licences and permits.
You may need certain licenses and permits to run your business. Check with the CIPC whether your business needs a special permit or licence.
Get a website
A web presence is the fastest way to tell people about your new business. Choose a domain name and register it. Then choose a service provider to host your website for you. You can either pay a company or you could choose a free service like WordPress and do it yourself.