How to Start a Business from Scratch

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How to Start a Business from Scratch

Starting a business, big or small, is a massive step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are so many things to consider; that it can seem overwhelming. Nothing beats the satisfaction of starting a successful company from scratch. However great your idea; you’ll need to develop it; test it; plan out how you’ll bring it into existence, and make it known to the wider world. While it’s possible to wing it and get lucky; following a tried-and-tested roadmap will put you in good stead to get on your feet and start turning profit. This is how to start a business from scratch.

Research your idea

Having a great idea for a business is like having a seed for a tree. It’s essential to start the growth process, but needs a lot of work and care to bring to bear. Research is an integral part of launching a business. The first part should be analysing if, and why, people need your product or service. You’ll also need to conduct market research to determine how crowded the market is; the prices you will have to compete with, and the kind of promotional campaigns that drive sales. Materials, supply costs, delivery – all this needs careful research. The more research you do, the better informed you’ll be for the rest of the setup process; as well as when your business goes live.

Make a business plan

After research, the next stage is planning. Creating an effective business plan will allow you to anticipate any hiccups in what is likely to be a bumpy road. Any potential investors will demand a detailed, realistic, and professionally put-together business plan; outlining your vision (what your business is, and how you will grow it); mission (target demographic, what gap in the market you’ll fill, etc); pricing; marketing strategy, and objectives. You may want to include key performance indicators; investors will need to see how successful you are, and what metrics to judge the business on.


Whether or not you’ve secured investment or have large capital behind you; or if you’re launching on a shoestring; you need a watertight budget. This needs to document start-up costs; such as business permits; legal fees; equipment; trademarking; etc, and ongoing costs – rent for premises, employee wages, travel expenses, and marketing and advertising. Research should be done around the budget too, there are often ways to cut corners without sacrificing quality. It’s recommended to have a 20% ‘burn rate’ built into your budget. This anticipates unseen costs and gives you something to fall back on. Again, your investors will require a budget and sales projections. Keep it realistic.


It’s time to market your product. While digital channels are far and far from the most popular, you shouldn’t forget about old-school methods. Printed materials are a crucial part of an overall campaign; it’s been shown that as the amount of mail we get in our letter boxes decreases; the chance of your message getting read and engaged with; greatly improves. So, postcards are a great way to reach out, cheap to print without sacrificing quality. Social media is an indispensable part of any business marketing efforts – being able to engage with customers in real-time, in a personal way, makes it possible to tailor messages to individual needs like never before. Make sure you market across all major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, as well as newer ones. TV ads, radio ads, billboards, and guerrilla marketing – you can use your budget wisely to maximise your reach.

Name and branding

You’ve probably had a name in mind for your business from the start. But you should be open to the possibility of the name changing as your planning develops. Avoid similarities with big global brands or direct competitors. Some industries require names that are more descriptive of the business, others can use more abstract imagery or short snappy one-word names. You’ll need to work out your branding too – choose a strong colour scheme, a font style, and an overall concept. And don’t forget, you’ll need a great logo. More than ever in today’s world branding goes a long way – consumers are so inundated with promotional information that a striking brand will carry more weight than something generic or poorly designed.
Starting a business is tough. The hurdles are tough and numerous. But being prepared with a plan of action, and knowing the steps to take will put you in good stead to get your business up and running

Featured photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Caitlyn Knuth

This is Caitlyn Knuth from Vancouver, Canada. I am a teacher, traveler, and story writer.

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