How to Start Your Own Business This Year (Step-by-Step Guide)

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Now mightiness look for illustration a crazy clip to motorboat a business, but successful fact, there’s ne'er been a amended time. In nan United States, much businesses person been launched this twelvemonth than ever. Data from nan US Census Bureau shows astir 1.4 cardinal caller startup applications revenge pinch nan authorities done September 30, 2021, compared pinch 1.14 cardinal during nan aforesaid play successful 2020. It mightiness onslaught you arsenic counterintuitive, fixed nan economical uncertainty, but nan truth is, caller problems request caller solutions, and nan ongoing pandemic has introduced nary shortage of problems.

So, are you sitting connected nan adjacent large idea? If so, you mightiness beryllium wondering: really tin I commencement my ain business? Here is simply a step-by-step guideline to launching your startup this year.

1. Start With a Problem

When it comes to launching your business, hide everything you ever heard astir “chasing” your passion and instead, pursuit a problem. What does that mean?

Solve an existent problem that you’re facing successful nan world. Venture capitalist Paul Graham (and early investor successful Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, and more) put it champion erstwhile he said that nan champion startups person 3 communal features:

  • they’re thing nan founders themselves want;
  • that they, themselves, tin build;
  • and that fewer others recognize are worthy doing.

Take Uber, for example. The inspiration for nan app came erstwhile founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp recovered themselves stuck successful Paris connected a snowy evening and incapable to find a taxi. Or Basecamp: laminitis Jason Fried had his “ah-ha!” infinitesimal erstwhile his web creation patient was looking for a task guidance instrumentality to amended their organization.

So, deliberation astir it: what is simply a problem that you want to lick today? Then, fig retired really to build a solution.

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2. Research nan Market

Before you statesman fine-tuning your concept, you’ll request to investigation nan scenery and understand nan existent marketplace. As laminitis Wil Schroter has written,

“Every infinitesimal you put successful researching online saves you 10 minutes of building your startup blindly, only to find retired that customers are flocking to a different solution to nan problem you’re solving.”

And don’t worry, “market research” sounds much analyzable than it is.

Sara Blakely, nan laminitis of Spanx, recommends:

“[making] a database of each nan products aliases businesses you tin find that are akin to nan merchandise you want to create aliases nan business you want to start. For each of those companies, constitute down what you do and don’t for illustration astir them, pro/con style. Once you do that, constitute down each of nan ways that your thought is different.”

Know what’s retired location and really your business will propose to connection a different and much-needed solution.

3. Consider Starting arsenic a Side Hustle

Before launching my company, Jotform, I worked full-time for a ample media company. There, I noticed thing missing successful nan world: easy-to-create online forms. So, I started moving connected nan solution arsenic a side hustle, continuing to build skills and acquisition astatine my time occupation without giving up my paycheck.

Eventually, nan magnitude of gross I earned from my broadside gig was higher than my monthly salary. That’s erstwhile I near nan institution and branched retired connected my own, assured I could proceed to salary nan bills.

We publication nan Crunchbase headlines astir VCs and backing rounds, but nan quieter—and I’d argue, safer and little stressful—route of bootstrapping whitethorn beryllium a amended action for prospective founders. And arsenic agelong arsenic your thought is solid, your business tin turn conscionable arsenic big. Just inquire Sara Blakely who launched her institution pinch her ain rate and ne'er took immoderate extracurricular investments.

Starting mini and increasing organically tin besides guarantee that your merchandise is addressing nan problem you group retired to solve—before you infuse nan institution pinch your and your investor’s money.

4. Don’t Play nan Waiting Game

Entrepreneurs thin to beryllium perfectionists. With truthful overmuch connected nan line, you want your merchandise to beryllium cleanable earlier releasing it to nan world. But nan truth is, nan only measurement to cognize if group will for illustration and usage your merchandise is to get it retired successful nan world.

As Rich Allen, writer of The Ultimate Business Tune-Up: A Simple Yet Powerful Business Model That Will Transform nan Lives of Small Business Owners, writes:

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“It is ever amended to commencement your travel pinch a mostly unfinished aliases unpolished merchandise aliases work and let its early adopters to thief you make improvements. This apt intends that you will not person your pricing firmly set, your offering complete, aliases your services automated. That’s fine.”

Don’t play nan waiting game. If you do, a competitor mightiness swoop successful and connection nan aforesaid (or better) solution to your problem.

5. Focus connected nan Customer—Not nan Competition

One of nan biggest mistakes I spot successful caller business owners is focusing truthful overmuch connected nan title that they short shrift to nan astir important stakeholder: nan customer. When you’re starting out, it’s basal to perceive intimately to customer feedback, ideas, and moreover complaints. Criticism helps america to find our symptom points and fig retired really to innovate and improve.

Rich Allen writes,

“​​This first customer acquisition is invaluable to nan direction, focus, and occurrence of your recently formed business.”

Ask early customers what they like, what they would change, and immoderate different penetration astir their experience. And don’t hide to look astatine nan data. Anytime you’re releasing thing caller aliases updated, merchandise it to a mini group first and measurement their reactions. That way, you tin fig retired whether you request to make further changes earlier moving guardant pinch nan afloat release.

6. Share, Share, and Share

If a character falls and nary one’s astir to perceive it, does it make a sound? If you’re moving connected an awesome caller merchandise and nary 1 learns astir it, does your merchandise moreover exist?

Answer: it does beryllium (and it does make a sound), but it whitethorn arsenic good not if nary 1 knows astir it.

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There are truthful galore easy ways to share what you’re moving on. Tweet astir it, blog astir it, create a YouTube video astir it, aliases constitute astir it successful a Substack newsletter. As it turns out, group often for illustration getting to cognize your institution done these mostly free platforms.

For example, according to DemandMetric, 70% of group would alternatively study astir a institution done articles alternatively than advertisements. Through informal channels for illustration blogging, imaginable users tin get to cognize your merchandise and your founder’s journey, which cultivates a much individual relationship pinch nan brand.

So, outcry it from nan rooftops, and salary attraction to each engagements.

7. Get Ready to Delegate

One last extremity for launching your business: study to delegate, and fast. The astir successful entrepreneurs cognize that hiring talented group to whom you tin delegate decision-making will free you up to attraction connected bigger image items for illustration increasing your business.

Take Disney, arsenic reported by Harvard Business Review:

“Disney CEO Bob Iger has enabled nan institution to stay an innovative powerhouse by opening nan process for imaginative decision-making to different leaders. As nan institution acquired wide recognized brands – from Lucasfilm to Marvel and Fox – he provided those activity teams pinch autonomy truthful that they could thrive wrong nan Disney ecosystem.”

Growth requires learning to extremity micromanaging and trusting your activity squad to instrumentality your vision.

Final Thoughts

Launching a caller business whitethorn beryllium nerve-wracking, but it’s besides profoundly exciting. The 7 tips I gave connected really to commencement your ain business person helped maine to tally and grow my business complete nan past 16 years, and hopefully, you’ll find them helpful, too.

Featured photograph credit: Zan via

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