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Have you been dreaming about starting your own business in India? The New Year presents the perfect opportunity to turn your vision into reality.
With shrewd planning, intelligent decision-making, and relentless execution, 2024 could just be the year your startup goes from ideation to monetization.
By implementing the 9 essential steps covered in this guide, aspiring entrepreneurs can set their new business venture up for success. So let’s get started!
Come Up with a Winning Business Idea
Every thriving business starts with an innovative idea that solves a real consumer problem or market gap better than competitors. Once you have a spark of inspiration, validate the real-world demand for what you want to offer.
Research the potential customer base as well as the competitive landscape to gauge if your offering would truly fill an unmet need. Government initiatives like Make in India also offer attractive openings in manufacturing, services, agriculture and other sectors prime for disruption by agile startups.
So let those creative juices flow freely – just make sure to test your assumptions before moving forward!
Create a Solid Business Plan
After settling on a viable concept, the next step is crafting a comprehensive roadmap in the form of a lean startup business plan covering key elements like:
- Executive summary
- Business description
- Services/products offered
- Market analysis
- Execution plan and growth tactics
- Financial projections
- Funding requirements
Having this strategic document prepared provides critical clarity on paper before you start investing precious resources into executing your vision in the unpredictable real world.
It also comes in handy when pitching your startup to investors and applying for government grants or licenses.
Fund Your Business Smartly
Very new business needs capital to get up and running – whether it is thousands of rupees or even crores depending on your expansion ambitions.
Most entrepreneurs begin by self-funding their startups using personal savings or loans/investment from friends and family. Outside of bootstrapping, here are some funding avenues worth exploring:
- Bank Loans – multiple state-owned or private banks offer small business loans with or without collateral
- Crowdfunding – raise smaller amounts from a large pool of investors through equity crowdfunding platforms
- Angel Investors and VCs – these individual or institutional investors offer startups higher amounts of funding in exchange for equity
Evaluate all options and decide which source of capital aligns best with your entrepreneurial objectives.
Choose an Attention-Grabbing Name
Don’t undermine the business-building potential associated with naming your startup strategically. Along with checking name availability and trademark conflicts, opt for a name that communicates your brand essence, evokes the right emotions in your target market and has memorable stickiness.
For example, food and hospitality brands often use “tasty-sounding” names like Biryani Blues, while lifestyle product brands use premium sounding names like Bombay Shaving Company.
Set Up a Physical and/or Online Business Location
Every business needs a base of operations whether a rented/purchased office space or a home office that serves as a legally registered company address.
Additionally, establish a professional online presence by registering a domain name and launching an informational website along with branded business email IDs and social media accounts.
Apart from enabling 24/7 discoverability and connectivity with target audiences, owning these digital assets boosts legitimacy especially among increasingly tech-savvy consumers.
Legally Register Your Business
The Indian regulatory environment requires every business entity across industries (except unregistered sole proprietorships) to complete crucial formal registration and compliance processes for full legitimacy.
Decide on the ideal type of legal business structure aligned with your entrepreneurial vision whether sole proprietorship, partnership firm, LLP, OPC or private/public limited company.
Then undertake company registration, plus get additional licenses/certifications like GST Number, FSSAI License, Shop & Establishment License etc. applicable for your specific industry vertical.
While the paperwork can get confusing, expert consultants like filingwala.com offer to streamline mandatory registration and compliance processes so founders can focus their energy on organization building.
Build an Eye-catching Website
Since the first digital touchpoint that introduces prospects to your brand, invest in a professional-looking website reflecting your visual branding. Given most buyers now research online before purchasing, ensure your website contains the right mix of elements to drive conversions:
- About Us: Explaining your backstory & founder(s) journey
- Product/Service Pages: Highlighting USPs with photos/videos
- Strong Calls-To-Action: Guiding visitors towards desired goals
- Mechanisms: For capturing visitor information
- Seamless integration: With marketing, sales and payment tools
Refresh website content continually with updates across text, images, videos and layouts so repeat visitors discover something new every time.
Implement Creative Marketing Campaigns
Congratulations – your startup now has all the structural elements in place from concept to team and infrastructure! But without proactive promotional efforts potential customers will never discover your brand and buy from you.
Implement multipronged digital marketing campaigns across channels like:
- Search Engine Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- PR outreach
Simultaneously leverage traditional marketing methods like print ads, radio plugs, pamphlet distribution, events etc. based on what resonates with your audience profile.
Measure engagement and conversion metrics to double down on highest performing initiatives.
Open a Business Bank Account
Comingling personal and company’s finances can get messy fast – so open dedicated savings/current accounts under your business’ name for all future cash flows whether its infusing capital or receiving payments from customers.
When comparing bank account options for startups, assess factors like minimum balance rules, transaction limits, digital features, overdraft facility, dedicated relationship manager and more.
If the idea of launching your dream business still seems intimidating, distill the entire process down to the following key action steps:
- Start by identifying a problem worth solving or customer desire worth satisfying
- Quantify market potential and formulate a lean business plan
- Fund operations via bootstrap financing, loans or external investors
- Register legal business entity and acquire necessary licenses
- Set up digital presence across website and social channels
- Implement online and offline marketing to acquire customers
- Track metrics and iterate products, messaging etc. to scale
With laser sharp focus on delivering real value to customers first and foremost, your chances of startup success in 2024 multiply significantly!
Q1: How much money is required to start a business in India?
Ans: Require capital depends greatly on your sector, business model, startup costs, working capital needs etc. Most solopreneurs bootstrap with personal savings under Rs 5 lakhs. The average tech startup raises upwards of Rs 25 lakhs from external investors.
Q2: Which is the best business to start in 2024?
Ans: Some most lucrative industries for Indian startups include fintech, edtech, foodtech, D2C, manufacturing, healthcare and SaaS. But even traditional sectors like agriculture, textile, electrics and machine tools hold exciting innovation potential.
Q3: How can I promote my new business?
Ans: Cost-effective ways for early-stage customer acquisition include digital marketing across social media platforms, engaging content, influencer collaborations, search and display advertising, email newsletters, offline activation and word-of-mouth referrals.
Expert Quotes on Starting a Business
“Evaluate whether there’s an actual market out there for your product or service before quitting your day job.” – Mark Cuban, Billionaire Entrepreneur & Shark Tank Investor
“There’s an entrepreneur right now, scared to death, making excuses, saying, ‘It’s not the right time just yet.’ There’s no such thing as a good time. Get out of your own way.” – Kevin O’Leary, Business Mogul & Shark Tank Star
“If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version, you waited too long.” – Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder & Billionaire Investor
I hope this guide has armed you with clarity and conviction to embark on your entrepreneurial aspirations this year. For support with legal registrations, documentation, accounting, tax filings and other mandatory compliance aspects critical for any new business, expert consultants at filingwala.com are available to manage your backend operations so you can stay focused on accelerating business growth in 2024!