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Small Business In India
So, you are planning how to start a small business in India, but what does it take to start a small business? Surely a lot of money, but how much exactly? How much manpower? Where do you start? How do you start? What business is more profitable?
No empire/business/multi-national company was build overnight. It requires a serious commitment to making a start. And without discipline and consistency, you can’t progress. Amazon was the world’s first online e-commerce platform. Initially, it started as an online book store but slowly it grew to be the world’s largest online retail store. Jeff Bezos could have started an offline physical book store but he chose to do something different.
Here are 10 steps to start your own business in India-
- Coming up with an Idea
Pay attention to what I have said above about Jeff Bezos, ‘Different’ and not ‘Great’. You don’t need to come up with a great idea that no one has ever thought of before, because it’s nearly impossible to come up with an idea that not a single person in a country of 135 crores might haven’t thought of.
The simpler the idea, the more convincing and easier it will be. For example, Myntra, an Indian e-commerce fashion company located in Bengaluru, India. It was launched in 2007 to sell personalized gift items online and it grew to be one of the leading e-commerce companies.
Make In India’, a pioneering program in the history of the world’s largest democracy was flagged off on September 25, 2014, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It encourages young entrepreneurship in Indian via incentives and offerings for establishing micro, small and medium enterprises.
A large number of business ideas are available on the website of the MSME and Make In India websites.
- Turn your Passion into Societal Value
There are numerous available options on which you can start your business and it would run profitably, but will you really enjoy doing it? If you have decided to start up a business you should give it time and think it through that are you passionate about it?
Let’s suppose you started an event managing business but you don’t have enough management skills or you hate having all the responsibilities on your shoulder alone. In this scenario, an Event managing company isn’t the ideal choice for you.
Carefully evaluate your skills and also what you are passionate about. A passion that can turn a work you like to do into a money-making business. Your business should provide value to the society you are working for.
For example, let’s say you have decided to start a homemade chocolate-making business. You should have good chocolate making and packing skills.
- Gain knowledge, training and experience
Now you have decided what business you want to start. The next step is to gather knowledge and learn the required skills required to start chocolate making. What are the materials you will require and the process to bake chocolate? What are the varieties you can bring to your chocolate-making business?
Look for other similar businesses in your town or available online. Try talking to them and asking them how their business works. Look for information available in their company descriptions. If possible try using their product/service.
There are multiple online and offline workplace/training centres that can provide you with more knowledge in starting your business.
- Write down a business plan
This is an essential part of which most business entrepreneurs miss out on who recently started their business. You need to sketch out a term plan of 1 month/6 month/1 year according to your startup. A marathon without an end goal is useless running.
- You can set targets for the following-
- Numbers of the audience to reach
- Amount of capital to spend
- Hours per day to spend on it
- Monthly or weekly sellings
- Make project reports
- Amount to spend
- Other targets as per your business
- Source of capital?
After setting up your business plan, you need to find your initial source of income. This category belongs to the ‘business plan’, but since this is an important point it needs to be taken seriously. How are you going to afford initial capital costs? Do you have a good family background to support your business? Your friends? Your savings?
Here are some of the major sources you can use for initial capital-
- Family or Friends– can be either your business partner or who are willing to support your business
- Banks – In most cases it is not recommended that you start your business taking a loan but still it is a reliable option. You can check various bank sitesfor start-up capital offers
- Cooperative Credit Societies –They often offer loans for small businesses
- Crowdfunding –You can raise a good amount of money from a group of friends, neighbours, community or the general public in exchange for company stocks. Here’s how.
- Savings –This is a common way in which you are not liable to someone else.
When you have decided your source of income, the next part is to decide the location of your business location. In general, there are three places you can sell your product/service.
- Offline – This is the traditional way in which you can set up by either renting or purchasing a land/store to set up your local store.
- Pros– Personal interaction with customers
- Cons– Limited to a fixed number of customers
- Online – Online is the new trend. From paying bills, booking essentials, purchasing and selling to education, advisory and 1:1 consultation like The Mentor Liveeverything has gone online
- Pros – Worldwide reach of audience
- Cons – Impersonal, High Competition
- Online & Offline – Nothing is better if you choose to have both offline as well as online services.
- Pros – You get both countrywide and local audiences (Your work will always continue no matter the situation.
- Cons – Managing both at the same time can become hectic
You are ready to start selling your products/service, but how will people know if you and your company are authenticated? Getting registered is very important if you want to avoid legal issues later.
Getting yourself can be troublesome work as it takes time and being in India, you might know how irresponsible the government agents are. Some of the important things you should definitely have for your company/business are –
- TIN– A Taxpayer Identification Number is an identifying number used for tax purposes in a country
- GST– Goods and Services Tax is an indirect tax used in India on the supply of goods and services. It is a comprehensive, multistage, destination-based tax: comprehensive because it has subsumed almost all the indirect taxes
- PAN– A permanent account number is a ten-character alphanumeric identifier, issued in the form of a laminated “PAN card”, by the Indian Income Tax Department, to any “person” who applies for it or to whom the department allots the number without an application
- Be creative
Everything is set to go and you have started selling your products either online, offline or both places. You are dedicating all of your work time and energy but still not being able to manage to get enough income.
Give your company a simple, attractive and easy-to-remember name. Logos are brand ambassadors of the business. If possible hire a professional designer to create unique logo/tagline/stickers for your small business. Be as creative as possible. Give rewards, gifts, special cards (handmade/printed), referral points. Standing out from the crowd is the key to achieving success.
- Managing your company
Starting a small business is easy, anyone can do it with little help and research. What does it take to grow and run the company successfully?
- Accounting – You need to know where your flow of money is going. The outflow and inflow of cash. Take proper note of every sale and purchase you make. If possible hire an accountant to do so.
- Money and bank – Be clear with all debts and loans as soon as possible and always keep a tab to whom you borrowed or lent money from. Managing your bank account and getting the balance sheet monthly is an important task every business entrepreneur should do.
- of staff – You should know the average number of audience that you target every week/month and accordingly hire the number of staff to work with. Over-numbered or under-numbered staff in your company can create a problem with the workforce
- Return files – Don’t forget to file your returns on time. GST return, tax return,etc
This is the final part where your existing company has a chance to grow more and more. If you still don’t own a website, do it asap. Whatsapp Business, Instagram and Facebook are the most used social media apps in India which is a good place to promote your business.
Look for the latest trend, see what people like more, see what people are curious about, look for your specific age/gender/region audience and target them more through promotions and shoutouts.
These are some of the basic things one should know about before starting a small scale business in India. It’s not as easy as it sounds but also it’s not that difficult.