It is a known fact that many skilled professionals today are thinking of starting their business. It is also another well-known fact that there is nothing better than being your own boss. Plus, all the hard work, time and energy spent on your very own small business is much better than doing it all for a salary that doesn’t even justify your potential!

Let’s take a minute and review how times have changed. There was a time when the need to start a business was not enough. You needed money. Ask any company that has been in business for more than 20 years and they will tell you the difficulty they had in raising money for the start-up.

Most of the time, business loans for small businesses was not something banks were comfortable with. However, with NBFCs like Tata Capital coming into the picture, a business loan or an SME loan has become easier to avail.

Now, with blazing-fast technology, rising customer awareness and easy finance such as business loans, starting a small business is a hassle-free business if you plan it well. If you are thinking about or have been planning to start your own business. here is a quick launch guide for all the future entrepreneurs wanting to make it big by doing something of their own.

Business Idea

Every revolution starts with one powerful thought. When it comes to starting a business, a good business idea is all you need at first. Starting a service based company or product based firm is also a part of that decision. Your business idea should be scalable, which means you can grow and managed higher demand without affecting profit. Also, your small business must solve a problem — either it improves an existing solution or solves a problem no one has been able to do.

Do remember that product based businesses may require upfront investments; if that is what your heart has set its sight on, explore the startup investment landscape. No one can immediately get equity investors, so debt will be your first port of call. Thankfully, today financial institutions are ready to offer credit in form of MSME loan or SME loan for small businesses. Do some heavy-duty research on your chosen business idea before jumping in.

Business Plan

Once you have sharpened your small business idea, it is time to make a good plan for the idea to work. You may be a doctor, a salesman, a housewife or a person laid off from their job, everyone no matter how intelligent or rich they might be will need a good business plan. There is no need to make a 100-slide power-point presentation or a heavy file containing thousands of pages.

Every small business needs a location, target customers, strategies to capture the market profitably, a team and initial financing. Each of these points needs to be well-thought, or else you may struggle if you take a plunge without considering all the factors. For instance, starting a food truck without electricity connection can mean thousands of rupees wasted on a diesel generator.

Also, do remember that the only thing that will make your small business a grand success is lots of revenue. Focus on sales from the first day of the startup. Find paying customers and then keep on repeating the process. If you have taken a loan for small business, repaying the money along with interest will need sales. So, understand that sales come first, and everything else comes second.

Founder Muscle

When you launch a business, make sure it is in a segment/sector that you fully understand. The Wright brothers are famous because they built and flew the world’s first successful aeroplane. What would have happened if they tried to open a restaurant or hotel? When you are an expert in the business area, automatically life is simpler. Be it arranging business loans or getting together a skilled team, a knowledgeable founder is one of the top ingredients for a successful small business.

Once the enterprise becomes big, you can hire experts to run it for you. So, try to explore business ideas in segments that you truly understand well. A founder with a good track record and experience will also be a hit with financial institutions when it comes to arranging MSME loan or SME loan at the start, and also later when the business starts expanding.

Financing

For small businesses, the budget is limited especially when you start. Every rupee matters. This is why businesses start from an apartment or a garage.

There is no shame in this.

Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are run by small entrepreneurs. They provide various services or important goods within the community. Companies like Tata Capital offer MSME loan to help start a micro business or improve an existing business. You do not always need to have an existing business.

Any entrepreneur intending to start a small or medium enterprise is eligible for SME loans. While setting up your business, you can avail a business loan amount above Rs 3 lakh and up to Rs 50 lakh. The lender will offer the loan for small business if the MSME/SME can show income and ability to repay.

The loan tenure can be between 12 and 36 months. After getting funds, do not go for a swanky office, hire too many people, spend excessive money on marketing etc. At the initial phase, it is important to do work and make the small business stand on its own feet.

If your dream is to be a business owner, the right steps can help you get there. After all, the journey of a thousand miles always begins with a single step.