How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide
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But first, you have to locate your problems. Finding a problem to solve can happen in different ways. Awareness of a problem can arise from a new experience or a passion that you already have. Emma Bridgewater, Founder of one of the biggest pottery factories in the UK , found her problem while on the hunt for a birthday gift for her mother.

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This was the moment Emma realized that she could start creating what she had imagined finding in the china shops: A wonderful array of colourful, mismatched pottery. During these experiences, you can obtain insight into specific problems and how to solve them. When this happens, ask yourself:. Check out this video from Udacity , a for-profit educational organization that offers online courses about how to choose a business idea.

Once you have a problem in mind, you need to find a solution. Finding that perfect problem-solution fit demands an understanding of the market and the customer alike. You need to do extensive research on the problem to understand the market size and opportunities. This will help you to develop a competitive advantage and create a startup that will succeed. Identify your most powerful skills before starting your talent hunting. A great startup team needs the following roles:.

You want people who will embrace and boost the project. In order to create a startup, the entire team will need to know how to adapt and work on different roles when necessary. A good team fit is also extremely important. Look for people with whom you enjoy working, especially in the early stages. Defining a target audience is not enough. You will need to create a Customer Persona.

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A customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data. This means knowing relevant information such as educational background, personal demographics, and job role. To make it simple, you can use this tool from Hubspot. You will also need to validate customer identity for your startup idea. The best way to validate your customers is to interview them. Justin Wilcox, Founder of Customer Development Labs , explains that you need to create a context to get real information when interviewing your potential customers.

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A prototype is the best tool for testing both the potential and the necessary functionality of your idea. This stage must be completed in two steps:. A paper prototype is fundamentally important when creating a startup. It brings about the special moment in which you begin to see your idea realized. Use paper, markers, and post-its to design your paper prototype.

These can be your friends, family, or colleagues.

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Let them play with it! As they do so, pay close attention to their user experience. You can now start adapting your solution, either removing or adding features, based on feedback, to reach the next step. Read about the step-by-step paper prototype process here. The next step is the digital prototype. Most people think you need to know how to code in order to create a digital prototype. Not true! There are a number of free online tools.

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In particular, we recommend:. To learn how to create a digital prototype for your start idea, check out this article. The digital prototype allows you to test-drive ideas for your product or service in a safe and cost-effective way. After creating your digital prototype, testing with real users, and adjusting according to feedback, your startup idea will have become more than just an idea. Now that you have your prototype, you can announce it to the world!

Define your short and long-term goals, and how these will be managed strategically. What message do you want to deliver? You will also need to define which channels your startup will be on: Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter? Your persona will give you the answer. An important piece of the marketing plan is the landing page LP. An LP needs to give straightforward information about your solution to your potential customers. Paperchain is a fintech company working at the intersection of media, finance, and technology.

The company has a platform that facilitates the payment of royalties in the media industry. The story of the company is amazing and worth reading , as is the LP. With a direct message to its niche group, this LP creates context and asks only for an email address in order to start interacting with leads. Click here to see the Landing Page. If you want to see more examples of effective landing pages, read this post. Do you possess a special skill, ability or talent you feel can help others and earn an income?

Our Starting a Consulting Business seminar will show you how to turn your skills into a potentially lucrative career in the consulting and contracting field. Running a business will always be a challenge but having a solid foundation in place can lessen the load. Our Operations Management for Small Business Seminar will teach you how to merge all the essential elements of operating a small business.

Are you sitting on the next big business idea?

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Our Business Viability 1 seminar will help you determine the start-up viability of your concept. Google Ads are one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your site. Our Creating Google Ads for Your Business seminar will teach you how to harness this powerful platform to generate conversions.

Our Business Viability seminar package will help you determine the start-up viability of your concept and how to map out those first few months financially. It takes money to make money, and cash flow is arguably the most crucial part of your financial plan.

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Landing pages are often the first page a customer will interact with on your website. Attend our Optimize Your Landing Pages seminar and arm yourself with the tools you need to master this digital sales funnel. Are you interested in providing professional services to the Government of Canada? Join us for this seminar and find out how. Thinking about incorporating?