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India ranks 130th according to the World Bank Survey.
From ‘startup India’ campaign, it has become a cakewalk to open a business. Creating and sustaining a business is more than just becoming rich. It is a way to pursue your passion and fulfil your dreams, while contributing to the society. If you’re prepared to work hard and learn from your failures, here is a checklist that will help you start your own business without any investment.
Work on Your Business Idea
Coming up with a great business idea is just the beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur. There are many more steps that you need to take before you can put your plan into action. Fleshing out your business idea is one of them, and it’s very critical to the success of your venture.
Is your business idea really unique? What value will it generate? Is it something your target audience really wants? Or is it something you think they’d want? Getting answers to these questions is important to determine whether or not your idea works.
Guage Your Market and Challenges
You have a brilliant idea that you know will definitely work, but what about your competition? Will it be difficult for a rival to copy your idea and repackage it in a better way? A potential investor will ask you this when you approach them for funding. It’s very important to understand the market you operate in, your target audience and competition. You should first look at the trends and identify challenges that your business might have to face. The next step is to understand how you are going to address those challenges to stay profitable.
Assess Your Capital Needs
How much do you really need to start your own business? Without a clear idea you run the risk of coming up with an unrealistic valuation of your business, which will put off investors and get your loan application rejected. So before you start wondering how you should raise money, you should focus on evaluating your funding requirements. How much do you need to get started? How exactly are you going to use the funds to start your business?
Explore Crowdfunding Platforms
Crowdfunding platforms such as Wishberry have changed the way entrepreneurs are raising money to fund their new businesses. Whether you want to sell a new software tool or set up a marketing firm, you can get people to invest in your business.
Network with People
When you don’t have money to start your business, it’s mandatory you find the right people who can help. You may attend events and trade shows where you can find potential investors. You may also join various online forums on social networking sites where you can find useful tips and resources to bring your business to life.
Most venture capitalists and investors are quite active on social media, so if you can please them with your idea you might find a great way to get started on your business dream.
Run a Trial
Want to be sure if your business idea is indeed unique? Run a test and find out. You can start on a small scale by giving away some freebies to a few people in your target audience group to see how they respond.
A small trial can give you some new insights to grow your business and identify challenges that you might have overlooked.
If you are planning to get into a completely new business, it would really help if you got a second opinion from someone who knows the market and the challenges involved. A business idea that looks good on paper may not be that attractive when you implement it. An expert’s opinion may help you look at things from a different perspective and gain more knowledge that you may lack.
Get a Small Business Loan if Necessary
There are several loan programs aimed at helping first time entrepreneurs set up their business from SIDBI. Maximum assistance is generally not more than `100 lakh per project.Interest rate would be as approved by the Project Approval Committee (PAC) (not be more than 5% p.a.).All the proposals for assistance under the Scheme shall undergo technical evaluation by TIFAC and financial viability by SIDBI. The assistance is approved by a Project Approval Committee (PAC) consisting of officials of SIDBI and TIFAC.