So are you planning to start a small business in India? The Indian economy is growing at a rapid clip and there has never been a better time to start a small business or a startup. However, there are a few things you should know about starting and operating a small business. Let’s see what they are.
What You Should Know Before Starting a Small Business in India
#1: Do your research, know your market.
Who are your customers? Who is going to buy your products or hire your services? What are your customers looking for? What about the competition? How good are your competitors? What are they getting right? Are there any weaknesses that you can exploit?
For example, one very good small business idea is to start a grocery shop. But you will have competition from dozens of other grocery shops as well as from online companies such as BigBasket and Amazon. How do you compete with that? Well, you can provide a free home delivery service, to begin with, and accept orders online through your website and by phone. There is no reason why your business cannot be successful, provided you truly understand your market.
#2: Develop a business plan.
Every small business should have a business plan. What’s a business plan? It’s a document where you should put into writing what product you sell or service you provide, what your business goals are, how you’re going to make money, where you’re going to spend money, the expected cash flow and profits and so on. The business plan should reveal the USP – Unique Selling Point – of your business, which separates it from the competition.
#3: Know your taxes.
As a small business owner, you should know about the tax laws that apply to your business. First, you should decide on an appropriate business structure. Are you a self-proprietorship, a partnership or a limited liability corporation? Talk to a lawyer or a CA for the details on this.
Also, you should be very careful when filing your taxes. Hire a good accountant, this is very important. You should certainly register for GST and avail of the benefits that are due to you (Small businesses that have a turnover of less than Rs. 20 Lakhs/year are exempt from filing for GST. But you can register voluntarily if you want to.)
#4: Always maintain good cash flow.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of every small business. When you consistently make more than you spend, you have a business. Otherwise, you don’t. As simple as that.
It is important to back up your business with sufficient funds. There is no way to guarantee that nothing unfortunate will ever happen to your business: For example, you could lose your entire inventory because of a fire at the warehouse.
That’s why you must secure your fixed assets with an appropriate insurance policy. Also, you must make sure never to allow your cash flow to go below a certain level.
#5: A professionally designed business website is a must.
The importance of having a web presence for your small business cannot be emphasized enough. We have discussed this in detail in this article. Even if you have a completely offline business, having a professionally designed website will certainly help.
A website is the base station from which you can launch your online marketing or digital marketing campaigns, including social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, Facebook Ads and much more. It is also the first thing that a prospective customer looks for when searching for your business.
The most important reason to have a website, however, is that every other business, including most of your competitors, has one these days. So not having a website can send a very negative signal about your business.
Web Impetus is an up and coming web design agency in India. We design websites for small businesses using WordPress. We also do social media marketing and brand building for local businesses.
If you need help with building a website from scratch, call us at +91-9899369691 or fill up this contact form to book a one-to-one consultation with one of our executives.
Also published on Medium.