01.03.2023 Views

The Smart Founder

Over 75% of newly-formed businesses close within the first five years. Many founders took a chance and started a business without real guidance. Unfortunately, this often leads to failure – in fact, over 75% of newly-formed businesses close within the first five years.  The striking question is this: why?  This book will explore why startups and businesses fail and provide a comprehensive guide to starting your own business. We’ll take a look at the 9 foundational areas of starting a business, including researching and evaluating potential ideas, setting up a business plan, understanding the legal aspects of owning a business, marketing strategies, financial planning, and resources for funding your venture.  By the end of this book, you’ll have all the basics needed to pursue your dreams and launch your own successful business confidently.

Over 75% of newly-formed businesses close within the first five years. Many founders took a chance and started a business without real guidance. Unfortunately, this often leads to failure – in fact, over 75% of newly-formed businesses close within the first five years.
 The striking question is this: why?
 This book will explore why startups and businesses fail and provide a comprehensive guide to starting your own business. We’ll take a look at the 9 foundational areas of starting a business, including researching and evaluating potential ideas, setting up a business plan, understanding the legal aspects of owning a business, marketing strategies, financial planning, and resources for funding your venture.
 By the end of this book, you’ll have all the basics needed to pursue your dreams and launch your own successful business confidently.

SHOW MORE
SHOW LESS

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

www.liga-invest.com

The Smart Founder

A Comprehensive Guide to

Starting Your Own Business

4 EBOOK # 1


About the author

I am a former professional soccer player and founder of the consulting and

investment company LIGA INVEST KG.

I dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player at the age of six, and at

that time I could picture myself walking into a stadium. One day, the time

had come - my first appearance in the 1st Bundesliga in Germany.

A series of injuries, including a gross medical error, set me back again and

again during my career. But "biographical curvatures" have also made life

difficult. Today I look back on an instructive time and a dream that was

fulfilled. According to the motto "Everything you can imagine, you can

achieve“, I was allowed to find my way in the labyrinth of life and despite

some trapdoors and stumbling blocks, I learned how to get to my goals. As

an entrepreneur and with a passion for education, I empower people to

overcome the challenges of professional and personal life.

There are lighthouse principles that determine the growth and happiness

of a person as well as organizations. How well people recognize them and

live in harmony with them determines the direction: survival and stability

or disintegration and destruction. Sometimes you win - sometimes you

learn. This also applies to founders and entrepreneurs.

Dennis Ibrahim Wolf

CEO/FOUNDER LIGA INVEST KG


www.liga-invest.com

Table of Contents

04. INTRODUCTION

05. CHAPTER 1 Generating Ideas for Your Business

07. CHAPTER 2 Research & Validation

08. CHAPTER 3 Business Structuring

10. CHAPTER 4 Financing Your Business

12. CHAPTER 5 Marketing & Branding

14. CHAPTER 6 Operations and Management

16. CHAPTER 7 Customer Relationship Management

17. CHAPTER 8 Business Growth & Scalibilty

19. PARTING WORDS

3 EBOOK # 1


Over 75% of newly-formed businesses close within

the first five years. Many founders took a chance and

started a business without real guidance.

Unfortunately, this often leads to failure – in fact, over

75% of newly-formed businesses close within the first

five years.

The striking question is this: why?

This book will explore why startups and businesses fail

and provide a comprehensive guide to starting your

own business. We’ll take a look at the 9 foundational

areas of starting a business, including researching and

evaluating potential ideas, setting up a business plan,

understanding the legal aspects of owning a business,

marketing strategies, financial planning, and resources

for funding your venture.

By the end of this book, you’ll have all the basics

needed to pursue your dreams and launch your own

successful business confidently.

So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s dive in!


It always begins with that one idea. That

spark, that lightbulb moment – this is the

basis of any successful business endeavor. If

you want to start your own business, the most

important step is coming up with a compelling

concept that solves a problem for people and

is profitable.

But how do you come up with such an idea?

Well, coming up with a business concept isn’t

as hard as you might think. To start, look

around and identify a problem your potential

customers are facing. Consider what existing

businesses out there are not doing well or

opportunities that are not currently being met

in the market.

Once you have identified a need, come up

with an idea to fill it – while also ensuring the

market is big enough for you to make a profit.

Brainstorm and research ways to improve

existing solutions or create something new.


Let's say you think there's an existing pain

point that's not being addressed in your

industry. Maybe you can come up with an

innovative solution to remedy it.

For example, suppose you are passionate

about fashion and have identified a gap in the

market for affordable yet stylish clothing. In

that case, your business concept could be to

design and manufacture affordable yet

fashionable apparel for sale online or through

retail stores.

Once you have a general idea of your

business, it’s time to dive deeper and develop

the concept further.


Research & Validation

No matter how revolutionary your business concept is, it doesn’t mean much if

nobody needs it. Before you dive into creating and launching your business, you

must ensure a real demand for your product or service.

To do this, start by researching the market you plan to enter. What goods or

services are people buying? Find out who your potential customers are, what

their pain points are, and what solutions they’re looking for. Look into the

competitors in your industry and analyze how successful they are.

Once you understand the market, it’s time to validate your business concept. This

involves testing your ideas to ensure they are viable and potential customers

would be interested in them. There are multiple ways to validate your business

concepts, such as surveys and interviews with target customers or A/B testing

strategies.

Talk to potential customers directly to gain a deep understanding of customer

needs. Ask them about their pain points and what they expect from the products

or services you plan to offer. With a deeper understanding of customer needs, it’s

time to start brainstorming potential solutions.

Jot down any and all ideas that come to mind, no matter how crazy they seem.

Don’t limit yourself to preconceived notions of your solution – let your creative

juices flow.

.


Business Structuring

An old saying of the great King Solomon, known for his wisdom, success and

wealth, says: "By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;

by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.“

So , it’s also essential to choose the right legal structure for your business.

When deciding which type of business entity makes the most sense for you,

consider a few key factors:

● the amount of personal liability you're willing to accept if something goes

wrong;

● the number of owners involved in the business;

● and your future plans for growth, such as whether you intend to go public or

seek venture capital funding.

The most common types of business structures are sole proprietorships,

corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and partnerships. Depending on

which structure you choose, it can significantly impact how you manage and run

your business, as well as its tax implications.


Business Structuring

.

For example, sole proprietorships are the easiest to set up and cost little in terms

of fees but offer limited protection for the business owner if something goes

wrong. Corporations carry more administrative costs but provide shareholders

with limited liability protection from debts and liabilities. LLCs offer the

advantages of both sole proprietorships and corporations, but restrictions on

ownership may make it difficult to raise capital or acquire funding from venture

capitalists.

Before deciding which legal structure is right for you, consult with a qualified

accountant or attorney who can advise you on the best option for your situation.

Once you have chosen the appropriate legal structure for your business, you will

need to obtain any necessary licenses and permits required by your state or

municipality. This can vary greatly depending on the type of business you are

running, so it's important to do the research and make sure you comply with all

applicable regulations and laws.

.

"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is

established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all

precious and pleasant riches." (OT) Proverbs 24,3


Financing Your Business

The fourth fundamental of getting your wheels rolling is financing. While it might

seem counterintuitive to put money into your business before it even launches,

investing in the right services and resources will help you set yourself up for

success in the long run.

The first step in financing your business is developing a budget. This involves

estimating how much money you need to start and maintain your business and

how much you are willing or able to spend.

When creating your budget, one of the best methods to use is the top-down

approach, which involves starting with a high-level view of your overall business

and budget goals before breaking them down into individual components. For

example, you may start by creating an overview of projected monthly costs such

as rent, payroll, marketing expenses, etc., as well as one-time investments such as

equipment or software.

Once you have a budget in place, the next step is to start exploring different

financing options. Depending on your financial situation and the type of business

you are running, there are a variety of ways to access funding.

For example, if you are starting a small business but don’t have enough savings to

cover all costs, consider applying for a loan or seeking out investors. Alternatively,

various government grants available to small businesses can help you get started.

.


Financing Your Business

No matter which option you choose, make sure to read the fine print and

understand exactly what you're getting into before signing any agreements.

Bootstrapped takes time, but it’s a great way to get started. You can begin with a

small amount of capital and use it to generate more income and expand your

business. Conventional financing speeds up the process but also comes with more

responsibilities and commitments such as monthly payments or interest

.


M arketing & Branding

The biggest companies today sell a brand's vision before selling their product or

service. Think of Apple or Nike - their messaging and visuals are brilliant, and it is

no coincidence that these companies have made it to the top. Their branding is

synonymous with the vision they sell, and it has become an integral part of their

success.

Apple doesn't sell hardware; it sells technological superiority. Nike doesn't sell

sportswear; it sells performance and lifestyle. As entrepreneurs, you too can

adopt this approach when building your business and developing your brand

identity.

So, when coming up with a branding and marketing plan, define what your

business stands for. Figure out the mission and vision behind your enterprise and

create a tagline that conveys it succinctly. Once you have that in place, start

considering how you want to be perceived by both your current and potential

customers. If you want people to associate your company with innovation, you'll

need to create visuals and messaging that reflects it.

Once your branding is sorted, you can develop a strategic marketing plan. Longterm

success is only possible if there's an effective strategy in place. Your

marketing plan should include tactics such as using digital platforms, creating

content, leveraging influencers, and more. You don't have to be everywhere but

aim to reach your target audience with a consistent message.


Finally, don't forget that marketing is not just about promotion and sales - it's also

about building relationships and trust. These days, the customer acquisition cost

is high. You need to build loyalty and ensure that your customers have an amazing

experience interacting with your brand.

With the right marketing plan in place, you'll be able to create visibility and

awareness around your business, build a strong customer base, and grow your

company rapidly. So don't underestimate the power of branding and marketing -

it can be the difference between success and failure.


Operations & Management

Yes, even before the first customer shows up, you must have the right processes

in place for a well-oiled business. It's important to set up systems and procedures

that will ensure the smooth running of day-to-day operations.

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, explains that systems are the backbone

of success. His famous quote is: "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall

to the level of your systems." In other words, setting up strong processes and

procedures is the key to achieving success.

When designing these operations, it's essential to consider both current and

future needs.

Start by breaking down each task into individual steps and then decide who the

right person is to complete each step. Communicate and delegate tasks to ensure

everyone is on the same page and clearly understands what needs to be done.

Also, establish systems for tracking progress. This could mean creating templates,

checklists, or customized software - whatever works best for you and your team.

Uniformity will help maintain the structure of your business and make it easier to

identify areas for improvement.


Team building is also essential for a well-run business. Determine what types of

people you need to reach your goals and have an open dialogue with them on

how they can contribute to the growth of the company. Divergent views help

drive innovation, so foster an environment of collaboration and openmindedness.

The right processes will ensure your business runs like a well-oiled machine. This

sets successful companies apart from those that fail – once basic operations run

smoothly, you can start focusing your energy on innovating and scaling up.


Customer Relationship

Management

Imagine your business as a relationship. When it comes to customer relations, you

need to establish trust and ensure that your customers feel valued.

Start by listening closely to your customers' needs and responding promptly to

their requests or inquiries. It's also important to find out what they think about

your product or service - this is invaluable feedback that can help you make

improvements or adjustments.

Now, even before starting this conversation, you need to have a system in place

for managing customer relationships. This could include setting up email

templates, assigning dedicated customer service reps to handle issues, or having

systems that track and monitor customer interactions.

Always remember that customer relationship management aims to create loyalty

and strengthen relationships. To do this, you must provide customers with a great

experience – make them feel appreciated, valued, and heard. Also, be sure to ask

for feedback on your products or services so you can make improvements when

necessary.

Amazon is an excellent example of a business that puts customer relationship

management at its heart. The company provides customers with an easy

shopping experience and offers personalized recommendations, free shipping on

specific orders, and 24/7 customer service. No wonder they have one of the most

loyal customer bases in the world!


Business Growth & Scalability

The second last piece of the puzzle is business growth & scalability. To continue

growing and expanding your business, you need to identify all the bottlenecks

and optimize your processes.

Start by looking at the systems and procedures you already have in place and

assess their effectiveness. Are they helping or hindering your growth? If they are

hindering, it's time to streamline them for greater efficiency. In the beginning,

there will always be a few bumps in the road but it's important to stay focused

and keep making improvements.

Once your business operations run smoothly, you can start thinking about

scalability. This involves identifying areas of your business where automation or

technology could help streamline processes or eliminate manual work. You need

to find the right balance between human and machine - technology should

support, not replace, the human element.

Also, consider the impact of scalability on your team. If you are expanding rapidly

and hiring more employees, it's crucial to ensure they have the right resources

and support to do their job correctly.


Legal M atters & Compliance

Although we've already covered this a bit, it's worth mentioning that the legal

elements of business should never be neglected. It's essential to understand your

company’s legal obligations and ensure they are being met at all times.

Start by researching the laws applicable in your jurisdiction, as these can vary

depending on your business type. For example, if you sell products, there may be

regulations that you must follow regarding labeling, safety standards, and more. If

your business is digital, look into data protection laws such as GDPR.

Other legal matters include protecting intellectual property (IP) and safeguarding

your business from potential liabilities or disputes. IP refers to any original work

you or your team created and includes ideas, inventions, designs, brands, logos,

and more. To protect your IP from being copied without permission, register it

with a patent office or use other legal tools such as copyrights or trademarks.

You should also create contract clauses that protect you from liability if

something goes wrong. This helps ensure that everyone involved in the

transaction understands expectations, roles, and responsibilities.

Finally, ensure you comply with all legal requirements such as taxes. This can get

tricky if your business crosses state or country lines so it's best to consult with a

qualified accountant or lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action.


Parting Words

Are you ready to take the plunge and follow your entrepreneurial dreams?

Starting a business can be both daunting and rewarding, but with the right

knowledge and tools, anything is possible.

In this book we've explored the many steps necessary for starting a successful

venture, from researching potential ideas to setting up a business plan and

marketing strategies. We've also discussed financial planning options as well as

resources for funding your venture. By now you should have all the information

needed to confidently launch your own business! So, what are you waiting for?


Start your Business

GOOD RESEARCH CREATIVITY TROUBLESHOOTING

GOOD SERVICES

ANALYTIC

GOOD PROFIT

2

0

EBOO

K # 1


As a founder, you have the power to create something new that has the

potential to make a real impact. So, take this knowledge and go out and

change the world!

.

If you have the entrepreneurial spirit but are finding it hard to get

started, then why not reach out to us? We offer dedicated business

coaching and consulting services to help you brainstorm ideas, create a

plan of action, develop a successful marketing strategy, secure funding,

and more. For more information, visit our website today!

.

Get in touch

www.liga-invest.com

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!