How to start a business: A complete playbook

an illustration of a rocketship with the text "how to start a business"

So you’re dreaming of starting a business—setting your own hours, being your own boss, and fully owning your future. It’s a big goal, and it’s not always obvious where to start or how to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.

This BravelyGo Guide will leave you inspired and confident through a series of articles that cover everything you need to know about launching your first business.

Is this guide right for you?

Whether you’re a born entrepreneur searching for the right idea or you’re looking for a way to turn your passion into a thriving business, this guide is for you. We cover everything from idea generation to financing to registering your business.

This guide is perfect for you if you’ve been dreaming of starting a business but don’t know where to start—or you’re afraid to take that leap. Our guide will help you understand the steps you need to take to start your business, while avoiding common pitfalls. At the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to launch and confident you’re set up for success.

Chapter 1: How to get inspired when you want to start a business

If owning a business is your dream but you haven’t found your big idea yet, the first step is to find inspiration through the entrepreneur community. This crucial activity will help you move beyond the abstract (“Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to run a business?”) and into reality (“I know what it takes to launch and run a successful business”).

This chapter of our guide introduces you to different sources of learning and inspiration that will motivate you toward your goal, and teaches you how to surround yourself with a community for learning and support.

Read this chapter 

Chapter 2: Finding the right small business idea

How can you tell if your big idea is a passing thrill or something you can truly take across the finish line and build into a long-term, viable business? There are a few factors to consider that will help you choose an idea that has real potential.

This chapter covers different approaches to finding business ideas, and how to tell if yours is an idea that makes sense for you to pursue.

Read this chapter 

Chapter 3: How to validate your business idea

Once you have an idea that you’re passionate about and feel can stand the test of time, it’s important to validate it in the market. You need to make sure there’s sufficient demand for your business to thrive, and not so much competition that you’ll get lost in the noise.

In this chapter we walk you through the different steps you should take to validate your idea so you know there’s a market for your business.

Read this chapter

Chapter 4:  How to name your business

The name you choose for your business can have a big impact on its success. There are so many factors to consider—competitors’ names, negative connotations, cultural references, and more.

This chapter covers what goes into a great business name, and the steps you should take to find a name that you can be confident represents your business well.

Read this chapter

Chapter 5: How to write a business plan

It’s trendy these days to skip the business plan and bootstrap your way to success. While that can be a good strategy for tech startups, business plans are still an important tool for the average business owner—having one makes you 16% more likely to build a viable business.

In this chapter, we cover how to build a business plan that will set you up for success and help you secure financing—and we’ve included some templates to get you started.

Read this chapter 

Chapter 6: Finding small business loans

You’ve got an idea you’re passionate about and that you know has value in the market, and you’ve built your business plan. The next step to get closer to your dream is to secure financing for launch and beyond.

This chapter covers everything you need to know about small business loans—whether you need one, the types available, how to qualify, and where to find one that’s right for you.

Read this chapter

Chapter 7: Registering your business

One of the biggest steps toward starting a business is making it legal. Registering your business has some complexities, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you have the right information.

In this chapter you’ll learn what you need to do to register your business, and how to get it done right.

Read this chapter 

About Wave’s BravelyGo Guides

Running a business is different from every other job on the planet. Imagine if someone loved writing so much that they became a journalist, only to find out  they were expected to repair machinery at the office. That’s what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. To be successful you have to master accounting, marketing, business development, and more, even if you have no experience in those areas.

We created BravelyGo Guides to help you hit the ground running fast and build skills in the key areas that matter most when it comes to meeting your business goals. Our guides will help you understand what you actually need to focus on, and then give you easy-to-follow instructions and tips so you can actually do the activities yourself.

Visit BravelyGo Guides on our blog and start building new skills to grow your business.

Disclaimer

The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.