The Indian ecosystem has a global ranking of 3 among the startups of the entire world. It is expected to grow at 12 to 15% per annum. In addition, a vast number of startups run and owned by women entrepreneurs have come up in recent times. As a result, new jobs are created, and many people get employment through startups. The Government of India also supports startups and offers people incentives for launching a startup. While there were 471 startups in India in 2016, the number rose to 84,012 in 2022, and the number is growing. In this blog, we will discuss how to start a startup in India.
Benefits And Opportunities For Startups In India
The Indian government incentivizes business owners who want to launch a startup. It includes financial aid and incubation support. Some programs may also guide you on how to start a startup in India. Besides this, a favourable regulatory policy in India helps a business owner get approvals quickly and hassle-free with minimum documentation.
- Businesses that struggle with finances can get early-stage funding from the Startup India Seed Fund, that is started under the Startup India initiative.
- In addition, India has a vast population, so it is a big market. Thus, the cost of starting a business is relatively low in India compared to other countries. Also, the cost of hiring labour and professionals is less in India.
- Also, you can get real estate for your factory or office at an affordable rate in our country.
- Furthermore, the Indian Government has eased some regulations, including the minimum amount of money or investment you need to start a business. Startups get tax exemptions, and they can say money on their taxes.
- The government provides funds to help a startup get money for its operation and expansion.
- Besides this, mentorship programs help business owners learn and implement the skills in their businesses. They also get advice and help from other businesses and experienced entrepreneurs.
The below steps will help you understand how to start a startup in India:
1. Conducting Market Research
Market research involves finding the target customers and getting information on their likes, choices, and needs. Moreover, it helps you learn about customers’ buying behaviour and market trends. Knowing how to research the target audience will help you learn how to start a startup in India.
Identifying Potential Markets And Consumer Needs
To start a startup in India, you must first define the potential market. The potential market is the group of people that may be interested in your product but to whom you have yet to sell. Notably, these people are yet to be your customers but have the potential to become one. A business can attract potential buyers through good marketing and brand promotion.
Secondly, you can identify potential buyers by studying your existing customers and those who don’t buy from you. It is essential to learn about their needs, choices, and preferences. Check what people need and offer it to them. In addition, you must research the lifestyle and buying behaviour of existing customers and those who still need to be your buyers. This can be a starting point for identifying the potential market.
Analyzing Competitors And Market Trends
Competitor analysis helps you beat your rivals and get more sales. For this, you should find who your competitors are in business and learn about their business strategies. Do research on the marketing techniques other businesses in your industry use. Remember to include those strategies in your marketing campaigns:
- You must be aware of your business’s positive and negative points compared to rival businesses. Determining which areas you lag behind your competitors and making improvements would be best.
- You can learn about the things that make other businesses more successful than you and include them in your marketing strategy.
- Check how your product differs from other products and if there is any area in which you can change and improve.
Researching competitors will give you a view of market trends. You will know what is in trend in your industry. However, it is only reasonable to follow in the footsteps of your rivals with proper planning and research. It is essential to consider your customer’s needs and buying behaviour before you plan your business strategy.
2. Creating A Business Plan
Making a business plan is essential before you start a startup in India.
- With this in mind, your business plan should include an executive summary, details about your business, a description of the product or service you will offer, and other things.
- In addition, it should have your market research data, a description of how you will operate the company, a marketing plan, and details about finances.
3. Legal Requirements to Start a Startup in India
Anyone who wants to know how to start a startup in India must first become familiar with the laws and regulations in the country. Not complying with the rules and regulations may put penalties on you. Moreover, you may have to suffer from legal problems. So, you’ll need to be familiar with the legal requirements for starting a business and comply with them.
Registering Your Business Entity
To start a startup in India, you must first register your business. You can launch a startup as a private limited company, partnership firm, limited liability partnership, etc. Submit the documents of registration of your business to the concerned authority. After that, you will get a certificate of incorporation for your startup.
Moreover, you can register your company under the Startup India scheme to avail the benefits of the scheme.
- You can do this online on the web portal of Startup India.
- You must get DPIIT recognition by filling in the details and submitting the startup recognition form.
- Submit documents like incorporation certificates, proof of funding, pitch and deck certificate, patent and trademark certificates, PAN, and proof of awards. In addition, you need to submit an authorization letter from your representative.
- If you have done all the above steps correctly, you will receive a recognition certificate two days after you have submitted all the needed documents. Finally, your startup is legal and registered under the Startup India scheme.
Complying With Taxation Laws And Obtaining Necessary Licenses
Startups in India have to pay a few taxes to the government, including the Service tax, the CST, or the Central Sales Tax. In addition, they need to pay the VAT or the Value Added Tax and TDS or the Tax Deducted at Source. Also, the owners of startups must file their income tax returns.
If you plan to start a business in India, you must obtain some licenses, including business licenses, sign permits, state licenses, fire department licenses, and country permits. In addition, you may have to get an Air and Water pollution control permit, a food permit, and a sales tax license.
Intellectual Property Rights And Trademark Registration
Business owners should get Intellectual Property Rights for their startups. It gives them exclusive rights to business ideas, products, and things they create throughout their tenure. In addition, it includes a request for your trademark, logo, website, creative designs, ads, and the products you invent. Furthermore, it is equally important to make sure that you don’t do anything that breaches the intellectual property right of another business or individual.
Startups need to register for a trademark following the same procedure as registering for a brand for other businesses in India. First, you can choose a product category, fill in your details in the registration form, and gather the necessary documents. Secondly, submit the form and documents to the concerned authority or the office of the Trademark Registry. After this, the rules will check and inspect your documents. Once they approve your documents, they will publish the trademark of your startup in the Trademark Journal. If anyone objects to your trademark, please respond within 3 months. A hearing will be held in which the registrar can approve or deny the trademark to you.
4. Securing Funding
Various funding options are available to start a startup in India. These include:
- You can get funding for your startup from venture capital or equity financing, in which you can offer to sell a part of the equity of your company.
- Similarly, you can get funding through a debt financing option in which you take money from a lender and return it with interest.
- In addition, startups can also get funding through government schemes and grants.
- Identify your target customers and determine the unique value proposition. After that, make a financial model with business projections and a pitch deck. Present this to potential investors.
5. Building A Strong Team
Building a solid startup team is crucial for your startup’s success. Here’s how you can build an ideal team to start a startup in India:
- First, identify your startup’s values and decide the company culture you want to have.
- Second, hire qualified, skilled, and experienced professionals.
- Also, you’ll need to organize regular meetings with members of your team and have discussions with them.
- In addition, train professionals in your company and host conferences and workshops. Give opportunities for mentorship to the team.
- Delegate tasks according to the ability and skills of others. Also, it’s essential to create an atmosphere of support in your company and ask for your feedback.
- Lastly, make changes in your team with time as needed.
6. Developing A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
The next step in learning how to start a startup in India is developing a minimum viable product. Starting a business with a product that none wants to buy is a big failure for a business owner. Interestingly, having a minimum viable product helps you understand whether your product has a market. Moreover, an MVP should be your priority when you launch a new business before you think of doing marketing on a big scale.
Understanding The Importance Of MVP
A minimum viable product can get the attention of early-adopter buyers. Also, it can be defined as a product that can be a good idea to produce. Subsequently, it helps you get valuable feedback and make improvements to change the product as per the market’s demand. It enables you to introduce your product to genuine buyers and check whether they like it. You are testing your business idea and learning what’s good and not so good about your product.
Iterative Development And Continuous Improvement
Product development should be continued without stopping. To begin with, iterative development means that you are making multiple designs for your product and checking if they work well or not. Subsequently, product development is done in various steps or stages, and you need to test your product in all these stages. In addition, this helps you make multiple types of the same product and choose the best variant as the final product. Startups need to do design and development continuously and repeatedly. Moreover, it helps in improving the product made initially. This allows a business to develop new and updated versions of the effect it launched at first.
Gathering User Feedback And Iterating
Feedback from buyers is essential for a business and should be addressed.
- Understand the needs of people so that you can develop a product that fulfils the market demands. Ask users what they think of the design of your products and if it meets their needs.
- Please pay attention to the problems users face with your product and their complaints.
- Learning about your customer’s pains and difficulties and modifying your products accordingly would be best.
7. Launching and Marketing Your Startup
Marketing is a tool that can lead your business to success or make it a failure. Consequently, how you advertise and market your products determines your business’s success. Firstly, business owners must find a way to communicate their brand message and value to buyers in the best way. Secondly, you can do digital marketing for your business apart from traditional marketing.
Creating A Strong Brand Identity
Firstly, the brand identity of your business or product is the unique feature that differentiates you from your rivals. In addition, it helps you stand out in the crowd and make users remember you. Brand identity includes your values and how people feel about your product. Moreover, it is the image and personality of a business that people form in their minds.
Secondly, you can create a brand identity for your startup or business if you research your target customers and study your competitors in the market. Also, you can design an attractive logo for your company and do online marketing. Next, use social media for advertising and marketing your products. Furthermore, monitor your brand and make improvements where needed.
Implementing Effective Marketing Strategies
Business owners need to give enough time to plan their marketing strategies:
- Make a goal for your business and identify your target customers.
- Plan to deliver the best message to buyers in your marketing campaigns, clearly defining how your product will help solve users’ problems.
- Make yourself visible online by starting a website.
- Do digital PR, including press releases and conferences, attending events, and contacting other brands
- In addition, make efforts to improve the CLV or Customer Lifetime Value.
- Also, getting feedback and testimonials from users would be best.
- Lastly, we suggest you give replies to reviews on your products that customers post on online shopping sites.
Utilizing Digital Marketing and Social Media
Do digital marketing for your business by starting your website and promoting the business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites. Post content, articles, images, and videos related to your business on social media websites daily or frequently. In addition, do content marketing to get leads and paid marketing for short-term goals. After that, please do SEO or search engine optimization of your business website. Also, you can run Google ads, ads on social media, and display ads. Run retargeting campaigns to attract customers who don’t buy your products. Lastly, you should do email marketing.
8. Overcoming Challenges and Staying Resilient
New entrepreneurs may be thrilled at first when they start their businesses. However, they should know the common challenges startup businesses face and their solutions.
As a business person, you may never know what challenge will come next. However, being strong and resilient is the key to avoiding problems and becoming a winner.
Adapting To Market Changes And Competition
A business owner needs to adapt to changes in the market. Consequently, it helps to improve your products and overcome competitors. You might have made a business plan when you started your business initially. However, you need to replan your strategy and change it as time passes and new market trends emerge. In addition, be flexible and willing to adapt to the market and customers’ demands. Apart from this, you must implement new techniques in your business, hire new employees, and develop new products.
Managing Risks And Uncertainties
There can be uncertainty and some risk involved in starting a business. However, you can avoid or manage them by following a good business model, creating buyer value, hiring talented and skilled professionals, and adequately managing finances. In addition, you can avoid legal problems by complying with rules and laws.
Now that we have explained how to start a startup in India, we hope you have gained some knowledge and insights on starting your startup. Anyone can start a business, but you can be successful only if you plan well and make a good business strategy. We encourage you to think of starting your startup and reaching great heights in business.