32 Comprehensive Steps Every Entrepreneur Should Know in Building a Business

One of the greatest myths about starting a business is that once it’s built, customers will come. 

There’s so much going on in every industry, including competitors, market demands, and economic conditions, that there’s no assurance your business will become a hit. You first need to ensure you have a good product in your hands. On top of that, you must know how to market it to relevant audiences.

The road to launching—and running—a business isn’t easy, but the pride you feel watching your business grow will make the hard work worthwhile.

32 Steps to Starting a Successful Business

We created five stages. In each stage, there are steps that explain how you are going to start and build your business. Let’s get started.

Development Stage

1. Refine your business idea

Got a passion that you’re looking to turn into a profitable business? Great.

A business idea is the first step of your entrepreneurial journey. But before your adrenaline rush gets the best of you, gather all your thoughts and see if you can describe your business idea in a single sentence.

For example: “My company, Clean and Lean, offers affordable laundry services for mid-income families.”

This practice lets you better articulate your product value and determines the audience you want to market it to.

2. Determine your market

Your audience represents the driving force behind each business decision. Developing your “ideal customer” helps you fine-tune your products and go-to-market strategy. 

Understand what type of business you’re planning to launch first. Are you looking to be a business-to-consumer (B2C) enterprise? Or maybe you have solutions that can benefit fellow businesses (business-to-business or B2B)?

By deciding this, along with parameters like age, gender, income, and profession, you understand what your customers need and how you can influence their buying decisions.

3. Get feedback 

Open-mindedness is a good trait if you are running a business. So when you’ve just about refined your great idea, evaluate it by collecting feedback from diverse points of view. 

You see, business owners often get caught up with their ideas that they see the world in rose-tinted glasses. To stay grounded, get input from individuals who can assess the idea objectively and critically.

4. Understand the highs and lows of becoming an entrepreneur

There’s a saying that if you ever start a business, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. But the startup lifestyle can be tough work. 

You’ll have to wear several hats to run your business, especially since finances can be tight at the beginning.

To manage tasks efficiently, get yourself appointment scheduling software to efficiently keep track of client meetings. Take note that when it comes to growing your business in the early stages, technology and automation are your best friends. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean there aren’t any highs as well. There is nothing more fulfilling than having to pursue your dream. There’s also more creative freedom, learning opportunities, and satisfaction as you watch your business succeed. 

Start-up stage

5. Finalise your company name

Your name represents your business to the outside world. It is what customers remember you by and becomes the face of your company. This should give you enough reason to carefully consider your choice before registering your business entity, launching a website, and marketing it. 

Now, there’s a plethora of factors when it comes to choosing a company name. But here are some tips to get you started:

  • Choose a name that’s simple and easy to remember
    Customers have short attention spans. The last thing they want to do is spend time figuring out how to spell your business name. You want to avoid situations where you have to continually correct misspellings. Keep your business name simple and memorable.


  • Keep it unique
    Your business name must be unique for several reasons. First, you could find yourself in a lawsuit for trademark infringement. But even if that doesn’t happen, choosing a name that’s similar to your competitors can hurt your marketing efforts.

    Imagine registering “Concept Singapore” for your digital marketing firm and across the street there’s a business called “Concept Cosmetics”. This causes confusion and you could run into problems on search engines.

    To ensure that you go for a unique name, conduct a general internet search. Let’s say you decide to call yourself Deli Eat Singapore and enter that name on Google to assess if there are similar business names in the area.  While you’re at it, be on the lookout for abbreviations and alternate spellings.


  • Select a web-friendly name
    Speaking of the internet, it’s important to combine all the tips mentioned above. Simple, unique, and easy-to-spell names are generally well-received online. The easier it is for users to type on browsers, social media, and search engines, the better.


READ MORE: Keys to Choosing the Best Domain Name to Attract Web Traffic

6. Create a business logo

Believe it or not, business logos aren’t compulsory! However, there are benefits to having one. First, it sets you apart from your competitors. It also makes you appear more professional and committed to your business.

Finally, logos provide a “face” to your brand—allowing you to develop a sense of identity.

If you’ve refined your business idea and determined your target market, then you know what you want your logo to look like. For example, businesses specialising in photography services would opt for logos that look sleek in black and white. 

Otherwise, customised event cake shops that cater to the younger crowd could go for a logo that’s more fun and hip.

Of course, you don’t need to come up with a logo yourself. You can outsource the work to professional branding services. They not only come up with logos but also help you build a brand identity from the ground up.

7. Choose your business entity

Ready to register your business? Hold up. You still need to decide on your business entity or structure.

Your type of business entity affects your taxes, how you appear to customers and partners, the legal documents your business needs to process, how you can apply for business loans, etc. 

Depending on where you are planning to launch your business, you should have different options when incorporating your entity. You could be a Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Corporation, or Limited Liability Company.

8. Write your business plan

Business plans are more than just a static piece of document. They are the blueprint for your company. They guide you in goal-setting and detail the steps you need to take to achieve them. 

While there’s no definite structure, most business plans include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Marketing Analysis
  • Implementation Strategy
  • Financial Forecasts


You can also include insights about your management team, sales goals, and expenses.

9. Pick your business setup

Set the tone for your business by choosing a location. Don’t fall into the trap of going for a trendy hotspot or the cheapest listing you can find. If you’re a retail shop, for example, you would want to position your business in busy areas. 

If your business is ready to commit to a long-term working space, there are private office spaces in Singapore to choose from. 

Businesses that require a physical address but have no plans to commit to a dedicated office space can opt for virtual office services instead. Virtual offices work by providing you with a mailing address, telephone assistance, and video conferencing services. 

Smaller firms, on the other hand, have the option to go for a coworking space instead. We’ve compiled some of the top coworking spaces in Singapore that you can choose from.

10. Secure your funding 

Self-funding your startup lets you maintain control, making it the safest funding option out there. But not everyone has the means to self-fund their latest business venture. 

If you’re looking for other ways to get your business on the ground, check out these options:

  • Crowdfunding. The internet is a wonderful way to build buzz. So, why not leverage it to fund your startup idea? Websites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo are great sites to get the money to launch your business off the ground.


  • Apply for small business grants. You will find a number of private and public sectors that offer small business grants for startups and businesses looking to expand their operations.


  • Small Business Loan Companies. Loan companies can seem seedy, but the trick is to look for reputable business loan companies to work with. Banks like DBS and UOB offer legitimate business loans with fair interest rates.


  • Accelerators and incubators. Private companies and public institutions (colleges, universities, etc.) offer accelerator or incubator programs for young businesses. Its goal is to provide educational, financial, and technical support to help owners get past the ideation stage.


11. Register your business

Officially registering your business has several benefits. Aside from legalising it, you also appear more legitimate in the eyes of investors, suppliers, and customers.

In Singapore, for example, registered businesses can be verified via ACRA, the national regulator for business entities. Thus, making it easier for you to acquire business financing. 

If you need help registering your business with ACRA, work with a corporate secretary service. This is an especially useful option for foreign businesses looking to register their company in Singapore.

Commitment Stage

12. Open your business bank account

When your business starts accepting or spending money, it’s high time you look for banks that offer corporate banking services.

Unlike retail banking, which serves the general public, corporate banking solutions serve small-to-mid-sized businesses as well as large conglomerates. You can open a checking account, savings account, or credit card account for your business. If you accept credit and debit card transactions, remember to open a merchant services account.

If you are a foreign company looking to do business in Singapore, there are corporate service providers that can assist you with opening a bank account in the country. Their services extend to payroll and tax services as well.

13. Set a budget 

While this step sounds like a no-brainer, you’ll be surprised to hear how many new businesses put budgeting on the back burner. 

When opening a new business, you’ll need to research your industry well in advance. Look out for expenses from suppliers, marketing, employee wages, and even legal fees before creating your budget.

14. Create a financial forecast

If budgets are plans, look at financial forecasting as predictions. It doesn’t matter if you run a corporate travel agency or a large financial firm, you need a financial plan that estimates your projected income and expenses. 

In fact, you will need to have your financial forecast ready before you create a budget. Say, for example, the financial forecast for the next quarter says you have an extra S$7,000 in revenue. You might want to add that extra money to your Facebook ad budget instead.

15. Build business partnerships

With all the competition around today, developing business partnerships is a smart way to get ahead. 

Not everything needs to be fulfilled in-house. Partnering with a trusted courier service for your retail business, a business travel agency for your hotel business, or a food catering service, if you’re running events, gives you access to wider resources and industry expertise. 

Developing business partnerships for internal operations can be crucial as well. For example, you may need to partner with a CCTV installation company for your jewellery shop or a corporate gifts shop so you can have personalised merchandise ready for your employees or VIP guests.

16. Start building your team 

You created a product or service, got your funding, and perhaps even started making money. Now is the time to build your team. List down the roles you want to fill first. In most cases, businesses prioritise the following roles:

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO), founders typically assume this role
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO), is another role founders assume as well
  • Product Manager
  • Customer Service
  • Chief of Technology and Development
  • Sales Manager
  • Chief Marketing Officer


17. Start hiring

Whether you are hiring c-level or rank and file positions, recruitment will always be a difficult process. The good thing is that you don’t need to cover the work yourself. You can outsource the work to a recruitment firm to hire critical roles for your startup.

18. Invest in a good bookkeeping and accounting system

Traditional account methods are good in the first few stages of your business. But as your company grows, maintaining error-free financial statements can be a challenge when you’re doing everything manually. 

Investing in accounting software, on the other hand, helps you save time and costs by automating the entire process. Some accounting systems also track inventory costs and calculate asset depreciation to help you with inventory management.

You can also outsource the work to one of the many small business accounting services in Singapore. Outsourcing helps you save time and focus on running your business while also giving you access to skilled accountants. You can even have them work on your business taxes.

19. Protect your intellectual property 

Intellectual Property refers to a unique work or invention created by your business or brand. When applying for Intellectual Property Rights, you can get copyrights, patents, and trade secret protection to protect your products from being duplicated by another individual or brand.

20. Reserve your domain

Speaking of protection, it’s high time you registered a domain to protect your brand identity. With over thousands of domains registered each day, there’s a high chance that all the good ones are already taken. So, act fast. 

Domain registration is cheap and easy. You don’t even need a website to get one!

21. Create your website

You might be thinking, “My business made it this far without a website; why would I need one now?”

The reality is that businesses without a professional website fall behind their competitors and miss out on potential conversions. 

However, owners have other concerns when it comes to creating a website. There’s that notion that websites are “too expensive” or that they’re not tech-savvy. But those worries can be completely laid to rest as websites are affordable and easy to make these days.

For one, there are DIY website builder platforms that literally help you get a website up and running in minutes. These tools have drag-and-drop features as well as ready-made templates for you to easily customise your site.

If you’re more tech-savvy, you can build your website using WordPress or other content management systems. You can also spearhead any website issues by employing website monitoring tools like 360 Monitoring or Site24x7. 

Otherwise, you can work with a reputable web design service. The advantage of working with professional web designers is that they have a better understanding of your industry. They help you create workflows that meet your business goals while also sticking to your budget.

READ MORE: What Is the Importance of Web Hosting for Your Website

22. Start accepting payments on your website

The goal of creating an online presence is to meet customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Allow leads to convert by accepting payments on your website. In addition to getting ROI, you also reach a wider audience online. 

There are many ways to accept online payments, including:

  • Mobile payment options like Grab Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay
  • ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer
  • Online money transfer platforms like PayPal, Wise, and Venmo


23. Don’t forget your social media presence

Having a social media presence for your business is no longer an option, but a necessity. By setting up a business page on popular apps like Facebook or Instagram, you can drive traffic to your website, generate leads, boost sales, and even partner with influencers.

Building your social media presence isn’t just about setting up a Facebook account, boosting a post and calling it a day. Like with any other marketing medium, you need to be strategic or risk wasting your invested time and money. 

If you don’t have the time or knowledge to grow your social media presence, consider outsourcing the work to an agency instead. There are plenty of social media marketing agencies in Singapore for every business industry or size. Their services typically include planning out your social media calendar, content and graphic design, as well as ad budget management.

READ MORE: Follow These 10 Strategies to Strengthen Your Customer Connection

24. Start ranking on search engines

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, are a series of actions that boost your website’s ranking on search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. 

While its primary goal is to drive quality traffic to your site, SEO can also establish your business as an authority in your industry. You also drive continuous leads to your site without spending on paid ads. 

Apart from the time you spend optimising your site, SEO is totally free. The only flipside is that SEO can be a tough learning curve for beginners. You need to ensure that you’re targeting keywords in your industry and that the steps you are taking won’t put you at risk of being blacklisted by Google.

If you are unsure if you have the resources to manage your website’s SEO, it may be in your best interest to consult with experts. SEO service companies have the expertise to guide and implement a solid SEO strategy for your business. 

If you’re looking for a more end-to-end marketing solution (including paid ads and social media management), consider going for an online marketing agency instead.

Traction Stage

25. Build a solid company culture

Congratulations! By this time, your team has likely grown in numbers. Recruitment is just the tip of the iceberg. To really make a solid team that works together to achieve your business goals, you need to establish your company culture.

As the captain of the ship, develop your workplace culture with the following tips:

  • Lead by example. Leaders shouldn’t be up on the pedestal of commanding people. They should be getting their hands dirty and working alongside your team. By following these practices, you earn the respect of others and inspire confidence within your team.


  • Promote diversity and inclusion. Mutual trust and respect are two important aspects of any successful organisation. Allow your team to express their true selves without judgement.


  • Cultivate fun. Don’t expect your team to work like mindless machines. It does not hurt to inject a little fun into the workplace every once in a while. For remote teams, there are online activities that everyone can take part in. With the help of an event management service, you can also organise outings, anniversary celebrations, and Christmas parties for your team members.

    Remember to add a sweet touch to these events with cakes and giveaways. We’ve recommended some of the best cake shops in Singapore for you to start browsing through.


  • Celebrate wins. Everyone enjoys feeling a sense of purpose, even while at work. Make your employees feel valued by rewarding them with incentives, promotions, and bonuses.

    Of course, not everything needs to be about money. You can send thoughtful gifts to employees who have hit company milestones. It doesn’t have to be a fancy token, simply contact an online florist delivery service to send a bouquet to show your gratitude.


You can also show off your company culture on networking sites like LinkedIn to build buzz around your business. Compile videos of what it’s like working for your team. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, simply whip up a camera and edit it using video hosting platforms like Vimeo.

26. Grow your email list

Is email marketing worth the investment? The short answer is yes. When you start building an audience around your brand, you will want to connect with them through every medium, including your website, social media, and email.

Email marketing lets you target existing and prospective leads without the need to spend thousands of dollars. Some emails you can start sending to customers are promotional emails, newsletters, and new product announcements.

To build emails without the technical know-how, go for drag-and-drop email builders like MailChimp and SendinBlue.

READ MORE: Branding Your Email: How Important Is It For Your Business?

27. Get a solid content marketing strategy

If content marketing sounds like a buzzword for you, it’s time to look around. Content marketing is everywhere. It’s in your social media strategy, your email strategy, and even in your SEO campaigns.

As the name implies, content marketing involves sharing content pieces like articles, podcasts, or social media posts to engage, delight, and eventually convert your audience. The content you share helps you build trust and credibility, making you thought leaders in your chosen industry or niche.

You can grow your internal content team to curate and publish content for you. But businesses nowadays often hire content marketing agencies to do the heavy lifting for them.

28. Add print advertising to your marketing plan

In a world filled with viral marketing campaigns, what business would bat an eye towards outbound marketing? The truth is that even with search engines and social media consuming users each day, outbound marketing continues to be a tried and true formula.

Outbound marketing refers to ads or campaigns that a company initiates. It covers more traditional marketing practices like print advertisements, tv commercials, radio ads, and telemarketing services.

TV commercials might be expensive for small businesses, so stick to print ads while you’re on a budget. Brochures and business posters are great ways to drive brand engagement. You’ll find high-quality printing services in Singapore that will help you design, print, and distribute your materials.

29. Outsource your telemarketing service

Another outbound strategy worth looking into is telemarketing. 

Telemarketing involves marketing goods or services directly over the phone. These could be done by outbound telemarketers or through automated telephone messages, the former being more effective. 

There are telemarketing services in Singapore that can pitch your products or broadcast your marketing campaigns. Outsourcing the work is a more economical option than hiring a full-time in-house team.

Scaling Stage

30. Invest in technology

There’s no doubt that technology has made our lives easier through automation. When it comes to your business, look at your goals to assess what areas you want to automate:

  • Customer relationship management system (CRM). CRM software works by managing, tracking, and organising relationships between businesses and customers. Instead of keeping countless spreadsheet files, you can retrieve all sorts of data, including user behaviour, lead scoring, purchase records, and even sales call notes.


  • Endpoint Security Solutions. As your company grows, so does the number of cyber threats. Managing security with commercial antivirus software will no longer cut it. You need endpoint protection to protect your organisation from malware and malicious applications.

    You will also need endpoint backup solutions to safeguard your company files and prevent any data loss.


  • Online Data Storage. Data is incredibly important for businesses. But keeping it on a single device can be risky and inefficient.

    To easily access data on the go, look for reliable online cloud storage. Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive are just some of the best online cloud storage options out there.


  • Project Management Tools. Whether you’re working alone or with a small team, investing in good project management software keeps your workflow more organised and efficient.


  • Business Communication Tools.   Communication is essential for growing businesses. From conducting conversations between teams to even onboarding new members, you will need to set and use a channel for all your internal communication needs.

    Some popular online communication tools for businesses include Discord, Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspace.

    When in-person communication is not possible, video conferencing apps also come in handy. Platforms like Google Meet and Zoom are just some of the ways to collaborate remotely with teams and clients.

Aside from software, you should consider investing in reliable internet service providers, network security, and hardware assets such as servers, computers, and other kinds of equipment or accessories that your business might benefit from.

31. Evaluate and plan

So you’ve grown your business, developed a steady customer base, built your team… Now what

Well, the only way now is up. Examine your company’s current situation and plan what you can do to increase sales. Assess your financial and sales forecast to see what business investments you want to venture towards next. 

Perhaps at this stage, you’re looking to integrate new features on your company website or ramp up your lead generation strategy. To do this, you might need to grow your team of developers or outsource the work to web development agencies or UX design companies to optimise website conversions.

Whatever your plans are, make them aligned with your company’s goals, budget, and market demand.

32. Continue to learn, adapt and ideate

It started with your great ideation skills. 

And now, it’s up to you to utilise those same skills to take your business a step further. Think about the last time you focused on innovation. What were the challenges you faced? How did you overcome them? If you refuse growth for your business, you will eventually get left behind by the competition. Take the time to study your market, see opportunities and ideate. 

You don’t have to do this stage alone. Get input from your team, your partners, and your customers.

Setup your business for success

There’s no magic formula to launching a successful business. You will have to make tough choices while encountering challenges along the way. But with the resources and insights listed above and a growth mindset, you should have what you need to steer your business towards success!

Share This Post