Many people secretly dream of being their boss and building their own business. However, bureaucratic hurdles, formalities, or financing questions should not prevent prospective entrepreneurs from realizing their dream. After all, there are numerous offers of help that will make your way to setting up a business easier.
We clarify the ten most important questions for start-ups and present helpful contact points and tools.
Ten questions that we often hear from founders and that we answer for you
- Do I have the entrepreneurial gene in me?
- How do I find the right idea for my start-up?
- Is my business idea good?
- Keyword bureaucracy: what do I have to consider when setting up a company?
- Can I also set up a part-time business?
- Where do I get money for my company from?
- Do I need a business plan?
- How do I write a business plan?
- Who will help me further?
- Do I have to be an accounting expert?
Question 1: The entrepreneurial gene: Am I suitable as a start-up?
In the newspapers and news portals, you repeatedly read about (world) famous entrepreneurs of our time, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos from Amazon, and the success stories of many start-ups that make a name for themselves with millions in funding. Often not the focus is on all the hundreds of thousands of start-ups who take the plunge into self-employment in Germany every year.
Most of these start-ups are not about growing into a large company within a few years. Instead, the focus is on the desire to implement a particular idea, build up one’s existence (hence the word start-up), and achieve individual independence. Precisely for this reason, it is also a fact that very few people are born entrepreneurs. Fundamental characteristics such as passion, perseverance, tenacity, and the willingness to learn new things are critical for success as a business start-up. And even if you are starting from a difficult situation like unemployment, you can do it.
Deal with the challenges you face as a start-up at an early stage. Make yourself aware of your strengths and weaknesses and thereby recognize the opportunities and risks waiting for you.
- Our start-up test can help you determine whether you already have the essential requirements for a successful start-up and still problems. For this purpose, we ask you 30 questions that relate to your knowledge and skills, as well as your environmental factors. Take 10 minutes, and the start-up test will provide you with a detailed evaluation and numerous tips: the free start-up test for start-ups.
Question 2: How do I find one of my business ideas?
If you already have a business idea, you can jump straight to question 3. If the right business idea has not yet occurred to you, your plan to start a business should not fail. There are several ways to find an idea:
- # 1 Collect inspiration: Here you will find 400+ business ideas
- # 2 Founding a business without your idea thanks to franchises
- # 3 Become a business start-up as part of a succession
# 1 find inspiration for your business idea
If you are still missing the right business idea that you want to implement as a start-up, it will always be worth collecting inspiration. We have put together over 400 profitable business ideas for you from various industries and on multiple topics. You can also inspire new ideas from America that do not yet exist in Germany or crazy business ideas. There are new business ideas every Monday in our GründerDaily.
Creativity techniques such as professional brainstorming can also help in the search for the right business idea. But even without a brilliant idea of your own, you don’t have to give up your dream of becoming a successful start-up, as the following two options show.
# 2 Starting with a franchise
Instead of having your business idea, you can take over an existing business model via franchise as a start-up. The main advantage here is that you already know that the business idea is working and that you will receive a lot of support from the franchise system – marketing, management, or suppliers. For this, you pay a monthly fee to the franchisor. Incidentally, franchising is particularly suitable for career changers. Find out exactly how franchising works at Für-Gründer.de. In our franchise exchange, you will also find numerous exciting franchisors looking for new franchisees.
# 3 Take over an established company
Last but not least, there is the possibility of starting a business succession as a start-up. In other words: You are taking over an existing company. However, this is undoubtedly the most complex variant on your way to starting a business. The contract negotiations are often very tough. However, once the process has been completed, you don’t start from scratch as a start-up but with an already established company.
Question 3: Is my business idea good?
In the very first step, of course, the most important thing is that you are convinced of your idea. A question that every business start-up has to ask is then quickly whether their business idea is also economically viable. In the end, it’s all about convincing potential customers, business partners, and possibly even investors.
Therefore, it is also vital that you test your idea repeatedly in small groups. Family, friends, or acquaintances who try the product and give you honest feedback can help. You should always take in the input and not necessarily stick to your idea if it doesn’t show that. New information takes your product further – because there is one person who has to be convinced: the customer. After initial small market research, a Business Model Canvas can help you describe and analyze your business idea more concretely.
In the Business Model Canvas, you describe and analyze your business idea in more concrete terms using nine areas that are relevant for every successful company. In addition to the actual product or service, the rooms also include the associated activities (e.g., material procurement and production) and resources, target group, customer relationships, marketing, and cooperations. Expenditure and income are also compared with one another. After creating the Business Model Canvas, you can determine relatively quickly whether it is worthwhile to continue working on your concept.
- We have developed an online solution to quickly create a digital canvas using helpful examples and critical questions: do the business model check.
After the canvas comes the detailed business plan, with which you can also convince banks and investors … more on this in questions 7 and 8.
You can also put your business idea to the test in an ideas competition. We show who an ideas competition is suitable for, which competitions there are and how you can best take part in an ideas competition.
Question 4: What formalities have to be observed when setting up a business?
If you want to start a business as a start-up, you usually have to go through the following three steps about the bureaucratic requirements:
- Step 1: Check whether you need a permit for your project.
- Step 2: Think about which legal form is suitable for you as a start-up.
- Step 3: Register your company with the appropriate offices.
- Step 4: Familiarize yourself with the subject of data protection in the company.
While the approvals and legal forms are usually clarified more quickly, many start-ups often shy away from the many contact points that have to be approached for company registration. The following video gives you an overview of which administrative procedures are necessary for you as a start-up.
Step by step explained: the company registration.
Question 5: Can I also set up a business part-time?
The short answer is: yes, of course!
The long answer is a little more complicated. Numerous business ideas can be implemented as a part-time entrepreneur. However, it is advisable always to coordinate this with the employer. Also, specific basic rules must be observed about working hours and income. In general, you should also be aware that running your own company is usually more work than you think. It is generally worthwhile to be a full-time start-up in the long term to advance your company correctly.
Question 6: Where can I get money for my company?
For most start-ups, their savings, support from the family environment, and traditional promotional loans are among the most common sources of money. We have put together numerous information and contact points for you on all aspects of debt capital and funding.
For (technology-oriented), banks are usually ruled out for start-up financing. Those who do not want or can not rely on bootstrapping then have the option of approaching business angels or venture capital providers.
Regardless of which way of financing you choose, it is always advisable for start-ups to prepare and plan carefully for the respective project. The main element is the business plan, including a plausible financial scenario.
Question 7: Do I need a business plan?
Today, many founders swear by the Business Model Canvas (see question 3) or rely entirely on the motto: Try it out. Nothing contradicts this in theory. However, practice shows that optimal planning can prevent premature failure for business start-ups. A lack of planning is one of the most common reasons entrepreneurs have to give up on their venture. A business plan checks your business idea’s economic potential and, at the same time, defines the essential operational measures for the period after it is founded. If you still have doubts about the need for a business plan, here are ten reasons: for the business plan, which every start-up should heed.
Question 8: How do I write a business plan?
A business plan consists of different chapters, such as idea & target group, market & competition, goals, strategy, marketing, or finance. In this infographic, you can see at a glance which chapters belong to a business plan for start-ups. You can use a Word document or a business plan template for the business plan itself.
Our tip, however, is to use our business plan software, with which entrepreneurs can write a business plan online free of charge, quickly and using helpful examples and critical questions.
Question 9: Where can I find help for business start-ups?
Tips, offers, and tools for business start-ups are a dime a dozen. But which ones are perfect? So that you don’t lose track of things, we have put together the best for you.
Question 10: Not an expert in tax and accounting – what to do?
Many start-ups shy away from taxes and accounting. However, accounting in a company doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. Our tip for start-ups is not to do the accounting themselves, but either to work directly with a tax advisor or to use accounting software. This saves you time and reduces the susceptibility to errors – so you avoid trouble with the tax office.