How to start a business? Guide in 13 steps

How to start a business? Guide in 13 steps

Starting a business is an exciting adventure that can be very profitable and also very fulfilling. But if you have a little money, sometimes it becomes a real challenge.

Therefore, today we want to explain how to start a business or create a company in Mexico even if you have little capital. 

And these tips will help you whether you’re starting a new business or an established retailer looking to take your business from physical to digital. 

How to start a business? Guide in 13 steps

✅ So that the budget is not a problem, in Shopify, you will find an ally not to have to worry about technical or code errors and to be able to focus on the only thing that interests you: growing your project!

Can I start my own business even without any money or budget?

Today you can start an online business with almost no budget. Almost.

It is not that we are going to do magic, but it is true that it has become so easy and cheap to start e-commerce that you can start any online company with a very low budget.

🌟 Especially with Shopify, which allows you, for very little money, to create an almost perfect online store! 🌟

The 13 Steps to Start a successful business or own company

These time-tested steps will help you start a business, whether your first or your 10th, with advice on all aspects.

From finding and validating your idea to make money, discovering your shipping strategy, and finally launching your product or service.

  1. Use the time you have available
  2. Identify a business idea
  3. Validate your business idea
  4. Find a business name
  5. make a business plan
  6. Understand business finances
  7. Develop your product or service
  8. Choose a business structure
  9. Research licensing and regulations
  10. Select your software systems
  11. Find a location for your business
  12. Plan workload and team size
  13. open your business
  14. Use the time you have available

No matter how ambitious your business goals are, you can still start a business in your spare time and fit it around your current life commitments.

Only some people can give up their full-time job to dedicate themselves to developing something of their own, whether creating an online store in Chile, doing it in Mexico, Spain or any other Spanish-speaking country…

But that doesn’t mean you can’t start.

For example, you might start a handmade products business on the side of a full-time job or start a blog that you later turn into a business.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, here are seven more ways to start a business without quitting your 9 to 5 job.

  1. Identify a business idea.

Finding a business idea is something you can approach systematically by relying on time-tested approaches that have worked for other entrepreneurs.

Here are 12 ways to identify a product you can sell, including strategies like:

  • Exploit your interests. What do you like to do in your free time? Are there products you can sell that relate to your hobbies or solve your common frustration?
  • Research existing products. Examine product reviews for common complaints about popular products, and see if you can identify gaps in the market.
  • Capitalize early on trends. If you notice that a particular product is popping up everywhere or have a great idea to help make the most of a popular product, you could spark great business ideas.

Remember, all you need is an idea to get started. Many successful businesses launched unique products and expanded into complementary products.

  1. Validate your business idea.

This may sound difficult, but it’s just a matter of testing whether customers are willing to pay for your product before you spend too much time and money on it. You must validate your idea no matter what type of business you are starting.

There are many ways to do this, some are simple, and some are more complex.

Here are some tactical examples that can help you figure out how to gauge market demand before you dig too deep.

  • Set up a store to take pre-orders.
  • Launch a crowdfunding campaign.
  • Create a beta version of your product or service to sell.

There are other ways to validate your product ideas, but start selling as quickly as possible when in doubt.

☝🏻 Learning from direct customer feedback and understanding how they are using your products is invaluable when running a small business.

Check out the case for PopSockets, a now ubiquitous way to confidently hold a smartphone in one hand.

Initially, David Barnett designed PopSockets to keep headphone cords from getting tangled.

When she saw the students in her class use their PopSockets to control their phones better, she realized the unplanned value her customers saw in the product.

That information helped PopSockets sell more than 35 million units.

8 Steps to turn your e-commerce into a Powerful and Recognized Brand

Here are the 8 keys you need to apply so you can go from having an ordinary online store to being a “love brand”.

Request the free guide

  1. Find a business name

Work to find a name for your business that makes it clear what you do is short, memorable, and not in use in your industry.

It is not an easy task, but it can be achieved with a little effort and imagination.

Name generators can help you develop a list of unique ideas, and there are also many proven best practices for choosing your business name that can help you build your list.

✅ In general, a good name has some characteristics:

  • Short and simple. Customers need to be able to quickly remember your name and the best way to do this is to avoid long names. One or two words are ideal, although three or four short words can also work if they create a memorable phrase.
  • If your market research shows that everyone in your industry seems to have similar names or is based on similar elements, you should avoid them to get a name that stands out.
  • In addition to avoiding similar names, you should ensure that no competitor uses the name you want for your business. To do this, do a free search for trademarks in the countries where you will be doing business, and also check Google and social media sites. (Same goes for URLs, so do a domain name search before registering anything.)
  • Even if someone hasn’t registered a trademark, many jurisdictions could legally challenge you to use a name they’ve been using to do business in the same industry. Consult independent legal counsel for advice specific to your situation if in doubt.
  1. Make a business plan.

Writing a business plan helps validate and formalize your idea and can streamline the business-building process by inviting you to sit down and think things through methodically.

A classic quote that applies especially to the business plan development process is: “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”

Many entrepreneurs say they rarely look at their plan once they’ve opened their business, but they’ll also tell you there’s value in thinking about and researching your idea as you develop your plan.

If this is your first time doing it, here’s a complete guide to writing a business plan and a business plan template to help you structure your thoughts.

When creating your plan, pay special attention to the competitive and SWOT analysis sections.

While nothing can replace validating your idea by confirming that people will pay for it, the research required to complete these sections can be further proof that you’re on the right track.

  1. Understand the finances of the business.

The shared goal of any business is to make money, so fully understanding cash flow is an integral part of running a business.

In this sense, you should understand some basic concepts to start and scale that knowledge as you grow.

You can start many businesses with just a small initial investment, but others will require money for inventory, equipment, or physical space.

Therefore, it is essential to have a clear vision of the total investment of your money before spending a penny since it will help you make important projections, such as when you will break even.

It is essential to have a clear vision of your total investment, before spending a penny.

If those calculations show that you need more funds than you can spend out-of-pocket, you may consider financing options such as a small business loan or a crowdfunding campaign.

Bookkeeping should be one of your main financial tasks when you are ready to start shopping for your business. Keeping accurate records of your income and expenses will help you monitor cash flow and smooth the transition to working with an accountant or accountant later.

To simplify the process, consider opening a bank account and having a credit card specific to your business. Keeping your personal and business finances separate makes it easier to prepare your business taxes and can help automate some steps.

✅ Resources:

  • Shopify Capital (only available to merchants in the United States). Help select merchants to get the necessary funds without lengthy bank approvals or giving up part of their business.
  • Profit First. A book designed to help ensure that your business is profitable, no matter your business type.
  • Tools for accounting. Apps that work directly with Shopify to streamline your accounting processes.
  1. Develop your product or service.

You’ve done the legwork and understand the finances; now it’s time to dig deeper into the product or service you’d like to offer.

To start a company that is well-focused on the product or service you are going to offer, you could take one of three general approaches:

  • Create your own product. Whether creating handcrafted items or looking for a manufacturer’s original product, developing your product to sell can help you stand out in the marketplace.
  • Customize an existing product. With print-on-demand options, you can add unique designs and ideas to products, including t-shirts, leggings, towels, backpacks, and more.
  • Curate a selection of products. Dropshipping is a way to restock your store without creating a new product, so you can start selling almost immediately without managing inventory.

As you develop your product, consider your total costs when calculating your prices. While pricing your product isn’t based solely on cost, and many factors influence your pricing strategy, it’s important to price your product profitably.

  1. Choose a business structure.

Your business structure influences key parts of your business, from taxes to operations to your personal liability.

Choosing the right structure for your business will help balance the legal and financial protections you need with the flexibility offered by the different options.

It is an important decision to consider carefully before launching your business.

Choosing the right structure to start your business will help balance the legal and financial protections you need with the flexibility offered by different options.

Options for setting up your company in Mexico

Physical Person with Business Activity or Legal Person (company)?

First, you must define: Do I want to work as a Physical Person with Business Activity, or do I want to establish my company?

Suppose you want to develop a part-time activity without partners and have another economic activity that is your support and main source of income. In that case, it may be convenient for you to register as a Natural Person with Business Activity. On the other hand, if you are going to have partners, your business will be your main source of income; you plan to have fixed assets, contract debt, and sell not only in the country, then it is convenient that you form an independent company.

A physical person with business

“If you carry out commercial, industrial, motor transport, agricultural, livestock, fishing or forestry activities, regardless of the amount of income you receive, you can enrol in this regime.

Some examples of business activity are mechanical workshops, restaurants, inns, cafeterias, economic kitchens, canteens, bars, grocery stores, schools, pharmacies, hardware stores, spare parts and artisans.

The Natural Person with Business Activity has the following tax and business characteristics:

  • You have less complicated tax obligations.
  • You do not have company constitution expenses, so the notary expenses are zero.
  • In primary sector activities (such as agriculture, livestock, beekeeping, aquaculture, fishing, mining, forestry and logging), there is a benefit of reducing the ISR (Income Tax).
  • There are no limitations to withdrawing the Profits.

Discover the 10 Best Online Business Ideas with which to start selling online today.

Are you clear that you want to sell online, but the idea that prompts you to launch into the online world has yet to come to you? Monetize your talent now with these 10 business ideas.

I want to get the guide for free.

Steps to register as a Physical Person with Business Activity in the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit

1.- Have your CURP (Unique Population Registry Code). If you don’t remember it or you don’t have it on hand

2.- Have your RFC (Federal Taxpayer Registry).

3.- Register with the Tax Administration Service ( SAT ). You can start the process online and complete it at any SAT office within ten days of sending your application.  

4.- We recommend you also register the trademark if you are a Natural Person with Business Activity since only you authorize its use in this way.

Moral person (company)

You must register your company if you carry out this venture with partners. 

In a company that you are going to register as a Moral Person, you have to define and accept the contributions of each one of the partners and define the line of business (what it is going to do and the scope it will have). In addition, it is necessary to have general data such as name, address, telephone number and address (physical and fiscal).

It also defines who will be the general administrator and when they will hold the board meeting. Preferably, you should already have the company domain and email addresses.

The company’s creation implies it will have a fiscal life independent from each partner. This means that what your company does, has or happens to is independent of you, fiscally speaking. If he files for bankruptcy, it doesn’t mean you don’t have money. If they sue her, it does not mean that you are sued. If you buy cars, it doesn’t mean they are your cars. Each one is different, has its own life and is legally independent. The company will be the owner, for example, of the brands used, assets and debts.

Tax requirements are different from those of Individuals with Business Activity.

The steps to create your company (Legal Entity) are:

1. Register the company’s name at the Ministry of Economy. 

You must provide 5 possible names (company name). The Secretariat will tell you which of them are free for your use. Once you register it, you can be sure that no one else in Mexico has the same name, and you can use it for the company’s operation. While they authorize the company’s name, find out if the domain is free and reserve it. The domain may be in use by another company; If so, we recommend that you look for alternatives with the same name but with a different ending. For example: if .com is already in use, search for .net or 

2. Create the Constitutive Act. 

This procedure must be done with a Public Broker or a Public Notary. In it, the corporate name (previously reviewed with the Ministry of Economy), the company’s corporate purpose, the type of company, duration, control and administration of the same, among others, will be registered.

3. Register the company in the Tax Administration Service (SAT). This procedure is basic. They will give you the RFC of the company, and it will have fiscal life to produce invoices, open bank accounts, pay taxes and hire services.

4. Register the company in the Public Registry of Property. The Broker or the Public Notary can also help you with this procedure.

5. Register your company’s brand, trade name and logo. 

We share this guide to register your trademark in Mexico easily and quickly! 

Beyond the legal issue, when it comes to choosing a structure, there are some human and operational factors that you must take into account.

  • Where is your business located? The laws in your country describe the different business structures you can form and whether or not you need a business license to get started.
  • What type of business do you have? Some structures are more suitable for businesses of a certain scale or within particular industries. There may come a time when you need to restructure your business to work with new partners. It is not uncommon for large companies to ask their suppliers or partners to have partnerships formed, for example.
  • How many people are involved? If you are going solo as a solo founder, you may be able to consider optimized options. If you have a business partner or multiple people with ownership in the company, you’ll need to look into more advanced options to ensure everything is set up and shared correctly.

An accountant or attorney can be helpful in evaluating the different options available in your area and in helping you with the process of setting up your business.

  1. Research licensing and regulations

Nobody wants to have legal problems. Remember that your business is subject to the laws that govern business in your area and the laws and regulations specific to your industry.

For example, a food service company needs to adhere to specific licenses and regulations to handle the products it sells. Still, it must also pay attention to the legality of its marketing efforts and trademark and copyright laws, among others.

Invest time and money to obtain timely legal advice from a lawyer, who will be able to guide you according to the specifics of your business, such as industry and geographic location, before starting, so that you avoid headaches in the future.

  1. Select your software systems.

One of the best ways to reduce the struggle of running a business and set yourself up for future success is to choose software that helps you automate or streamline your tasks.

Often when you choose the right software systems, you can set them up once and run them efficiently with little effort. Consider looking for software to help you manage the following tasks:

  • Accounting software: With multiple options to help you keep track of everything from a meal with your business partner to a large inventory order, accounting software is one of the best ways to start your business off on the right foot.
  • Email marketing:  A good email marketing tool will help you keep in touch with your current (and future) customers and make sure you can send the right messages to the right people at the right time.
  • Marketing software: Paying for ads is often an inherent cost of running a business, especially for an online business, but there is a marketing software that can help streamline the process and get the most out of your advertising budget, no matter how much you have to spend.
  • Project management. Even if you’re the sole owner, having a place to plan your work and track important tasks can help you stay on schedule. Tools like Trello and Asana can be of great help.
  • Website or online store. Choose a platform that allows you to easily manage all the critical tasks involved in running your business. Look for a theme according to the product lines that allow you to take and manage orders easily. Here is a complete store launch checklist to give you an idea of ​​what you need to do.

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  1. Find a location for your business.

Your business plan will help guide what type of space you need.

If you sell print-on-demand t-shirts, you may need to find a place in your home to create a small workspace, desk, and laptop. On the other hand, if your business requires physical retail space, you will need to find a place to rent.

To help narrow down what you need from your business location, consider asking yourself these questions:

  • How much space will I need for inventory? If you agree to receive thousands of items at once, you may need help to fit them in your living room.
  • Will I offer retail sales in person? While selling at home may be an option for your first few orders, if in-person selling is an important channel, you’ll need a comfortable and easily accessible space for customers to visit.
  • How do I pack and ship orders from my location? Depending on the size of your shipping operations, you may need more space than you have available in a home office.

You may also be interested in reading: 8 inventory management techniques.

You can run your business from a space you already have available, especially if you don’t plan on selling in person. If that’s the case, here are some home office design ideas to help you create an effective workspace while your business takes off.

  1. Plan your workload and team size.

How much work will you do, and what skills will it take to launch your business? You will need to answer these fundamental questions, as they will guide the timeline and investment for the launch.

If you plan to do all the work yourself, you’ll be limited in the time you have available; If you plan to hire help, you’ll need to account for those costs, as well as the time it takes to find and hire freelancers or employees.

Here’s an overview of the basic skills you’ll need to learn, learn about, or hire when you launch your business.


You have to make many design decisions when setting up your business, from designing a logo to choosing your brand colours. Tools are available to help you make initial decisions and steer you in the right direction.

  • You can use a logo maker like Hatchful or online image software like Canva to create your logo.
  • Get started with one of the many online tools to create a colour palette, or use Hatchful to choose colours for your brand.
  • Web-page design. Using a professional theme for your website allows you to get a site based on the best design practices.

If designing the store yourself is too far from your area of ​​expertise, you can find professional designers by asking for references from other business owners or finding a Shopify expert.


Quality photos are essential for your business, especially if you’re selling online, but you can still take photos of your products yourself. 

You can also use templates to simulate product designs, like t-shirts and t-shirt mockups. 

Free Guide: How to Take Product Photos Yourself

Learn how to take beautiful product photos for free and on a tight budget with our comprehensive video guide.

Request the free guide.


Marketing is an integral part of your business that requires practising a set of skills. In this regard, start by determining which marketing activities will most impact your new business, and use your plans to list the skills you’ll need to execute them. For example, running paid ads requires different skills than taking lifestyle photos to build you following on Instagram.

Research and understand some of the most common promotional tactics used in your industry, and make sure you have the skills to implement them.

  • Digital Marketing Manual for Entrepreneurs.
  • How to use Instagram Stories for marketing (and why you should).
  • How to spend your first $100 on Google Adwords.


Once you receive an order, how will the products get from point A to point B? Make sure you have a shipping strategy that covers key details like:

  • Will you offer free or discounted shipping to your customers or pass the exact cost on to them? This decision affects many parts of your business, so crunching the numbers and weighing the options is important.
  • Lighter packaging often means lower shipping costs, but you must balance weight and protection. Cardboard, although heavy, protects many products better than a polyethene envelope.
  • Will you be shipping internationally, domestically, or just locally? The answer will depend on your products and goals and may change as your business grows and becomes an international ecommerce.

Whatever your shipping strategy, Shopify Shipping (only available to US and Canadian merchants) is here to help with negotiated rates with USPS, UPS, and DHL in the US and Canada Post in Canada.

For more information on the preparation and shipment of merchandise, do not miss our free guide:

Free guide: Preparation and shipment of merchandise

From deciding how much to charge your customers to understanding insurance and shipping tracking, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process.

Get the free guide now.

Hire help for your business.

If you need more time or the ability to do everything you need for your business, seek help. You can find a virtual assistant for ongoing and routine tasks or work with an expert for more complex projects, like creating your website or marketing plan.

Manage your workload

Once you understand the tasks that need to be done and who will carry them out, it’s time to add a bit of project management to make your life easier.

Consider using a time management tool like Trello or Asana to write, assign, and track tasks. These tools are especially useful for keeping your team on schedule, but consider the value of the structure they bring to you.

  1. Open your business

You are ready to take the last step in starting a business: the launch. The preparation you’ve already done has laid a solid foundation to support your launch, so you can focus on marketing activities and make your first sale.

However, a plan of attack, especially when trying to build traction, can help make your pitch even more successful.

While each launch is unique, a few elements can jumpstart any business’s first few days of sales.

  • Take advantage of your network. Promote your store primarily on available free channels, including your social networks and contact list. Sending one-on-one emails asking for support and sharing content on social media can go a long way in gaining traction.
  • Consider offering discounts. Rewarding early customers with a discount code that matches your profit margins can help you gain traction early on, especially when your store is new and has few customer reviews or social proof points.
  • Try paid ads. Even if you start with a small budget, paid ads can be one of the most effective ways to get yourself in front of your ideal audience. Testing early and learning from your results can help you drive your first sales and optimize your ad performance as you scale.

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