Starting A Business

Starting A Business: A 10-Step Guide For Starters

There are a lot of reasons why others consider starting a business. Some of the most popular reasons to start a business include having a unique business idea, designing a career that has the flexibility to grow with you, working toward financial independence, and investing in yourself — it’s no wonder that small businesses are everywhere.

Not every small business is situated for success. So you may be in for a real challenge when you decide to take the dive, ditch your day job, and become a business owner.

Here are 10 steps that are required starting a business successfully:

Step 1: Do Your Research

You will need to run your business idea through an authentication process before you go any further.

There are several ways you can identify this need, including research, focus groups, and even trial and error. As you explore the market, some of the questions you should answer include:

  • Is there a need for your anticipated products/services?
  • Who needs it?
  • Are there other companies offering similar products/services now?
  • What is the competition like?
  • How will your business fit into the market?

Don’t forget to ask yourself some questions, too, about starting a business before you take the dive.

Step 2: Create a Plan

You need a plan in order to make your business idea a reality. A business plan is a blueprint that will guide your business from the start-up phase through establishment and eventually business growth, and it is a must-have for all new businesses.

If you intend to seek financial support from an investor or financial institution, a traditional business plan is a must. This type of business plan is generally long and thorough and has a common set of sections that investors and banks look for when they are validating your idea.

If you don’t anticipate seeking financial support, a simple one-page business plan can give you transparency about what you hope to achieve and how you plan to do it.

Step 3: Plan Your Finances

Starting a business doesn’t have to require a lot of money, but it will include some initial investment as well as the ability to cover ongoing expenses before you are turning a profit. Put together a spreadsheet that estimates the one-time startup costs for your business (licenses and permits, equipment, legal fees, insurance, branding, market research, etc.), as well as what you expect you will need to keep your business running for at least 12 months (rent, utilities, marketing and advertising, production, etc.).

Now that you have a rough number in mind, there are a number of ways you can fund your small business, including:

You can also try to get your business off the ground by bootstrapping, using as little capital as necessary to start your business. The goal here is to work through the options and create a plan for setting up the capital you need to get your business off the ground.

Step 4: Select a Business Structure

Your small business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The business entity you select will impact many factors from your business name, to your liability, to how you file your taxes.

You may choose a primary business structure, and then reevaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs change.

Depending on the complexity of your business, it may be worth investing in a consultation from an attorney or CPA to guarantee you are making the right structure choice for your business.

Step 5: Choose and Register Your Business Name

Your business name plays a part in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Once you have chosen a name for your business, you will need to check if it’s trademarked or currently in use. Then, you will need to register it.

A sole proprietor must register their business name with either their state or county clerk. Corporations, LLCs, or limited partnerships typically register their business name when the formation paperwork is filed.

Don’t forget to register your domain name once you have selected your business name.

Step 6: Get Licenses and Permits

There are a variety of small business licenses and permits that may apply to your state, depending on the type of business you are starting and where you are located. You will need to research what licenses and permits apply to your business during the start-up process.

Step 7: Select Your Accounting System

Small businesses run most effectively when there are systems in place. One of the most important systems for a small business is an accounting system.

Your accounting system is necessary in order to create and manage your budget, set your rates and prices, conduct business with others, and file your taxes. You can set up your accounting system yourself, or hire an accountant to take away some of the guesswork.

Step 8: Set Up Your Business Location

Setting up your place of business is important for the operation of your business.

You will need to think about your location, equipment, and overall setup, and make sure your business location works for the type of business you will be doing. You will also need to consider if it makes more sense to buy or lease your commercial space.

Step 9: Get Your Team Ready

If you will be hiring employees, make sure you take the time to outline the positions you need to fill, and the job responsibilities that are part of each position. The Small Business Administration has an excellent guide to hiring your first employee that is useful for new small business owners.

If you are not hiring employees, but instead outsourcing work to independent contractors, work with an attorney to get your independent contractor agreement in place and start your search.

Lastly, if you are a true solopreneur hitting the small business road alone, you may not need employees or contractors, but you will still need your own support team. This team serves as your go-to resource for advice, motivation and reassurance when the road gets rough.

Step 10: Promote Your Small Business

Once your business is up and running, you need to start attracting clients and customers. Start with the basics by writing a unique selling proposition (USP) and creating a marketing plan. Then, explore as many small business marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business most successfully.

Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight. But use the plan you’ve created to steadily work on your business, and you will escalate your chances of success.

Do you want to know more about starting a business? Chat with us now!

Author:

EternusGlobal