Steps to take when starting a small business
Starting a small business can be both overwhelming and exciting, at the same time. Prospective small business owners may have a great idea, yet not know really where to begin. Here are some tips that will help you gel your ideas together, and formulate a plan to get your small business, up and running. Starting a small business will require determination, motivation, and know-how, and you have these, you are well on your way. Here are some steps to take when starting a small business-
- Carefully and methodically choose your business opportunity. It can be an overwhelming and immobilizing task, to choose what kind of business you want to start. This can be especially true when you are confronted with the multitude of opportunities. It's critical to determine where your passions lie, and to understand your personality type. Equally important is to clearly and honestly, understand what skills you bring to the table. Finally you need to know whether you are entering a dying industry, or a fast growing emerging business.
- Take the time to write a business plan-Despite all sorts of arguments to the contrary, a business plan allows you to gain a better understanding, of your industry structure, competitive landscape, and the capital requirements of starting a small business. Studies have shown that companies with a business plan, have 50% more profits and revenue, than non-planning businesses. Writing a business plan just makes good business sense.If you are unsure of how to start there is a wealth of resources on the internet, that can help you get started, and take you through the entire process of writing a business plan.
- Find your seed money-The harsh reality is that in order to start a business, you must invest in the business. Keep in mind that the journey of finding start up funds, will be different for each individual. This can vary widely from business to business, as some start ups such as consulting, require only a few thousand to get a website and business cards, where a retail store could need $100,000 or more.Keep in mind that finding the money you need, may come for a source you never thought of, or may just end up being the frugal bootstrap method.
- Name your business-This is an important step that is often overlooked by many small business owners. You should understand that right from the start that the right business name, will help distinguish you from a sea of bland competitors, provide your customers with a reason to hire you, and aid in the branding of your company.
- Choose the right business structure-Prospective small business owners need to understand that deciding on the structure of your business, is not a decision to be taken lightly. Whether you choose the popular LLC, a sole proprietorship or form a corporation; you need to understand that your choice will have an impact on your business liability, fund-ability as well as taxes due. You should consult both your attorney and tax consultant before making a final decision.
- Get all of the necessary business licenses and permits-Part of the mundane and necessary (and not so fun) work of starting a small business, is the paperwork. However, it is crucial that you get all of the correct licenses and permits that apply to your type of business and business structure. Failure to take the time to complete this step, could doom your business before it even begins.
- Find the right business location-With the above steps completed, you are now ready to get your business up and running. You need to locate where your company can be found. Whether you begin with a site on the internet, or need an actual physical location, choosing the right business location, lets your customer know where to find you, and allows you to start living your dream of running your own small business.