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Your Essential Guide to Starting a Small Business

Here’s to New Beginnings:

Your Essential Guide to Starting a Small Business


 

When you have a great business idea and strive to achieve financial independence, you might be thinking about launching a small business. Every huge corporation started with a small business, so why not?

While you can definitely achieve success in the business world, keeping your small business successful for at least 2 to 5 years is a huge work. This game is worth the candle, though. So, if you’re trying to start a small business, here’s your handy guide to help you out:

 

  1. Start your journey with research

Perhaps, you’ve already come up with a unique – or any – business idea, but is it going to bring you success? Does your business idea have many competitors? Before you take any step, do your own research.

Consider running your idea through a simple validation process that will help you to figure out the future of that idea. First of all, your business idea should offer something – be it a service or a product – that the modern market needs these days.

 

There are many ways to find out if a business idea will be successful, such as focus groups, deep research, and in most cases, trial and error. But before you go through trial and error ask yourself:

 

  • Does the market need your product/service?
  • Who are the people who will want to use your product/service?
  • What are the companies that offer similar or the same product/service?
  • Will you be able to compete with them?

It’s important to ask confidently without any fear or disappointment.

 

  1. Create a business plan

Any business idea requires a powerful business plan, which will become your guide during the process of establishment and business growth.

There are many types of business plans, so choose the one that will suit your idea.

 

If you’re looking for financial support from a financial institution or an investor, creating a basic business plan is essential. This business plan is usually thorough and long, and contains a set of sections that banks and investors check out when they’re validating a business idea.

In case, you’re not looking for any financial support and you’re going to invest in your startup yourself, it may be enough to create a simple and short business plan just to give you the initial steps you should take.

You can also come up with a working business plan on a piece of paper and change it as you start working on it.

 

  1. Consider your finances

Generally, a startup doesn’t need too many investments, yet you’ll need some money to cover a number of expenses during the first months or even a year before your business will earn a profit.

Calculate the one-time startup expenses like property leases, permits and licenses, legal fees, equipment, branding, insurance, inventory, market research, opening events, trademarking, etc.

Then, calculate how much money you will need to keep your startup running for a year (your own paycheck, employee paychecks, utilities, rent, advertising, marketing, travel expenses, supplies, etc.)

 

As soon as you find out an approximate amount of money, think about the ways to find them. You can either save money or borrow from family or friends. Many new entrepreneurs also apply for an SBA loan.

Filling out an SBA personal financial statement may be tricky, but here’s a guide to help you out.

 

  1. Select a business structure

Whether it is a limited liability company (LLC), a partnership, a sole proprietorship, or even a corporation, your next step is to select a business structure.

Your business structure will affect a lot of factors, including your liability, business name, and taxes. You can start with an initial business structure, and change it as your business thrives.

 

Your Essential Guide to Starting a Small Business

 

  1. Choose and register your business name

Choosing a name for your business is critical as it will play a great role in all aspects of your business. Discover your options and come up with a unique name. Check out if such a name is currently in use or trademarked.

business name

Once you choose the name, register it. A sole proprietor registers their name with either their county or state clerk. Limited partnerships, LLCs, or corporations register their names once the formation paperwork is done.

As soon as you choose your business name, register your domain name as well before it’s vacant.

 

  1. Receive permits and licenses

When launching a business, paperwork is important. There are many small business permits and licenses, which you may need, depending on your location and which business you’re going to launch. You might need to consult a lawyer.

 

  1. Pick your accounting system

The accounting system is one of the most critical systems for small businesses. It’s essential for creating and handling your budget, filing taxes, conducting business with partners, and setting the prices and rates.

If you can afford, it’s best to hire an accountant, albeit you can learn to run your accounting system yourself.

 

  1. Find a location for your business

Will you have a retail location, a private or shared office space, or a home office? Think about your business location, overall setup, and equipment. Think about whether you need to purchase or rent the space for your business.

 

  1. Build a team

Unless you are a solopreneur who runs the business alone, you’ll need a team to make your business grow and thrive. Consider outlining the positions and job responsibilities for each position.

Even if you’re not going to hire any employees, you might still hire freelancers to do some tasks.

team building

Think about all these things before launching your business. Depending on your type of business, sometimes it’s better to hire freelancers than employees.

However, when you have a lot of tasks to perform daily, you might end up spending more money on freelancers than on employees. So, give this step a thorough thought.

 

 

  1. Think about promotion

As soon as you launch your business, you’ll want people to know about it. Think about the ways you can promote your small business, attracting more new customers and clients.

You can start with social media platforms or place an ad in local newspapers.

 

When launching a small business – actually, any type of business, it’s important to remember that success never happens overnight. Even if you fail while taking a certain step, don’t be afraid to start all over again.

 

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