Watch this Starting A Business Video and learn the right steps on how to start a business.
Watch this Starting A Business Video and learn the right steps on how to start a business.
Take one step at a time, and you’ll be on your way to successful small business ownership.
For many new entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to figure out how to start a business and to know exactly what kind of business the best choice will be. Consequently, it’s tough to find that perfect idea. Not to mention, develop a business plan from scratch; develop a product that meets the market’s needs; create a Business Model to attract and win customers and learn where to network.
The reality is, in business, if you want to have the best chance of succeeding, rather than coming up with a great idea that nobody has come up with yet and hoping there is a market for it; instead find out what people are already buying and create a service or product that fills that existing need.
Choose your Business Name
For your formation you must be aware that your business name plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Ensure you think through all the potential implications as you explore your options and choose your business name. Once you have chosen a name for your business, you will need to determine 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.
Select Your Corporate Structure
Your corporate structure can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The business entity you choose will impact many factors from your business name, to your liability, to how you file your taxes. You may choose an initial business structure, and then reevaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs to change.
Incorporate Your Business Online
Once you have determined which corporate structure is best for you may be able to incorporate online. Moreover, incorporating online can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars. You should search online for your Secretary of State for information on where and how to file online.
It all about the numbers. Starting a business may not require a lot of money, but it will involve 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, inventory, trademarking, grand opening events, property leases, etc.), as well as what you anticipate you will need to keep your business running for at least 12 months (rent, utilities, marketing, and advertising, production, supplies, travel expenses, employee salaries, your salary, etc.).
Those numbers combined are the initial investment you will need.
Obtain Federal Employer Identification Number
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. You may apply for an EIN in various ways, and now you may apply here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online This is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service. You must check with your state to find out if you may need a state number or charter.
Open Company Bank Account
Shop around for the best deal. Also, some offer free checking and business checking cards.
Select an Online Payment Platform (As needed)
Open Online Payment Platforms
Obtain Licenses and Permits
There are a variety of small business licenses and permits that may apply to your situation, 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.
For More Information
Setup the Accounting and Record-Keeping 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 to create and manage your budget, set your rates and prices, conduct business with others, and file your taxes. Moreover, you can set up your accounting system yourself or hire an accountant to take away some of the guesswork.
Find a Mentor
Having a mentor can provide you with many advantages. “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” Source: John Crosby. A mentor can help to shorten your learning curve, open your mind to new ideas and possibilities, identify opportunities and advise on how to promote yourself.
To learn more
Discover your Competition
· Internet search research
· Contact Secretary of State
· Contact Library
· Local Chamber of Commerce
· Industry Association
Make A Business Plan
You need a plan to make your business idea a reality. Notably, 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 clarity about what you hope to achieve and how you plan to do it. You can even create a working business plan on the back of a napkin and improve it over time. Any kind of plan in writing is always better than nothing.
The Marketing Plan gives you a systematic approach to developing your marketing strategies. The Marketing plan includes; understanding your business, customers, and competition. Moreover, the Marketing Plan sets clear, realistic and measurable objectives, includes deadlines, provides a budget and allocates responsibilities. Above all, it provides you with direction to compete and keep customers. No business works if it’s not attracting clients and customers. You’ll want to start with the basics by writing a unique selling proposition (USP) and creating a marketing plan. Then promote your business effectively.
Develop Website & Marketing Materials
Today a business will not be considered legitimate if it does not have a quality website!
Here are some resources we have used to startup our websites and to get quality professional marketing materials like Logos; Business Cards; Brochures and Price Lists (etc.)
· Fiver https://www.fiverr.com/
· Freelancer https://www.freelancer.com/
Establish Business Relations;
· Chamber of Commerce
· Industry Organization or Association
Drafting an Employee Policy Manual
Perhaps the most important aspect of your employee policy manual is the introduction of new employees to your corporate culture and how they will fit in. This helps to foster a sense of pride and belonging, which studies show will help employees become more productive in a shorter period.
Drafting Employee Standard Operations Procedures
As a small business, following standardized operating procedures can save you time, allow you (and your team) to be more productive, eliminate a lot of errors, and improve compliance with industry guidelines.
Draft Customer Service Manual
A customer service manual serves as an invaluable tool for instructing your employees on how to best provide top-quality service to your clients or customers. Moreover, a comprehensive manual addresses common customer concerns and internal policies that cover how you want your employees to handle issues related to product returns, complaints and service issues.
Purchase Furniture, Appliances, and other Equipment
Setting up your place of business is important for the operation of your business, whether you will have a home office, a shared or private office space, or a retail location. 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 a commercial space.
If you will be hiring employees, now is the time to start the process. 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, now is the time to 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 support team. This team can be comprised of a mentor, small business coach, or even your family, and serves as your go-to resource for advice, motivation, and reassurance when the road gets bumpy.
The good news is that Right Step has developed products to assist you through this process.
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