Easy Steps to Set Up Small Business.
There are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States, making up a whopping 99.7% of all U.S. businesses, according to the Small Business Administration. But not every small business is positioned for success. The stage is often set in the beginning, so making sure you follow all of the necessary steps when starting your business can set the foundation for success.
Here are some steps that are required to start a business successfully. Take one step at a time, and you’ll be on your way to successful small business ownership.
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. Paperwork is a part of the process when you start your own business. You will need to research what licenses and permits apply to your business during the start-up process.
Does your idea have the potential to succeed? In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfil a need or offer something the market wants. Most likely you have already identified a business idea, so now it’s time to balance it with a little reality. You will need to run your business idea through a validation process before you go any further.
There are a number of 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:
- What is the competition like?
- How will your business fit into the market?
- Is there a need for your anticipated products/services?
- Are there other companies offering similar products/services now?
- Who needs it?
Put together a spreadsheet that estimates the one-time startup costs for your business (legal fees, insurance, branding, inventory, trademarking, licenses and permits, equipment, market research, grand opening events, property leases, etc.). Also anticipate you will need to keep your business running for at least 12 months (supplies, travel expenses, employee salaries, utilities, marketing and advertising, rent, production, your own salary, etc.).Starting a small business doesn’t have to 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.
Now that you have a rough number in mind, there are a number of ways you can fund your small business, including:
- Small business loans
- Angel investors
- Small business grants
You can also attempt to get your business off the ground by bootstrapping, using as little capital as necessary to start your business. You may find that a combination of the paths listed above work best. The goal here, though, is to work through the options and create a plan for setting up the capital you need to get your business off the ground.
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. 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. You can set up your accounting system yourself, or hire an accountant to take away some of the guesswork.
Once you have completed these business start-up activities, you will have all of the most important bases covered. Once your business is up and running, you need to start 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, explore as many small business marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business most effectively.
Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight. But use the plan you’ve created to consistently work on your business, and you will increase your chances of success.
When you’re finished, you’ll probably have a lot of ideas for your business for 2018 and years to come. The beginning of the year is a great time to set up a meeting with important clients and suppliers to talk about how to continue this mutually beneficial business relationship. Don’t wait to get started on this! Our volunteer mentors work all year round, including around the holidays, to support small businesses.
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