Easy Ways to Plan Small Business.
Research shows that only about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years, and about half survive five years. So, you may be in for a real challenge when you decide to take the plunge, ditch your day job, and become a business owner.
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.
If you intend to seek financial support from an investor or financial institution, a traditional business plan is a must. 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. You need a plan in order to make your business idea a reality. The good news is that there are different types of business plans for different types of businesses. 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. In fact, you can even create a working business plan on the back of a napkin, and improve it over time. Some kind of plan in writing is always better than nothing.
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. Your business name plays a role 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.
Make sure you think through all the potential implications as you explore your options and choose your business name. Don’t forget to register your domain name once you have selected your business name.
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.
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.
Once you have completed these business start-up activities, you will have all of the most important bases covered. 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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