Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business or being your own boss? Starting a business can seem like an impossible task. However, with some careful planning, important financial decisions, and a few steps to complete beforehand, you can make that dream a reality. Thanks to the Small Business Administration, you can kick off your own business in the next year with these 7 easy steps.
Perform Market Research
This is the difference between a business that may start out strong but fade, and a successful business with a steady customer base and little competition. Market research allows you to take your stellar idea and gather information on potential customers and the closest competition.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is an important but often overlooked part of starting a business. Think of it as a roadmap for how you will organize and run your business. Simon Sinek explained it best in a Ted Talk on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” He stated that instead of creating a business plan that focuses on the “what,” focus on the “why.” If you believe in what your business is doing, you will succeed.
Make the Right Financial Decisions
After you discover the “why” of your business, you will have to decide how it will be funded. Self-funding, taking out a business loan, finding investors, or even crowdfunding are a few ways to get the capital needed to take your business from an idea to a reality. Considering “what if” situations is also important. Speak with an insurance and wealth management professional about protecting your new business and yourself through thoughtful financial and estate planning strategies.
Choose a Good Location
The most important decision part of starting a business is deciding where you will conduct business. Take into consideration the taxes, legal requirements, and overhead a conventional brick-and-mortar store will entail. You may opt for an online store which comes with different expenses.
Have an Organized Business Structure
Besides the layout of your store, think about the layout of your management structure. How many employees will you have? Are you going to incorporate, or will you remain a sole proprietorship? Will there be partners? Are you going to guard against legal ramifications by creating a limited liability company (LLC)? Choosing the right business structure can have ramifications on taxes and liability.
Communicate with the Government
After naming your business, registering your new business with the federal and state government protects your name brand and keeps your business legal. Receiving an employer identification number (EIN) allows your business to act as a person and open a bank account, pay taxes, and register for licenses and permits.
Keep it Legal
Ensuring that you are following all of the federal, state, and local ordinances can be a full-time job. Hiring the right team of experts, such as tax accountants or attorneys, can save you money in the long run.