Step by Step Procedure for Starting a Business
In starting a business, you need to do a lot of things aside from choosing a name and registering with the local, state, and federal agencies.
You also need to acquire certain permits and licenses. Experts say you should use a step by step proven process to assist you in achieving success.
Read, discuss, and most importantly, take action while your ideas are hot. Here are the steps that will teach you how to begin a business. Don’t skip anything and just take these 12 steps one by one to build your startup in solid ground:
- Determine your business and personal goals so you can choose the right business idea for you. There are many kinds of businesses you can choose from – you can work from home, establish online presence, secure a franchise, distribute products, etc.
- Then, you must select an entity type ranging from sole proprietor to corporation.
- Understand corporate names, service marks, and trademarks before you select you own business name.
- Create a business plan and condense it in three to four sentences. This is not a motivational poster or mission statement. It describes why you want to start the business you chose and how you plan to grow it. This important information will keep you focused all the time.
- Shape up your finances. You need to know how much capital you’ll need to get the business started and keep it going. Nothing can be more discouraging than rolling out your business and finally make it worse just because you don’t have any more left to use in its growth or expansion.
- Find the funding. This is a very critical step since it would impact the kind of business you can start. There are many ways to find capital such as your savings, equity from your home, debt financing, grants, finding generous investors, or borrowing from family and friends. Think about your long term personal and business goals to determine the form of financing that’s right for you.
- Consult legal entities from the start. It’s highly recommended that you hire an attorney for this, yet even if you do, you should still learn about the licenses, permits, fees, regulations, and laws required to do the business in your state.
- Find great people. One of the factors for the rise and fall of a company comes down to its people. Great people can turn mediocre ideas into successful ones. And no matter how great an idea is, it would not reach heights with mediocre people. Therefore you must understand that investing your time and energy to develop people would be so much worth it compared to doing the business on your own.
- Establish a brand. This is also a very important asset you should cultivate. It’s a culmination of who you are and the impact you make on the market. Creating a brand is much more than picking a color, logo, or name – it’s an immediate, recognizable, and consistent mental imprint that delivers a compelling and clear message to your customers.
- Develop a workable marketing plan. Normally, this consists of brochures, marketing slicks, web site, or even mass mailing to your potential customers. Definitely, sales is a part of your marketing plan but that’s not all you need to know. Sales may pertain to closing the deal or getting the check but marketing is generating interest or building awareness about your service or product. Just make sure your results can be tracked after spending some time and money in these efforts.
- Purchase an affordable accounting package or find a popular accountant. If you keep your books clean right from the start, you will save thousands of dollars and hours of headaches down the road. Also, a payroll service is necessary to take care of a lot of administration work for you. This would usually cost below $200 if you have 10 employees or less. Take note that if you start a business without ensuring a good operational system, it could quickly hamper your growth in the future.
- Make it easy for your customers to transact with you. This means that you should not make them sign 20 pages of contract every time they get your product or service. Also make sure that you have a flowing supply of inventory to prevent a gap in operations.
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