Basic steps to starting a small business

start up businessThese are the basic steps to starting a small business. Contrary to what many starting business owners believe, having a business plan isn’t the first or the most important step. Follow these action plans and you’ll be well on your way.

Good Business Ideas

This is supposed to be obvious but some starting entrepreneurs tend to forget that this is a crucial step. Some say follow your passion and money will come. Others believe in exploiting the hot niches even if you don’t like it. It’s all up to you. Take time to read this blog and you will discover so many great business ideas that you may like to pursue.

Of course, there are different options to enter the market – build your business from scratch or buy a franchise/existing business. Once you know what industry or product to sell, then the nitty gritty begins.

Research

This is where data gathering and analyzing happens to come up with a business plan. In essence, it is the thorough evaluation of your business idea – from financial projection, capital needed, opportunities, threats, business location, and marketing strategies. Most investors and bankers will base their YES/NO decision on the merits of your plan. More than anything, this exercise will allow you to fully determine if there’s any sense diving into your chosen market.

For those involved in online niche marketing like me, a business plan may not be formal. The important thing is you take time to know more about the market, identity target customers, know the competition and the risks involved.

Funding

This is the part where you raise the needed money to run a business. You can either use your own savings or borrow money from family/friends (not advisable), banks, government or venture capital firms (investors). Be open to negotiate for these groups will have of course vested interest in your business. Some want share of ownership while others want higher share to your profits. Weigh your options carefully and consult with a financial expert to help you get optimum deal for your small business.

Legal Issues

Starting a small business requires knowledge of business law. Issues like legal structure – single ownership, partnership, or corporation – is quite difficult to comprehend. Your chosen business structure determines the paperwork you have to process and the taxes you have to pay. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a definitive guide about the most popular business structures today.

Other legal requirements you need to complete – business name registration, business tax ID, business licenses and permits.

Let’s Get It On

Now that everything is settled, it’s time to act and implement all your plans and marketing strategies. Running day-to-day operations is a stressful job particularly in the launch stage. Have metrics to monitor your performance – it can be daily sales report, productivity output, monthly profit/loss, etc.

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