Starting a business is not an easy task. Just an idea of starting a business is not enough. You need to get many things done for your dream. Naming the business and creating a logo might be important as a starting point. But there are other steps that are equally or more important.
Do not just wander around thinking of starting a business. Follow these 10 steps checklist and turn your dream into reality.
- DETERMINE YOUR BUSINESS
- SET UP THE BUSINESS PLAN
- ESTIMATE YOUR FINANCES
- FIGURE OUT THE LEGAL BUSINESS STRUCTURE
- REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS AND GET THE EIN
- PURCHASE AN INSURANCE
- RECRUIT EMPLOYEES
- PARTNER UP WITH VENDORS
- PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS
- MAKE YOUR BUSINESS GROW
1.DETERMINE YOUR BUSINESS
There are things you need to consider when starting a business. First, you should have a clear idea about what are you going to sell. And secondly you need to determine the market you need to enter. Do research on businesses that are already in the industry. You should study how they work and figure out how you can do better.
If you feel that you can offer something they do not have or you can do better, you are good to go.
Opening a franchise of a well-established company may be a good option. The concept, brand and the business model are already there. So, you only need a fund to start the business and a good location.
You must be passionate about your business idea. Because if not, you can lose interest and fail. And, you need to determine whether there is a good market for your product.
2. BUSINESS PLAN FOR STARTING A BUSINESS
There are some things you must make sure for when starting a business.
- Purpose of your business
- Target customers
- End goals
- How to finance the startup cost
Only if you have settled down these things can you start the business. Rushing into the work without any thought about them will make you fail.
You must be prepared for any challenge that will come into your way. So that’s why you should have a business plan that can help you survive from any situation.
3.ESTIMATE YOUR FINANCES
It can be seen many startup businesses fail because they run out of the startup capital. It may take a while for your business to make a profit. So, it would come out better if you overestimate the startup cost.
You should clearly figure out how you are going to get the startup money. Whether you are going to borrow money, or do you have enough funds to support yourself must be considered.
You must only spend money for the essential thing when at the beginning. Once you start to have a sustainable revenue, you can go for luxuries and grow your business.
You can have an investor or launch and crowdfunding campaign for the startup capital. There are many platforms established for crowdfunding. Many businesses have gotten the help through them to raise the startup funds in recent years.
4. FIGURE OUT THE LEGAL BUSINESS STRUCTURE
Your legal business structure might affect for everything like taxes so as the personal liability. So, before you register your business, you should consider the legal business structure for your company.
You need to decide whether you are going to separate the corporation liability from your personal liability or not. If you own the business entirely by yourself, you can register for a sole proprietorship. In this, you are responsible for all debts and obligations which may directly affect your personal credit.
If you have partnered up with someone you would be sharing the responsibilities. Additionally, it is a good idea to add someone, when it comes to business ownership.
If you separate the corporation liability from your personal liability, it becomes a separate entity from its owners. It can own property, assume liability, pay taxes, enter into contracts and sue or be sued like any other individual.
LLC, or Limited Liability Corporation is the most common structure for small businesses. This is a hybrid structure that allows tax benefits of a partnership while providing legal protection of a corporation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_liability_company
You can have the consultation of a legal advisor. But in the end, it’s your own responsibility to determine the best entity for your business.
5. REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS AND GET THE EIN
In order to get recognized as an official business entity, you need to register with the government and get the ‘articles of incorporation’ document. It consists of the business name, business purpose, corporate structure, stock details and some other information of your company.
After that, you need to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) provided by IRS. It is not essential for a sole proprietorship. But you may hire someone else in the future and you need to keep your personal and business taxes separate. So, it is better if you have applied for one in advance.
There is a checklist provided by the IRS to determine whether you need an EIN. So, if you are required to have one, you can register online for free.
You are required to fill some forms that determined according to your business structure, in order to fulfill your federal and state income tax obligations. Some businesses may need permission and licenses to operate. You can find details and requirements online.
6. PURCHASE AN INSURANCE
In order to face any potential difficulty like property damage, theft or customer lawsuit, you will need to have an insurance. At least you must purchase workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. It is advised for a small business, to purchase a GL (General Liability) insurance or a business owner’s policy. GL insurance covers property damage, injury to yourself or a third party.
If your business is for providing a service, you need to have professional liability insurance. It covers the damage that can be done due to a mistake or your negligence.
7. RECRUIT EMPLOYEES
The most important thing when starting a business is to have a good team. The business is built with their effort. Determining your founding team is very critical. You need to identify their abilities and what you need them to do according to the company requirements.
Assigning their roles and responsibilities must be done wisely. Monitoring them and giving feedback on how to work together as a team is necessary.
8. GET THE ASSISTANCE OF A THIRD PARTY
When starting a business, you need the assistance of a third party. That means the vendors you need to operate your business. From HR to business phone system, there are many companies for you get help from. Because, those vendors get access to the vital and sensitive business information, you must be careful on who to be partnered with.
9. PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS
Attracting followers when you are starting a business is one hard task. First you need to create a logo which is unique and can be identified easily. Spread the news of your new business through social media. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media
You can try offering discounts or coupons for promotional purposes.
Make these digital advertising content interesting and up to date. However, it is important to have a detailed marketing plan. When creating a customer base, it is important to get the word around about the business. So that’s why you should focus on the product quality and customer service. In a business, customer advocacy must be considered as a top priority.
10. MAKE YOUR BUSINESS GROW
Launching and first sales in only the starting point of a long way. You need to make profit out of your business. It may take a while and much more effort. But you will get something in return for what you give for your business.
In order to grow your business, you can collaborate with well-established companies. You may try exchanging free products for promotions and partner up with charity programs to make your business name known.
In this industry, you must be well prepared to face any challenge. There is not a perfect plan. But these tips will help you to make your business grow.