Starting your own business has humble beginnings. It all starts out with an idea. That idea can originate from noticing a problem in your local area and wanting to provide a solution for it. It can also be that you have a talent in fashion design and want to share your creations with the world… the point is, having an idea is what happens first. Once you have your idea, the key is to build on your idea and stay motivated in the process.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) states that there are over 28 million small businesses in the U.S.; to break that down even better, that’s 99.7% of businesses in the U.S. Now, those statistics are great but the reality is that not every business is set up for success. Being a business owner is hard work and it truly takes a strong and motivated individual to take on the task. You may even want to ask yourself questions like:
- Why do I want to start my own business?
- What skills do I have?
- Will this be a full-time venture or a part-time venture?
- What am I selling? A service or product?
- Will I have staff?
- How much money do I have to put on the line?
Your responses to these questions will help you to narrow down your focus. Asking yourself these questions are not meant to discourage you from starting your own business; it’s meant to give you a realistic approach to it and also to get you really thinking and planning. The SBA also stated that ⅔ of businesses with employees survive for two years and half of that only make it up to year five.
In order to set your business up for success, it starts at the beginning so make sure you follow the steps necessary. Here are the steps to starting a successful business from the ground up.
Step 1: Make sure you do your research
At this point, you already have your business idea, now you just have to do some research on your potential for success. You definitely have to be realistic with yourself; does your business idea fulfill a need, solve some kind of problem, or offer something valuable to potential consumers?
There are ways to figure this out without even starting your business yet. You can start focus groups, conduct surveys, and even trial and error techniques. The whole point is to do your research to see where your business can fit in your niche market.
Step 2: Create an actionable business plan
The next step is to turn your idea into reality. The way you do that is to create a well-written business plan. Your business plan is the guide to taking your business from the start-up phase all the way up to the physical establishment of your business.
With a business plan, you need to also take into consideration that there are different types of business plans. If your business will require you to seek financial support, then you will need to create a traditional business plan. The investors and banks you turn to will take a thorough look at your business plan to determine whether or not they believe in your idea enough to invest in it.
If you’re not going to need financial backing, then a one-page business plan will work; it’ll clearly layout your plans and the actions you need to take to put your plans in motion.
Step 3: Plan out your finances
In theory, people tend to think that starting your own business has to be considerably expensive but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. You just need to put together a spreadsheet of the up-front costs necessary: permits, licenses, insurance, and legal fees. Once you’ve created that list, then you need to start a list of what you will need to keep your business running for at least 12 months out, including rent, utilities, outsourcing transportation expenses, and employee salaries.
Step 4: Choose a business entity and get it registered
The business entity you choose will have a direct impact on your business name, taxes, and your liability. The business entities you can choose from include, a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), sole proprietorship, and a partnership.
Your business name actually plays a major role in all aspects of your business so pick a good one. Once you’ve picked out a name, you need to check it to make sure no one else has used it, and then register it.
Step 5: Get the ball rolling
Those were the important initial considerations to factor in; there are, of course, a lot more things that you would need to establish to complete the start-up process like setting up an accounting system, finding an actual location for your business, and promoting your business but you must first get the initials complete first. If you follow these first steps to getting your business started from the ground up, you’ll be laying the foundation to a very successful business.