13 Important Steps to Starting a Business
As we all know, the definition of business is an occupation, profession, or trade – but it also means the purchase and products and services in an attempt to make a profit. When we think of business we think of a lot of different things, but there are steps to starting or creating business that you should know.
Step 1: Write a business plan.
Knowing what you’re going to do before you actually do it is a great thing to know. Instead of making decisions on the fly, have a general idea of what you’re going to do or want to do. Don’t consider your business plan a “business plan”. Think of it as a “to do list’ instead. A plan is generally a list of things that will go wrong. A to-do list is a list of things that are of high importance on your agenda that you need to do in order to get the ball rolling.
Step 2: Make sure you have the money and time.
You should know not to start a business if you do not have the time to start and maintain it. You don’t always have to have the money because you are able to get a loan but it takes more time, so right now it’s more important to worry about time you have to spend on your business. Most businesses choose to throw more money at problems rather than more time, resulting in unnecessary spending and profit losses.
Step 3: Ask for help or find business partner.
Make sure there is someone there supporting you through every step of starting your business. It’s easier to stay motivated and focused if you have someone that is going to admire the work that you do and say “good job” every now and then. The expression “two heads are better than one” is used a lot. In some cases, this isn’t always true. For example… making your business appealing to you will also make your business appealing to others. Small companies have a benefit over larger companies, in that larger companies use a board of directors or multiple people that make decisions. When more people are involved, businesses are less flexible. Don’t let your size bother you, because in all actuality, being small is an advantage. Without a little social interaction in our lives, things tend to be boring. You may also decide to have a business partner, but make sure that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to business goals and where the business should be headed. Two heads aren’t always better. One is much more efficient if you’re motivated, have a clear mind, and produce work or goods that only you would consider buying. If you wouldn’t like it, why would you expect someone else to?
Step 4: Determine the legal structure for your business.
When starting a business you must make sure you are qualified for starting and maintaining the business. There are things such as taxes and permits you will need to obtain. Understand local licensing requirements can and will vary depending on the state that your business is in.
Step 5: Find location.
If you want to start a local business then you must choose a good location. When choosing a good location you need to know where people like to go and where you can be seen in the open. On the other hand, which is going to be more cost efficient? Do you absolutely have to have a showroom? Can you share office space with another company? Maybe, perhaps, you can even do your work from home and cut out the expense of having an additional bill altogether.
Step 6: Register business name.
Your business’ legal name is required on all government forms and applications. It is different in each state. To find out how to register for one in your state go to this website http://www.sba.gov/content/register-your-fictitious-or-doing-business-dba-name/
Step 7: Get a tax identification number.
This can be obtained from the IRS. (Phone: 1-800-829-4933). You are responsible for any and all income that you make through your business when it comes tax time.
Step 8: Register for state and local taxes, business license, and permits.
As you probably already know tax laws are different for each state, but in most states you are required to obtain a tax permit. Business licenses differ in every state, but more information can be obtained from your local courthouse.
Step 9: Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.
To hire employees you need to obtain an employment identification number. You can do this through the IRS.
Step 10: Start your business.
Once you’ve done the appropriate steps to becoming a legal business, it’s time to start getting the rocket off of the launch pad. Do everything that needs to be done. This may be including renting office space, having business cards created, or networking with people who can help you. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a lot of people as soon as your business starts. Don’t hire until you absolutely have to. This is a common mistake that a lot of businesses make. Hiring a lot of people can not only drain your money supply quickly, but it can also be unnecessary.
Step 12: Advertise!
As you can see above the steps are not that easy and it takes time, so make sure you have it before you start your business. The last step you saw was the step to advertise. Advertising is a great thing when starting a business because you can get more business and become more popular, but don’t make the mistake of investing too much money in advertising and being too far in debt that you can’t get out. Make sure that you take baby steps in achieving your goals. Larger decisions lead to larger consequences, where smaller steps generally lead to smaller consequences. It is easier to get and find more business by advertising, but make sure you are prepared to handle the workload that this creates. Advertising is also good for finding employees and hiring. Now you should understand the basic steps for starting a business.
Step 13: Don’t rush it! Don’t forget the details!
If you were paying attention to the step numbers, you would see that step number 11 was left out. This isn’t because we don’t know how to count, it is because our last and final step is about paying attention to details. Starting a business is not an easy task. Sure, with today’s technology we are given access to more resources and advertising, but business is still business. Make sure you pay attention to details, especially when first beginning your business. Small details now could mean a big deal down the road. Just make sure you have everything in order before taking the next step.