6 Key Steps on How to Start a
Small Business

Any small business must start with an idea. But an idea alone is not enough. You must implement the idea for it to come to fruition. An idea implementation phase is where most entrepreneurs get overwhelmed. It’s natural to get a little bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of tasks required to put an idea into practice. But once you get the hang of it, the going gets easier. Just like realizing big goals, if you break a business idea into manageable tasks, you’ll be able to easily complete enough tasks necessary to get the business off the ground. This post highlights the simple steps required to start a small business:

Before you start a small business, make sure to craft the right business plan

When you’re starting a business, you don’t want to be burning money. Also, you don’t want to make things complicated. The mistake many fist-time entrepreneurs make is to want to craft a robust business plan initially. A one-page business plan will suffice if you’re just starting out. You should only try to make a robust business plan if you want funding for the expansion of your business. At the onset, just create a simple business plan that outlines your vision, mission, objectives, basic strategies and action plan. Creating an online business plan is easier today than ever, thanks to the proliferation of business plan software.

Business Plan
Finance your small business

Settle on a budget before you start a small business

While it’s highly recommended that you keep your small business costs low, it’s a pretty good idea to have a budget to control how you spend money. If you don’t rely on lenders to finance your small business, make your numbers realistic when making your budget. A budget can help you get by when things are not turning out the way you wanted.

File the legal paperwork before you start a small business

Any business needs legal documents to operate. These documents cost money. And the money varies depending on the state in which you live. Some legal documents that you’ll need include municipality licensing, business entity fee, state incorporation and more. Here, you’ll need to conduct meticulous research upfront to know the cost of the license required in the area you want to set up your small business. It’s a good idea to always start with sole proprietorship business model, as it involves fewer upfront costs and less paperwork.

Business model
Business account

Separate your business account and personal account when you start a small business

Regardless of the kind of small business you want to start, make sure your personal account is different from the business account. This will make it easy to calculate your taxes and make financial statements. It’s recommended that you create a free business checking account with your bank or local credit union.

After you start a small business, you’ll need to get it online

If your small business is a brick-and-motor, you’ll need to create an online extension of it. And this means building out a website for it. You’ll need a domain name, a reliable web hosting company and a content management system to get your website up and running. Face it; in today business environment, you will lag behind the competition if your business isn’t online.

Online business
Business

Test sales before you officially start a small business

Now that you have everything you need in place, you can start by testing some sales. Try to create awareness about your business in an inexpensive fashion. For example, if your small business is product-based, test its viability at local events, farmers market and local swap meetups to get a glimpse of the public’s perception about it and if they are likely to buy. On the other hand, if you’re running a service-based small business, organize keynote speeches to create awareness about it. You can also use other methods to create awareness of your small business, such as Facebook ads and Google Adwords.

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