The need to be financially independent, the quest to become an employer of labor, as well as the freedom of being your boss, have necessitated steps for young entrepreneurs searching for the right steps to starting a small business.
As a result of these, we have seen a surge in the number of small businesses springing up every day. Whether these businesses will survive or crash even before they begin, Is a result of the steps they take in setting a foundation for the business.
Thus to help you successfully start a small business and stay in business, we are outlining some steps you can use to make your business a success.
Steps to Starting a Small Business
Step 1 – Carry Out a Research
Avoid jumping head-long into any business idea you may have without first carrying out a proper analysis. You should at this stage consider the potential of the business succeeding. You should also consider what problem is business solving, is it fulfilling a need or offering something that the market wants?.
As you go about identifying these needs, there are some salient questions you need to ask, they include:
- Is there a market for your anticipated products/services?
- Who needs this product/services?
- What other companies are offering similar products/services currently.
- What is the competition like?
- How does your business fit into the market?.
Step 2 –Have a Business Plan
Once you are certain that you have done good research and that your small business is viable, back it up with a business plan. A business plan acts as the blueprint for your business and guides the activity of the business from start-up to establishment and the growth level.
Step 3 – Budget the Amount of Funds You Need
Starting a business will entail some initial investment and the ability to cover ongoing expenses. Compile a spreadsheet that estimates the one-time startup costs for your business (licenses and permits, equipment, legal fees, insurance, branding, market research, inventory, trademarking, grand opening events, property leases, etc.).
Also, factor in what you anticipate you need to keep the business running for at least 12 months (rent, utilities, marketing, and advertising, production, supplies, travel expenses, employee salaries, your salary, etc.)
You can as well finance your business through the following mediums:
- Angel investors
- Small business grants
- Small business loans.
Step 4 –Decide on a Business Structure
If you want, you can structure your small business as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Note that, you can select an initial business structure, and later reevaluate and change your structure as your business expands and some changes become necessary.
Step 5 –Get Your Business Name Registered
Choose a name for your business, and check if it’s trademarked or currently in use. After that, you are to register your business name.
Step 6 –You Need Licenses & Permits
Ensure you get the licenses and permits that apply to your small business situation during the startup phase.
Step 7 –Decide on an Accounting System
You need an accounting system, to create and manage your budget, set your rates and prices, conduct business with others and also file your taxes.
Step 8 –Set Up a Business Location
This one most important factor you must pay maximum attention to. This is because depending on your business type, the location can either make or mar that business. Decide whether you want a home office, a shared or private office space, or a retail location.
Consider also your equipment, as well as the overall setup and whether or not you want to buy or lease your commercial space.
Step 9 – Set Up Your Team
If your business requires you to hire employees, you have to consider it at this point. Make sure you take out time to outline the positions you need to fill and the job description each has to take.
If you are rather outsourcing work to independent contractors, then you need to work with an attorney to get your independent contractor agreement in place before you begin your search.
Step 10 – Promote Your Business
Now that you have your business up and running, you must have a way of attracting clients and customers to stay and grow in business. If you have the means, you can engage paid adverts or explore many other small business marketing ideas that do not need capital to further promote your business.
Once you have exhausted the above-mentioned steps, give the business time to grow to give you the success you desire.