Thinking about starting a business? Don’t know where to start? Have an idea you think you could make some money from? Here are some of the first steps you need to start your entrepreneurial adventure!
First, you need to have a marketable idea. You should brainstorm concepts that you think will sell and be sustainable as a business. You may already have an idea, but if you don’t, think about what is trendy right now and what the successful businesses are around you. If you see a void in the market where your business could fit and do well, take that avenue! The important thing is that you have an idea that you believe in and think will be successful. Also, this should be something you are truly passionate about!
To move on with creating your business, you need to plan out all of the elements on how the business will function and how much everything will cost. So, this means you have a summary of the business and what it does, your experience and what makes you qualified to do this, a description of what you are selling, whether that be a service or product, a timeline, statistics, goals, financial planning, analysis of competitors, and operation plan. You will have done a lot of research and compiled all of this information into some deliverable that you can present to investors, business partners and help the team grasp the long-term goals.
Now that you have your business plan, you now need a license to legally sell your service or product. You’ll need to determine what type of license you need, get the documents you need for the application, and apply at the appropriate level (local, state, federal). Once you have received your business license, you have the green light to start putting your business plan into motion. Make sure you adjust your business plan to include how much your license renewal will be and how often you will need to renew it.
You likely don’t have all the money you need to get started, which means you’ll need to outsource funding. This is why getting investors and partners are so important. This way, the financial burden will not all fall on you. If you don’t have all the money you need based on these people, you will need to take out a loan. You’ll need to present your business plan to the bank and know the exact amount you need for the loan. It’s important that the person who the loan’s name is under has good credit and can provide all the documentation like income tax returns and bank information to qualify for the loan. After you have acquired the loan, make sure your financial plan accounts for the amount you will need to pay back to the bank.
To make your business’s name official, you have to register it as a trademark. The easiest way to do this is through the united states patent and trademark office website. You will fill out application forms and submit them to the office, and soon you’ll have a trademarked business! This is an important step because, with these forms, no one else can use your name and possibly steal your customers. Make sure you pick a name that says everything about who you are and what you do. You don’t want anything too long, but rather something that rolls of the tongue and will make people intrigued. Once you have secured the business name, you’ll need to register it with the government as well.
You’ll need to open a bank account specifically for the business so you can keep track of the income you acclimate. You’ll need to decide whether you need a savings account along with your checking account. You should have already planned out the amount of money you will initially deposit into this account in your financial plan. There are countless options for where you can open your account. It can be an online bank or a physical one, and you can pick whichever company you want. Make sure you read the fine print detailing the number of transactions, deposits, and minimum balance requirements.
You may have heard the word EIN tossed around a few times when talking to people about starting your business. Your EIN is your employer identification number, which will be used as your federal tax ID. You need this to do your taxes and pay your employees. EIN is required by law and will need to occur after you have registered your business with the government.
Think about what location will serve best for your business. Is this an online business where you only need to create a website? Do you need a place for all your employees to work? Do you need a physical location for the services you offer? Once you have answered these questions, pick a location that is right for you. You may want to simply buy commercial real estate or construct your place of operations. Whatever you do, make sure that you have the permits and paperwork to do so.
Once you’ve finished these steps, you are ready to start operations! So go forth and make your dream a reality. Anything can be a business if you just set your mind to it. Best of luck with starting a small business!
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