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What Steps Should I Take?

Start Your Own Business

The prospect of opening your business can be an exciting venture to contemplate, but it can also be regarded as risky and challenging. We all have dreams and goals, and putting these thoughts into physical form takes hard work, determination, and planning. If you are naturally organized and driven, then some of these initial planning steps will come easily to you. However, if these inclinations are not natural to you, then the process of going from idea to product or service can seem almost insurmountable.

Fortunately for you, countless others from all walks of life have gone before you and have created a wealth of information you can use to make your startup process a bit easier. The following information is intended to excite you about getting organized and on the road to success with a few simple, proven steps to starting your business the right way.

  1. Create A Business Plan That Outlines All The Basics Potential investors will want to see that you have thought about how you will start and grow your business. They will want to see evidence that you are prepared and at least somewhat qualified to run a business and manage your growth through the first critical years. Providing a solid plan that showcases your product or service, demonstrates plans for staffing and financial support, and plots a course to success through planned revenue growth will keep you on track as well as keeping investors satisfied that their support will not be in vain. Having an outline for you to follow will be essential to your success as you navigate the new experience of running a business.

  2. Investigate And Secure Sources Of Funding For Your Business Whether you choose to secure financing through obtaining a small business loan through your local bank or credit union, or if you choose to go the non traditional route and ask individual investors, family and friends for funding, it is important to do your research. See what possible sources of funding are available to you, given your product and your own unique situation, and do not be afraid to ask! Your local library has a host of information about funding small business with federal and local grants designed to boost small businesses. Become comfortable with asking for what you need----the more you ask, the more likely it is that you will hear yes to your requests for support. Remind yourself that your product or service is valuable, and that people will benefit from your growing business; this will help calm any nerves around making presentations and asking for support.

  3. Pick A Location For Your Business Even if a large portion of your profits are from internet sales, your business will still need a physical location for correspondence and tax purposes. Your location will determine the regulations, taxes and zoning laws you will be subject to as the owner. You will need to register your business in the location where you intend to obtain licenses, permits, and pay taxes on all profits incurred. If your intention is to set up a physical location and have a strong internet presence, make sure you plan for these two very different elements of business, and do not be afraid to hire professionals to do some of the setup and work for you. The cost of hiring professionals to make your startup work easier will pay for itself in dividends for years to come.

  4. Decide On The Type Of Ownership For Your Business You Will Establish And Maintain Certain tax advantages exist for each type of corporation or business you choose to set up, so having knowledge of they may work to your advantage is essential. In addition, if you have assets and family to protect while engaged in this process, it is necessary to know what would be most beneficial when considering all that you stand to protect and potentially lose, should you run into financial or legal issues. The type of product or service that you are providing has weight when making this decision as well---if you are offering a business that provides a high risk service or product, you will want to make sure that you are protected. Choose the business structure that will cover you in times of uncertainty, and that will benefit you most during times of profit and growth.

  5. Choose An Effective Name For Your Business No pressure here, right? You want a name that people will remember, one that will eventually become a household name, and one that will ensure that you are establishing a strong market presence. Your business name should provide clues as to what type of product or service you are providing. It should be catchy and engaging, prompting customers to learn more about your business. Lastly, it should be one that lends itself to being easily found in advertising and on the internet. If you cannot be found by customers, you cannot make profits! An effective name will increase credibility, profits and success---choose wisely.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Now before you become overwhelmed by all of the thinking and planning that needs to be done to make your dreams become a reality, remember why this dream is important to you in the first place. Focus on how it will benefit you, your family, and the lives of others as you present your quality product or service to the world. And remember the passion that got you excited to move out of your comfort zone in the first place and start contemplating going into business for yourself. Take it a step at a time and focus on solutions, not setbacks. Your road to success is not necessarily a straight one, but it will be paved with excitement and adventure.

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