What’s Needed to Start a Small Business?

It’s the dream of many to have a business of their own. Running their own business frees them from being bound to a day job and gives them the authority to be their own boss. Like the sound of that? Then you have come to the right place.

Launching a business is no easy task; it requires the utmost determination, hard work and motivation to leap over the umpteen numbers of hurdles that you may run into along the way. Here’s a general framework that you can follow whenever you are starting up your own company.

Identify the Opportunity
First of all, you will have to review the kind of opportunities you have. What kind of business do you want to start? Each type of business requires a different set of skill, abilities, and knowledge! The choice can be hard, but make sure you grab an opportunity that lies parallel to your passion. If you have passion for something, you may be naturally good at it. For instance, if you’re into cars, then you may want to consider starting up a business related to cars. Get the idea? Let’s move on.

Build Your Business Plan
Just like engineers prepare a plan before they actually start constructing a building, entrepreneurs must also have a business plan that includes each and every detail of how they plan to run their business. From company policies to finances and to marketing – everything is included in a business plan.

Take the time needed to create one. Go to the Small Business Administration site to create one using their free tool. Here’s the link, http://www.sba.gov/tools/business-plan/1. Going through the process of creating a business plan, using this tool or another one, will make things much easier as you move along your journey.

Get Financing
Without sufficient amounts of money, you may find it difficult to start a business. While you may have enough savings to get you started, many people invite investors to invest in their business. This is where your business plan will come in handy. Investors will want to look at how you plan to use their money, and your business plan will enlighten them on this matter.
Similarly, you may want to approach banks, friends and family or any other sources of finance.

Get Your License and Permits
To start a small business, you will be required to complete some simple paperwork. This paperwork is not too complex; however, it is absolutely necessary. You need to make sure you get all the required licenses and permits to operate in your state, city, and possibly your county. Do a search on the web to find out what is required.

Select Your Business Location
The next thing you would have to do is find a suitable location for your business. Working from your home initially may be a viable option especially if you need to keep costs down. If you plan to conduct your business online, then you may be better off working from your home, at least until your business gets stable.

However, if your work necessitates meeting clients and customers, then you may be better off selecting an office in a business district. Just make sure the location gives off a good first impression of your business. There are a number of virtual offices that provide office space by the hour, conference room space, and mailing addresses. Do your research. The options are numerous. Take your time and determine what will work best for your particular business situation and needs.

Set Up An Accounting System
Proper tracking and management of all your cash inflows and outflows and all your finances are vital for the success of your business. There are numerous accounting solutions for small businesses on the market that can help make the job easier. QuickBooks, for example, is quite popular with small business owners due to its ease of use and abundance of features. QuickBooks also has a number of third party add-ons that provide additional customization that suits your needs. Again, do your research or talk to a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. You’ll be glad you did. 😉

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