Owning your own business is a goal that many people dream of, but not everyone realizes this dream. In order to make your dream come true you must a plan. This plan will lay out the steps you need to make your business a success. Many small businesses fail for lack of planning and resources. Use these tips to start a business and follow your dream.
Write a Business Plan
A business plan is the first place to start. In your business plan you need to state the nature of your business, a company description, organization and management structure, marketing plans, your target audience, and a budget. Depending on your business you plan may contain more items; each one is different because each business is different and has different goals.
The Small Business Association has free training seminars you can attend if this is your first time starting a business. Their courses cover all aspects on how to start a business. If you've never had any financial training you may want to consider taking accounting or bookkeeping classes. These classes will give you a understanding about the financial structure of your business and how to keep accurate records.
Location is Important
If you are going to start a business and have a physical storefront you need to give location a lot of thought and research. Scout out locations in your town and talk to other business owners in the area. Ask them about the traffic flow, if the area is safe, and if they would rebuild there again. Enlist the services of a commercial real estate agent. They will help you navigate the complicated process of purchasing commercial property, or find the perfect location for building your storefront.
Research Financing Options
You have several options to explore when you start a business. The Small Business Association offers loans at competitive rates, and they have several types of loans and loan structures set up to help people start a small business. Banks are an obvious choice, but you may want to explore venture capital, personal loans, and grants.
Obtain the Proper Licenses
In order to do business you will need to register your business' name with your state. This is known as “doing business as” or or DBA license. You must get a tax identification number from the IRS, and register for any state or local taxes. You will also need to get any local and state business license and permits.
Hire Your Crew
As an employer you have certain legal responsibilities to your employees and to the government. Contact OSHA to find out the safety concerns pertinent to your business, and get an employer identification number so that you can file taxes. Do not forget to deal with the three types of withholding taxes; federal, state, and social security. Keep excellent records so that when it comes time to file your quarterly taxes you will be ready.
It may not sound easy to start a business, but if you have a passion and want to see it become a successful business it will take planning and organization. Use these tips to get started and build a business you can be proud of.