If you’re going to learn how to set up business, you need to research the steps you need to go through before you start up. If you do this, you’ll guarantee start up business success and you won’t waste your startup money. Begin your new business research by taking a look at the small business you would like to start. This is a perfect time to look at the needs of the market you’re going to be serving. Who are your customers going to be? Who is going to buy your service or your product? Are there products or services your customers would buy if they could find them? What competition do you have? How is your industry changing? Is it growing, declining, or shifting within your area? Have you priced your product on the Internet? Have you assessed it nationally versus locally? How do you fit in? Take a look at industry trends when you set up a business and then follow a business plan smoothly, which will result in a profitable and successful business.
You’ll also need to be able to map the steps as to how you’re going to produce a product or service, and the steps you’ll undertake when you do this. How much time will you spend on each step? What are your inputs and outputs going to be at each step? Create a flow chart that shows you what the process and production is like, and give each an assigned allowable time. This is going to tell you how long things are going to take, so that you know how much volume you can handle and of course how much money you can earn. It’ll also tell you if you need to be outsourcing certain parts of the business, or even hiring employees.
There are lots of free and low-cost resources available that can help you get started. An online resource of retired executives called Service Corps of Retired Executives is at http://www.scn.org/civic/score-online, as one example. With this service, you can e-mail these online volunteers if you are a small business owner and get your questions answered from experienced experts at no charge to you. You can even search for an executive who specifically works in your line of service or product selling, and perhaps develop a partnership with a mentor. Perhaps mentoring could happen with you providing your product as an exchange. In addition, visit your local public library. This can give you a tremendous source of information, all free.
What about your business structure? Probably the easiest way to start your business is as a proprietorship. This is the most basic structure of a for-profit corporation, or for a nonprofit, too. If you grow enough to have to consider another structure, you can address it at that point.
You don’t have to incorporate your business except in certain circumstances. In general, most people do the business under just their own names and with one person as the owner of the business. This is called a sole proprietorship, and is among the most popular ways to start a business if you are an entrepreneur. It’s the simplest way to do it and you can get started with very little paperwork. Accounting is very easy with this set up, too, since as a sole proprietor, you’re not a corporation. You will be paying taxes on your profits, but not corporate taxes.
A for-profit corporation can take several forms. You might want to become a limited liability corporation, also known as an LLC. In this type of setup, you protect your personal assets in the event of a bankruptcy. It’s a little less expensive and easier than some of the other incorporation methods available.
After you’ve researched your business idea, you’ll know better what you can do for your business. Next, let’s set up a business plan and put all of your great ideas down on paper.
The business plan can help you get funding for your business, can help you formulate how you’re going to market your product or service, and much, much more. It can expose your new business idea and also detail its shortcomings. You can make changes to it, decide not to go ahead with it, or retry with another business idea. Whatever happens, though, sitting down and working on a business plan can save you a lot of time and frustration versus having to go out and start from scratch for the first time without one.
In some cases, you may need to be licensed to conduct your business in your state. Each state has a Department of Licensing that will tell you what you need and what fees you’ll be charged. You can often go to your state’s Department of Licensing website and walk through the steps there. Select type of business, location, and so on. You’ll get a list of the licenses you need and who you will need to contact to get them. Your local county and city may also require licensing and/or permits. For more information, look under your city or county’s Finance
When you’re just starting up your business, take a moment to sit down with a certified public accountant so that you can set up your bookkeeping system, and have him or her help you set up a system so that you can pay your taxes. Depending on the parameters of your business, you may be paying taxes quarterly or yearly. Your accountant can help you with this. When this is done, you can take over and keep it running smoothly, doing your own bookkeeping needs. If your business grows enough, you may want to hire a bookkeeper eventually so that he or she can take care of all the paperwork and financial aspects of your business. This will allow you to focus on your business itself and what you are trying to sell. Several software programs can also help you keep track of financial records on your computer, easily.
Once you know what you want to do for your business, and once you set it down in a business plan, you can see how profitable it can be. Next, you’ll need to find funding to start your business. You can use your personal savings, which is one good way to go. Two other sources you may consider using are loans or grants.