Starting a new business as an entrepreneur can sound intimidating, especially for those without a business background. How do you know where to start? If you’re considering creating a company, there are several things you should do. Thoroughly planning your moves ahead of time can save you lots of stress and frustration. Here are some tips, courtesy of Watch On World.
Make a Thorough Checklist
People often don’t do things simply because they don’t remember to do so. Make an initial checklist of tasks and add to it as new ones become apparent. Include the following on your list.
Start Your Business With a Business Plan
A business plan is essential for small business owners. Not only does it outline what you need to do, but you’ll typically need to supply potential lenders with your business plan to be considered for a loan. Your plan should include things like:
- Detailed financial data, including your budget and projected expenses, revenue, and profit margins
- Advertising and marketing strategies
- Timelines for goals and objectives
- Daily business needs and plans to meet them
- Your business location and related expenses
- Local, state, and federal registrations and permits that you’ll need
Business plans provide an organized way to monitor and grow your business. To learn more about developing a business plan, read this guide on how to start a company.
Decide on Your Business Structure and Name
In the U.S., there are four main ways to legally structure your business. Consider the benefits of each and determine which one works best for you.
After you have formed your business, a common practice is to use a “doing business as” name. With a DBA, you use a different public name for your company than your legally registered business name. This can provide a layer of insulation between you and your business contacts and customers.
Creating a DBA name also makes your business more flexible. You can do business as more than one entity if you offer different product lines or services, and obtaining a domain name for your company can be easier if the domain for your legal business name is already taken. Plus, expenses and income can remain separate for each DBA entity, allowing you to be more accurate when analyzing your finances.
Do Market Research
To help you decide on the feasibility of your proposed business’s goods or services and what prices to set, you need a variety of information, such as:
- Average pricing of similar items
- Who is likely to purchase from your company
- Effective marketing and advertising strategies to reach your target demographic groups
- The best ways to ship your goods to buyers
- Advice from those operating businesses like yours
- Who are your competitors?
The more information you have, the better chances that you’ll make smarter business decisions.
Identify Helpful Resources
The Small Business Administration can be an invaluable resource to entrepreneurs. It provides information, advice, and loans to small business owners.
If you’re not tech-savvy, consider hiring professionals to build your website and run your marketing campaigns. You only have 24 hours in a day, and you’d be better off delegating time-consuming tasks to professionals who are already knowledgeable in certain areas. Taking this route means you don’t have to hire employees and pay for their wages and benefits.
Purchasing the right software for your business can make a huge difference. Bookkeeping, CRM, and point-of-sale software streamlines your processes and effectively organizes your data. Not all companies need the same software, so be sure that the software you buy meets all of your needs.
Starting a Business Is Doable Thoroughly researching your business idea can instill the confidence you need to take the first step. Making detailed plans increases your chances of success.