Once you come up with your idea for a new small business, you may be wondering how to proceed. In fact, the path to a business launch is well-traveled, and if you pay careful attention to the details at each stage, you have a good chance of success. Here are the steps to take when you’re starting up a small business.
Research the Market
Before you go into the intricacies of starting up your company, research the market you plan to break into as well as your potential clients and competitors. You can do this primarily on the internet. Other sources include industry associations, state agencies, libraries, and professional research companies.
Decide on Your Business Structure
Your choices of legal structure include sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, S Corporation, or C Corporation. The decision you make affects taxation, liabilities, access to funding, and the amount of shareholders and stock you can have. Study your options carefully, and if necessary consult a lawyer.
Choose a Name
Choose a catchy name that highlights your brand and will capture the attention of prospective customers. Conduct research to find out if the name is already being used. If not, register the name with your state and local government, and if possible trademark it as well.
Create a Business Plan
Write a comprehensive business plan that includes an executive summary as well as a description of your company, the product or service you’re selling, a marketing plan, leadership structure, and financial overview and projections. Potential investors will want to see this.
Take Care of Licensing
Your location and the type of small business you are starting up will determine which permits and licenses you need. Local, state, and federal governments each have specific requirements. Take care of these to avoid future penalties.
Finance Your Company
Before your small business has obtained its own credit score and has proof of profitability, it may be difficult to get a traditional bank loan. Consider funding your startup through relatives, friends, crowdfunding, credit cards, or short-term loans.
Launch the Business
When you’re ready to launch, publicize the event on your company website, in social media, and through email announcements. Spread the word far and wide. It’s a cause for celebration.
For more advice on starting up a small business, contact Integrity Financial Capital.