Basics on how to start a business
Before you register
Do market research
Researching allows you to see if there is a demand for your product or services in your area. If you plan to do your selling online, look for websites and companies that sell those products. You want to make sure there is enough demand to sustain a business. If it looks like there is little market demand you may want to look into adding other services and products in your business.
Connect with other business owners
Connecting with other business owners in the same field you are wanting to work in allows you to learn from them. Getting connected with a business mentor will help you in your business journey. Look for times when the local chamber of commerce gathers, local networking groups, and even virtual groups.
Write up a business plan
Put down on paper or word document what you hope to get from the business. Writing down who you plan to sell to will help you stay on track in your business. Write down how you plan to finance your business. Having a business plan will help you stick to your goals. If you plan on getting financing from a bank or other lending institution you will need to present a business plan to them. Set out a budget or forecast of how the business finances will be for the next year to five years.
Choose a location
Location, location, location. If you plan to have a physical presence you need to choose a location that will be accessible by your ideal clients. Look for a location that is not only well-travelled but also in your budget. If you plan on being exclusively, or even adding online shopping as an option, you need to look for websites and social media platforms that will work for your business. Your web location is just as important as a storefront location.
Unless you are a millionaire, you will need to look into the different types of funding for your business. Creating a forecast of potential expenses will help you know how much in funding you will need to gather. Do not invest all of your life’s savings or retirement into starting a business. Still, invest enough to help get you started but also look for other ways to get investing, either through asking friends and families, partnering with others, bank or even government loans and grants.
There are three main types of business structures, sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Depending on what structure you choose will affect your tax filing and potentially legal capabilities. Sole proprietorships are good for anyone who is starting a business on their own. A potential downfall is you are 100% responsible for any debt the business gets. Being in a partnership is great if you are going to go into business with one or more other people. This can increase the starting investment for the business as a whole. You will only be able to claim part of all income or expenses in the business for tax purposes, and depending on the liability structure still be on the line for the companies debts. A corporation takes all the liabilities and keeps them in the company. There are a lot more paperwork and legal setup that needs to be done when setting up your business as a corporation.