10 Steps to Starting a Small Business – It requires serious dedication, determination and planning to start any business. There are essential steps to establish an enterprise. Steps include writing a business plan and identifying the business opportunity.
Others are securing funding, incorporation, business license and permit. The investor needs to find a good location, buy equipment, and get insurance cover.
1. Identify the Business
The first step is to identify a business opportunity. The opportunity should be in line with your qualification or expertise. The investor should have a passion and deep knowledge of the business. Make sure you carry out a feasibility study, conduct a survey and write a business plan.
• Identify a business opportunity
• Qualification or expertise
• Knowledge of the business
• Carry out a feasibility study
• Conduct a survey
• Write a business plan
2. Create an Account
Proper accounting and budgeting is essential for proper money management. The accounting system will determine the fixed and working capital, profit, loss. The investor can use a freelance accountant to balance the books and tax.
3. Business Insurance
Every business comes with some level of risk. Managing the risk would offer better advantage and mitigate unforeseen problems. Apply for liability insurance or small business insurance. This will offer some level of protection from litigation.
4. Business Location
The business location can make or break the enterprise. Determine your business location based on customer demography or availability of raw materials. Things to consider are zoning, good road network, commerciality and closeness to competitors.
• Customer demography
• Availability of raw materials
• Good road network
• Closeness to competition
5. Determine the Work Space
The work space depends on the type of business, machinery and equipment. A factory requires ample space for machinery, packaging and loading areas. Office related business require office space for table, chairs, computer, printer.
6. Apply for a Business License
The entrepreneur needs to apply for a business license or permit. The document regulates the industry and conforms to state and federal laws.
The business structure would determine the type of license required. Other requirements are tax identification number, zoning permit and sales tax.
• Apply for a business license, permit
• Tax identification number
• Zoning permit
• Sales tax
Choose a business structure and incorporate. There are different forms of incorporation based on business requirements and ownership structure. We have the sole proprietor, partnership, Limited Liability Company. a sole proprietorship is run by one man while partnership can accommodate two or more owners. The limited liability company is only limited to the company funds in case of litigation.
8. Name the Business
It is important to choose the right name for the business. The first step is to find out if the name is available. Then register the name with the corporate affairs commission. Make sure the name reflects the type of business. The importance of business name is the brand awareness.
The investor needs to find money to startup the business. Startup funds are secured through personal savings or borrowing. The investor can borrow from friends and family or a financial institution. Use a business plan to apply for bank loans. The investor should have collateral, guarantors and part of the startup funds. Other ways to secure funds are through crowd funding, angel investors, partnership and sale of shares.
10. Write a Business Plan
A business plan is an essential tool for startups. The plan would highlight the business structure and study the industry. The plan should cover startup funding, labor, fixed and working capital. Other parameters are location, serve or product, pricing.