May 30, 2019 | Peyton Sawyer
Starting a small business is anything but small. The amount of effort that you have to put in from the first idea to becoming operational is big. As an entrepreneur, just starting out, all of the significant steps that you will take to get your business off the ground, consist of hard work, dedication, and the vision you have for your new business. This is no easy task.
Coming up with an idea that suits you and the market you work in, doing your research, writing a business plan, filing for taxes, seeking out the right business funding or investors to help back your business venture, is complicated. The thought of venturing out on your own without the safety net of an employer and a weekly income is a risk that is not for the meek. It takes courage, determination, and security in yourself and what you can accomplish to get the job done.
Along with the strength is one's self, it also takes some know-how or a few steps towards building a stable path to success. While nothing is certain in life, there are things that can be done to help start a profitable business.
Finding the Right Idea
Finding the right idea for your business is an essential step in the process. Without an idea that can provide a product or service to your market that can generate sales and an income, you have nothing.
Knowing the Value of Your Idea
You should know the value of your idea. That means knowing the need for your product or service in your market, how much your target audience will pay for such a product or service, and how often they will need or use your product or service. To do this you must know who your market is, where they live, are they single or family oriented, their education level, their average pay, and what products or services they require. By knowing everything you can about the people you cater to, you will be one step ahead of the game.
Along with knowing your target audience, or the people that will be purchasing a product or service from you, you should also know your competitors, and what they are offering. That knowledge can go a long way.
Writing a Solid Business Plan
Whether or not you need investors for your new business, you should take the time to write out a business plan. Having your idea mapped out can help you to focus on the step by step process you need to follow to see your vision through.
Having a business plan to refer back to can also help you when your business is already up and running. There are so many obstacles that business owners face, as well as many detours, having access to the original plan can help you to find your way back if you have gone off track.
Include every bit of information you can in your business plan. Start with your explaining your vision and idea, and continue on to document how you intend your company to operate and grow, list the funding options you have, whether it is from an investor, traditional funding method, or non-traditional funding method, and how you expect to make a profit or overcome any obstacles. List any information that is helpful in the start-up, sustainability, or growth of your business. You will refer back to it from time to time.
Accessing Business Funding
Not many people have the available cash needed to start a business. For most, finding the capital required is a must. Whether you decide to raise the money, borrow the money, or find an investor to invest the money, it may take some convincing on your end to access business funding.
Depending on the type of business you are opening, the start-up capital for a new business may include; licenses and permits, insurance, inventory, staff, office space, utilities, advertising, and marketing. Accessing the capital need to cover such costs can be difficult, but with the right idea and business plan, it can be done.
Obtaining Business Insurance
Protecting your business is a key element to survival. With just one accident, theft, disaster, or lawsuit, your business can be gone. Get the insurance quotes and recommendations needed from a few agencies, to be sure that your business is protected from ruin.
Depending on the size of your business, and the services you will provide, you may or may not need to hire staff. If you find that your business would operate more efficiently with a skilled staff member on board, then be sure to apply for an Employer Identification Number. Once you have done so, it is up to you what type of hire you would like to make. You can hire a full time or part-time employee, or even a contractor. if you are not sure about the benefits that you can offer just yet you may want to hire on a part-time basis or bring on a contract worker.
Paying Your Taxes
It is necessary for all business owners to make regular tax payments on income, as well as file an annual tax return. These payments will include such things as self-employment taxes, which contribute to the business owner's Social Security and Medicare. The business owner will also be responsible to pay employment taxes, which include Social Security and Medicare, federal income tax withholding and federal unemployment tax for all employees.
If you operate a certain type of business, manufacture or sell certain products, operate certain kinds of equipment, the business owner will also be required to pay excise taxes as well.
Keeping Good Records
Good record keeping is vital to any business, big or small. Staying on top of your records will help you to keep track of your expenses, going and coming, help to prepare financial statements, file your taxes, oversee employee salaries, and alert you of any vendor accounts that are outstanding or unnecessary. It's the best way to save on time and money.