Starting up a small business is exciting—but also demanding. Starting your own small business on the side is one of the most powerful ways to take control of your life and make extra money month after month.
There are no limits on who can become a great business personnel. You don’t necessarily need a college degree, a bunch of money in the bank or even business experience to start something that could become the next major success. However, you do need a strong plan and the drive to see it through.
There are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States, making up a whopping 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses, according to the Small Business Administration. When you consider some of the most popular reasons to start a business, including having a unique business idea, designing a career that has the flexibility to grow with you, working toward financial independence, and investing in yourself — it’s no wonder that small businesses are everywhere.
How To Startup A small Business
1. Evaluate your idea.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to sell, or at least the market you want to enter. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don’t (or deliver the same thing, only faster and cheaper), you’ve got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.
Answering some of these questions honestly will give you a focus guide in starting up small business.
- Why do you want to start a small business? Is it money, freedom and flexibility, to solve a problem, or some other reason?
- What are your skills?
- What industries niche do you know about?
- Do you want to provide a service or a product?
- What do you like to do?
- How much capital do you have and willing to risk?
- Will it be a full-time or a part-time venture?
Your answers to these types of questions will help you narrow your focus.
During the ideation phase, you need to iron out the major details. If the idea isn’t something you’re passionate about or if there’s not a market for your creation, it might be time to brainstorm other ideas.
2. Write a business plan.
Once you have your idea in place, you need to ask yourself a few important questions: What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end goals? How will you finance your startup costs? These questions can be answered in a well-written business plan.
A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it.
You need a plan in order to make your business idea a reality. A business plan is a blueprint that will guide your business from the start-up phase through establishment and eventually business growth, and it is a must-have for all new businesses.
At its core, a business plan helps you prove to yourself and others whether or not your business idea is worth pursuing. It’s the best way to take a step back, look at your idea holistically, and solve for issues years down the road before you start getting into the weeds.
3. Plan your startup costs.
Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you’re going to cover those costs. Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money? If you’re planning to leave your current job to focus on your business, do you have money put away to support yourself until you make a profit? It’s best to find out how much your startup costs will be.
There are a number of ways you can fund your small business, including:
Many startups fail because they run out of money before turning a profit. It’s never a bad idea to overestimate the amount of startup capital you need, as it can be a while before the business begins to bring in sustainable revenue.
4. Register your small business.
To become an officially recognized business entity, you must register with the government. Corporations will need an “articles of incorporation” document, which includes your business name, business purpose, corporate structure, stock details and other information about your company.
Once you have chosen a name for your business, you will need to check if it’s trademarked or currently in use. Then, you will need to register it. A sole proprietor must register their business name with either their state or county clerk. Corporations, LLCs, or limited partnerships typically register their business name when the formation paperwork is filed.
5. Brand your small business and advertise.
Before you start selling your product or service, you need to build up your brand and get a following of people ready to jump when you open your literal or figurative doors for business.
Create a logo that can help people easily identify your brand, and be consistent in using it across all of your platforms, including your all-important company website. Use social media to spread the word about your new business, perhaps as a promotional tool to offer coupons and discounts to followers once you launch.
Once your business is up and running, you need to start attracting clients and customers. You’ll want to start with the basics by writing a unique selling proposition (USP) and creating a marketing plan. Then, explore as many small business marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business most effectively.
Once you have completed these business start-up activities, you will have all of the most important bases covered. Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight. But use the plan you’ve created to consistently work on your business, and you will increase your chances of success.
6. Grow and manage your business.
To be very honest this is the most important in the business startup plan because without you adapting to changes or managing your customers well or even growing your business the outcome is always folding up the business.
Your launch and first sales are only the beginning of your task as a small business owner. To make a profit and stay afloat, you always need to be growing your business. It’s going to take time and effort, but you’ll get out of your business what you put into it.
While these tips will help launch your business and get you set to grow, there’s never a perfect plan. You want to make sure you prepare thoroughly for starting a business, but things will almost certainly go awry. To run a successful business, you must adapt to changing situations.