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Starting a small business is a goal for a lot of people these days, but sometimes you get stuck and don’t know where to start. I believe having a business is one of the most fulfilling accomplishments one can achieve. It’s also a goal that can break you down. I’m not going to sit here and say starting a business is easy, but I want you to know that it is possible.
When you have a business, you don’t have the comfort of a paycheck every two weeks. Yes, this does sound scary, but if you believe in yourself and have faith, you will do just fine. Also, to be successful, you will have to put a lot of time and effort into your business, which could lead to unbalanced relationships and missing time with your friends and family. But in all honesty, it’s gratifying when you see your hard work pay off.
I’ve been a full-time business owner for about three years now, and it has been a roller coaster emotionally and physically. But I’ll never regret the day I left my job to start my own business; it was one of the best days of my life. With being a business owner, you have to have the mindset and ability to adapt. Every day is different, some days you make a ton of sales some days you don’t. If you try and don’t succeed the first time, don’t be afraid to try again.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, you are in the right place! Here are my 9 Steps to Starting a Small Business and launching with confidence.
Are you ready?
Step 1: Do your research
One of the most critical steps is research, research, research. Yes, you may know how to provide or sell your services and want to launch already. But take this time seriously and look into other companies and service markets so you have a better understanding of what you’re getting into. While doing so you will find out if this is something you are truly cut out for. It will also motivate you to push forward and grow.
- Are your products and services needed?
- Who is your ideal client?
- What other companies provide similar services?
- Who are your competitors?
- Are you solving a problem?
- What is the net worth of the industry in the next 5-10 years?
Step 2: Make a Business Plan
A business plan is essential for all businesses; you get to see your goals and financial forecast right before your eyes. This is the blueprint for your business so you stay on track and hold yourself accountable every step of the way. Make sure you strategize marketing plans to help you promote your business. I have designed a business plan for you to use on your own. Also, if you would prefer someone to write it for you, Fiverr has plenty of talented creatives who will draft one up for you.
If you need funding for your business check out the links below:
Step 3: Choose Business Structure
There are several ways to set up your business structure, i.e. Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). I believe there are a couple more, but if you are starting a small business, these are the structures I would suggest.
Sole Proprietor is honestly the most straightforward route if you are starting on your own. In this business structure, you will be the sole owner of your business. This means you will call all of the shots when it comes to profits and losses.
A partnership is when you go into business with two or more people and share the profits. Everyone involved in the organization is responsible for all aspects of the company. I would suggest delegating roles within your company from the start when you use this business structure.
A corporation is honestly not a route I would suggest for small business owners if you want to have full control over your business. In the Corporate business structure, you will be owned by shareholders and directors. While you do have less liability, there is still a lot of risks.
Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the middle ground between Partnership and Corporation, which operates as a separate legal entity and hence has exclusive rights to buy and own assets, sue, or be sued. The owners of an LLC are called members and not shareholders like in a corporation.
Step 4: Register your Business Name
If you haven’t done so already, pick a name that suits your business and brand. There are a few resource pages online to find out if your name is in use. I also research the company names on Instagram and Facebook to see if it’s been taken or see other companies’ uses for the title etc.
Resources for Registering your Business Name here – Click here
Purchase your domain name for the website through Google Domains.
Purchase your logos and branding kits through Fiverr.
Step 5: Get Licenses and Permits
Crucial step! There are a variety of permits and licenses you will need to establish your business in your state. Make sure you do your research to stay in compliance with all of the federal laws and guidelines.
Quick Tip: If you plan on selling items, make sure you apply for your resale license (sellers permit) to sell and buy wholesale merchandise.
Step 6: Choose your Accounting System
When you first start, it could be challenging to hire a bookkeeper year-round. However, I am my accountant throughout the year and I go to my actual accountant once a year for tax prep. The easiest way to keep track of your finances is to use QuickBooks or an excel budget spreadsheet. There are several ways to keep track of your finances, just make sure you find what works best for you.
Quick Tip: Download all of your bank statements every month and plug in all of your income and expenses for the month, so you don’t have to do the entire year when tax time comes.
Step 7: Setup Business Location
Don’t plan on opening a brick and mortar right away if you don’t have the funds to do so? Honesty, eCommerce is the new wave, retail spaces are too expensive these days. If you have a small area in your home, buy a desk from IKEA and get to work. When you have a small space for your business, it gives you a purpose every day. This is your safe space to work and create, just think you could have your own big-time office one day if that’s your goal. It’s okay to start out small, it’s actually a humbling experience.
Step 8: Get your Team Ready
If you plan on working alone, you can skip this step. However, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE never be too prideful to ask for help. There are people out there who want to see you win; you may not be able to pay them right away but try to work something out if you need help. Even if you can trade services or buy them lunch, get a team to stand behind you to take some of the stress off your back.
Step 9: Promote and Launch
It’s game time! You did all of the work up until this point, now it’s time to LAUNCH. Honestly, this will be the most satisfying part of your journey, but it’s only the beginning. Make sure you refer back to your business plan and check off your to-do list. Spam your friends/family and Social Media platforms, let everyone know what you have to offer! YOU GOT THIS!