Steps to Start Your Small Business

The desire to own a small business hasn’t faded away, even in today’s economy. About 600,000 businesses are formed every year; roughly half will fail within their first five years. But that reality hasn’t prevented new entrepreneurs from following their dreams. With can-do attitudes, hordes of potential business owners want to work for themselves, according to USA Today.

Starting your own business is not just about having a dream. There are real steps to ensure your business a successful start. However, be aware that a high percentage of new businesses fail in their first 3 years of operation due to poor planning and management.

Step 1: Get InspiredIf you are looking for a new small business opportunity, you are in the right place. Learn how to think like an entrepreneur, take advantage of ideas and opportunity, and explore whether owning your own business is for you. Let your daily life lead the way to inspiration. Problems you have or see are a tremendous source for inspiration and innovation. We live in a world where many services can be instantly contracted or automated, and most products can be fabricated on demand. If you think it, you can create it. So, do it!

Step 2: Research Your Idea

In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something the market wants. There are a number of ways you can identify this need, including research, focus groups, and even trial and error.

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan is important for three reasons. First, it serves as an operational road map; second, it lists goals to aim for; and third, it is a requirement of lenders if you should approach them for start-up capital. The SBA has an online tutorial to help you write a business plan. Small-business advisors like the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) can also provide assistance.

Step 4: Do you have enough money to start a small business?

It depends on your type of business and how quickly you plan to expand. You should sit down and write out how much your expected expenses will be for at least the next 24 months and how much you project to bring in as far as income on a monthly basis. There are several companies that can help you get started with funding your business.

Step 5: Start-up Expenses

Every business requires start-up expenses, which may be low or high depending on the business. For instance, the start-up expenses for a home-based business may require less capital than the expenses for the purchase or lease of a commercial structure. In general, most start-up expenses include utilities, office space, communication systems and office equipment. In addition, some businesses require licenses, permits and business insurance.

Step 6: Licenses and Permits

Federal or state licenses and permits are required to legally operate some businesses. The Small Business Administration (sba.gov) provides information regarding the prerequisite government licenses and permits for businesses. Other sources for local business regulation information can be found at the state and local level. Additionally, local government offices offer information on zoning laws and other restrictions for certain businesses and their locations. Van Nuys Offices

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