Starting Your Business: Important Steps Aspiring Entrepreneurs Need
By: Melanie Shires, PCC
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, chances are you have the passion and determination to launch a business but might not know where to start.
As a business coach, I frequently come across aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business and either have no clue where to begin or believe that with simply a good idea, the right amount of capital, and some creativity they can build and launch a successful business. While there are no limits on who can become a great entrepreneur – 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 a viable and lucrative success, you do need to do the necessary preparation to set yourself in the right direction.
Here are the important steps you need, which includes planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities, to start your business.
Conduct Market Research
Market research is one of the most important activities you will do for your business. It reduces risks even while your business is still just a blooming idea or concept. Market research will tell you if there’s an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. It’s a way to gather information about potential customers and businesses already operating in your area that you will use to find a competitive advantage for your business concept.
Write Your Business Plan
A good business plan guides you through each stage of developing and managing your business. You’ll use your business plan as the blueprint for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through the key elements of your business with clear intention.
Fund Your Business
It costs money to start and run a business. Funding your business is one of the first and most important financial decisions you will make as an entrepreneur. Your business plan will help you figure out how much money you’ll need to start your business and if you’ll need to either raise or borrow the capital.
Identify Business Location
The location of your business is a strategic decision depending in part on the location of your target market, business partners, and your personal preferences. Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business, launching an online store, or working virtually from your laptop at your home or coffee shops around town, the choice you make could affect your taxes, legal requirements, and revenue.
Choose Your Business Name
Choosing the perfect business name can be a daunting task. Make sure you choose one that reflects your brand and captures your spirit. You’ll also want to check to ensure your business name isn’t already being used by someone else.
Choose Your Business Structure
The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes, and your personal liability. You should choose a business structure that gives you the right balance of legal protections and benefits.
Register Your Business
Once you’ve picked the perfect business name, it’s time to make it legal and protect your brand. If you’re doing business under a name different than your own, you’ll need to register with the federal government, and maybe your state government, too.
Get Federal and State Tax IDs
You’ll need an employer identification number (EIN) for important steps to start and grow your business, like opening a bank account and paying taxes. It’s like a social security number for your business. Some states require you to get a tax ID as well.
Apply for Licenses and Permits
You may need to certain licenses and permits to keep your business legally compliant and running smoothly. The licenses and permits you need for your business will vary by industry, state, location, and other factors.
Open a Business Bank Account
A business checking account can help you handle legal, tax, and day-to-day business operations.
After completing these important steps, you will be ready to market and launch your business.
Learn How to Start Your Business