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How to Start a Small Business

If you’re going to start a small business, there are certain things you’re going to need to do, no matter what kind of business it is. Here’s our guide.

How To Start A Small Business

Starting a small business is exciting and there’s a lot to do. Here’s our list of the 11 essential things you need to do to start a small business.

  1. Market Research - Market research will let you know if the opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business exists. Gather information about potential customers and businesses already operating in your area and use that information to determine what the competitive advantage for your business will be.
  2. Business Plan - The foundation of your business is your business plan. It’s the blueprint for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Take time to craft this plan well and revisit and revise it as needed so that you can use it to convince people that working with you, or investing in your business, is a good idea.
  3. Funding - Your business plan will help you determine how much money you’ll need to start your business. If you have the money you need, great! Otherwise, if you don’t have the amount you need, you’ll have to either raise or borrow the money through the many ways that now exist for raising capital. 
  4. Location - Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business or launching an online store, the location of your business is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make. What you decide could affect your taxes, legal requirements, and income.
  5. Business Structure - Your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes, and your personal liability will all be affected by the legal structure you choose for your business.
  6. Business Name - Picking the perfect name can be hard. The name you choose should reflect your brand and capture your vision. It’s also important to make sure the name you want to use isn’t already being used by someone else.
  7. Registration - After you’ve selected the name you want for your business, make it legal and protect your brand. If you’re doing business under a name different than your own, register with the federal government, and maybe your state government, as well.
  8. Federal and State Tax IDs - For some of the important steps in starting and growing your business, like opening a bank account and paying taxes, you’ll need to have an employer identification number (EIN), it’s the business version of a social security number. Some states will also require you to get a tax ID.
  9. Licenses and Permits - Depending on your industry, state, location, and other factors you may need various licenses and permits to operate. Make sure to stay legal by knowing and having all the proper licenses and permits for your business.
  10. Business Bank Account - A small business checking account keeps your business and personal money separate and can help you handle legal, tax, and day-to-day issues. It’s easy to set one up and they can be activated almost immediately over the internet if you have the right documents to do it.
  11. Marketing - Once you have the other steps completed, marketing may be the most important thing to do for your business. It’s how you’re going to get customers and bring in revenue and should be a key element of your business plan. When making your marketing plan, consider traditional methods but focus on digital marketing. Online marketing gives you the potential to reach almost anyone in the world, no matter how near or far they are from your business. When it comes to online marketing, there are many things you’ll want to consider. Here are a few of them.
    • Website - People expect you to have a website. It should provide them with value and a good experience.
    • SEO - Search engine optimization, or SEO, is how you let search engines like Google know that you exist and that you should show up near the top of the results page when people search for what you do.
    • Social Media - Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, or any of the other social media platforms, your target audience is probably out there using a few of them and so it’s important for you to be there too.
    • Email - Email can be a very effective way to attract and retain customers but only if you’re using it properly.

If you want to know more, read our article, “5 Tools and Resources to Launch a Successful Ecommerce Business”, or contact us.

Tags: small business, startup

Geoff Strauss

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