A successful small business always starts out as an idea. Once you get over this initial hurdle, another one awaits – make that idea come true. When it comes to transforming your idea into a business, you might freeze up and feel overwhelmed. Like with most big goals, you need to break your goal into smaller tasks to succeed.
Here are some steps that will help you to get your business up and running:
Write a Simple Business Plan
The key to starting a successful small business lies in keeping your costs low and simplifying things. Costs do not only refer to your monetary costs. Most would-be-entrepreneurs fall into the trap of trying to create the most robust business plan.
According to the owner of smallbusinessloans.co, you will only need a robust plan when looking for financing. Even if you plan to ask for funding down the road, you need to test your ideas first before you risk your time and money on them.
To create a simple business plan, you should do the following:
Define your vision – what is the end-result of your business?
Define your mission – explain why your company exists.
Define your objectives – what are your goals?
Describe your basic strategies – how do you plan to achieve your objectives?
Write an action plan – what are the task-oriented actions you should take to achieve your objectives?
Decide on a Budget
You need to come up with a budget to figure out how much you can afford to spend. Are you funding the business yourself? You need to be realistic with your numbers and anticipate your budget. You should have a burn rate, which is the amount of cash that you are willing to spend monthly.
Knowing your burn rate will help you to determine how long you can remain operational before you need to turn a profit. You need to aim for profitability within the first ninety days to avoid wasting more money than you make.
Choose a Legal Entity
Filing the paperwork to start a business costs money and it can be a lot depending on your state. To determine the filing fees in your city, you need to conduct research. During the test phase of your business, you should be a sole proprietor, as this requires fewer upfront expenses and paperwork.
However, you need to know that sole proprietorship will put you in personal risk – so you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. You should also speak with a tax professional and lawyer before choosing a business entity. You can always wait to file a business entity when you prove that you have a sustainable and viable model.
Find Funding Sources
No matter what type of business you decide to start, separate the funds from your personal account. Mixing your business and personal funds makes your financial plans and tax obligations complicated. You need to visit your local bank or credit union to set up a business checking account.
At this stage of your business, do not get any credit lines. You just need a holding place where you can keep your business funds separate from your personal ones.
Get a Website
Whether you are setting up an online business or a physical store, you need to have a website. You first have to secure a URL that should match your business name. If you want to set up an online business, you could tie your domain name to an online storefront and shopping cart.
When creating a business website, make sure that it is easy to navigate. Your content should also be fresh and useful to the visitors if you want them to return.
Now that you are more educated on the initial steps towards realizing your idea, think about what the next hurdle might be and prepare a strategy to resolve it.