Starting a business takes a lot of courage, time and creativity. You have to take a big risk personally and financially. As you take the leap, make sure you are also crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. There are a few crucial steps you must take to not only start your business, but start a successful business.
There is a legal side to starting a business. You can’t just start running a business in your basement without ever registering it or paying taxes. There are laws that govern how our businesses run and responsibilities business owners must take on. Make sure you register your business, get a tax ID number – if necessary, obtain permits and any required licenses. These laws vary by state. Look into all the licenses and permits your state requires.
Set-up Business Accounts
The financial workings of your business are 100% separate from your personal finances. Open a business account at your bank. Not only does this make it easy to keep business finances separate from personal finances, you get a few perks. Business accounts will help you obtain loans and gain credit. You will better be able to track cash flow and monitor the business’s finances.
Before you go into the bank to set-up your account, call and ask what they will need from you to create the account. While you are there, talk to them about business loans. No business can operate without a little capital.
Create your Business Structure
There are many forms a business can take on – an ‘S’ Corporation, LLC, Partnership, Corporation or Sole Proprietorship. Whichever structure you choose will impact your liability and taxes. It is smart to consult with an experienced business attorney before making this decision. They can guide you toward the structure that will be best for you and your specific business.
Define your Target Market
Every business has a target market. You must define who your potential clients or customers will be. This will help you define your competition and your potential market. You must do this to determine if you are focusing on a larger market or a niche market. Defining your target market also benefits your marketing strategies.
Not every business created is successful. If you want your business to succeed, you must define your target market and know that they will be willing to spend their hard-earned money on your product. Is the market saturated with competitors? Is your market merely local or national? Is there enough market share for you to successfully join your chosen sphere?
Write a Business Plan
You may think this sounds like an assignment you had in business school, but a business plan truly is a relevant part of every business. You need to create a plan to create success. A business plan includes the path you plan to take for structure, marketing, financing, operations and outlines your goals.
This plan does not have to be set in stone. It can be ever changing. Revise it often to keep yourself up-to-speed with the health of your business and its’ future success.
Ryan is an Online Marketing and Outreach Coordinator at JetSuite. He is very passionate about Private Jet Travel. He graduated with a BS in Marketing from UCLA and enjoys Chicago Bears football games and working on his vintage 1966 Ford Mustang GT.
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Category: Startup Advice