So, you’ve got a great idea for a new business and an entrepreneurial spirit. Where do you go from here? Starting your own business is a big deal – along with the opportunity to be your own boss, it also comes with some risks. You can mitigate some of those risks by taking an informed, step-by-step approach to starting your business.
Start with research
It’s important to conduct some market and competitive research to ensure that your idea is viable. Is there demand for your product or service? How much competition do you have? How is the market/economy faring? What would potential customers pay for your product/service? This should be your first step, to confirm that you are on the right path or adjust your idea before you get too far along.
Create a business plan
A detailed business plan not only provides you with a roadmap for structuring, running, and growing your new business, it also can help you acquire funding or bring on investors or business partners. Your plan should include what pain points your business will solve, what market opportunities are available, financial forecasts and a marketing strategy. Check out the U.S. Small Business Administration’s helpful guide to writing a business plan.
Explore funding options
Depending upon the type of business you are interested in, you may need a fair amount of capital to get started. Expenses such as equipment, payroll, marketing, office space, taxes, and fees, etc. need to be considered, and you should assume that your business may not be profitable right away. Many entrepreneurs use their own money, or borrow from family and friends to begin. If that doesn’t cover your start-up costs, you may want to apply for a small business loan, or search for angel investors, venture capitalists, or look into crowdfunding.
Choose a business structure
The business structure you choose can make a big impact on your success. Consult with a business advisor, attorney, or financial advisor to help you determine what type of structure – such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation – will benefit and protect you most.
Make it legal
Once you’ve picked a business structure and determined the perfect name for your business, you need to make it legal. Research state and federal requirements, register your business, get your state and federal tax ID numbers (aka, an Employer ID number or EIN), and apply for any licenses or permits that may be required.
Open a business bank account
As soon as you have your EIN, you should open a business bank account – such as business checking, savings, a business credit card, or a merchant services account (which allows you to accept credit and debit cards from customers). You may also want you bank to help you with payroll processing or other services.
We understand how important your new business venture is to you and we want to do everything we can to make sure it is a success. Contact us to talk to a financial expert who can help you get your business off to a great start.