6 Steps to Starting a Business

starting a businessWhen I first started my website, I entirely thought of it as a personal website, not something that would turn into a business. Yes, I dreamt of bringing in some side income from it, but now I really enjoy it and would love to make it more of a business than just a hobby.

I’ve been looking into things that I should be doing differently and the steps that I need to take. There are many critical things that need to be done in order to ensure that things can flow smoothly and there will be stability well into the future.

Starting a business can be very difficult in the beginning, so following some common steps can be greatly helpful with your business being successful.

 

1. Have a Plan

What type of business are you trying to start? Where do you want to end up? Who will your customers be and where will your market be located? Are you going to start a business that operates nationally or just within 30 miles of your main office?

Do your research very thoroughly in this area, especially if this business that you are creating will be your only source of viable income. There are many companies out there that offer valuable industry research on your possibly business, and you can also talk to people and potential customers.

Make sure that the services and/or products that you are offering are sellable and wanted in the market. Maybe your dream isn’t to make millions off your business (but instead to have enough to be happy and fulfilled in life), but you still do want to make sure that you aren’t wasting money or your own time.

 

2. Register your Business Appropriately

Create a name for your business and register it with your state. Also, figure out what type of legal structure your business will be. Different structures (partnership, proprietorship, limited liability company, etc.) work for different types of companies and the goal(s) of the companies. Consult a lawyer and tax professionals for this, especially if you are unsure.

Keep in mind that different entities work different when it comes to many things such as: dividends/distributions of income, income taxes, liability and so on.

 

3. Apply for your Business Tax ID

The upside of paying taxes? It means your making money! All businesses need to apply and have a tax ID so that they can pay taxes. It can make applying for loans and starting bank accounts for the business much easier as well.

 

4. Create a Bank Account for Your Business

You need to treat your business finances like a business.   Your business bank account should absolutely be separated from your personal bank account. When tax time comes around, it will make sorting out your income and expenses much easier if you just separated your business and personal spending and income from the very beginning.

 

5. Hire Help if You Need It

Starting a business without help when you absolutely know that you need it is most likely a bad idea. Many businesses fail right at the beginning, and this might be one of the main reasons.

If you can’t tend to your clients and successfully complete what you promise your clients, then this can hurt your reputation and the products and/or services which you offer. Selling subpar products and services in the very beginning can haunt your business and potentially destroy it.

 

6. Start a Website

A website might not always be needed in your industry, but for me, I tend to like businesses more if I can look them up online. I believe it’s easier for people and potential customers to trust you if you have your name online somewhere.

What steps have you taken to become a business?

What did and did not work out for you?

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Comments

  1. Being a small business ourselves, I believe the key point you’ve mentioned which a lot of people forget about is hiring help if you need it. Too many companies try to make key players wear too many hats. This only sets a perfect stage for mistakes to be made, things to be overlooked, and employees (or yourself) to end up unhappy and stressed. Find out financially what budget will work for you and your company and leave room for a new hire if the issue arises which deems one necessary.

    • I agree with you. I know of someone who had his own business and within a couple of months had to shut it down. It was all because he REFUSED to hire even a single person. He needed help (it was a retail store of all things) and worked at all hours when the store was open and closed. He didn’t want to hire anyone because he thought he could do it all himself, and he also thought that workers would steal from him.

    • I agree with you. I started a small business for my comic book (first print, now web-based), and I wanted to do it all. But I’m not an amazing artist, I’m a writer. So I interviewed some freelancers and in two months time, BAM! First issue done. However, I think there is one thing missing here.

      Money. Money is a necessity to start a business, followed by profit. I started a business with funds from a day-job, and paid my artists accordingly. In the end though, I made no profit and had to let everyone go. Now the business is stagnant with a single issue lying there on the web. This time, I may have to do it myself.

      Business needs something to sell, to make a profit off of. It needs to be something people will want, without falling into the many categories of products already out there. That’s the hard part, especially when it came to my product. There are tons of comic books out there, from Superheroes to Graphic Novels. A great story accompanied by artwork isn’t going to make the cut to be different and stand out.

  2. I actually paid someone to setup my business which in hindsight was a huge mistake. The overcharged me significantly and didn’t offer advice I couldn’t have googled myself.

  3. The biggest joy is creating a business that matches my lifestyle. How about a travel blogging business? Perfect! Such expenses need to be incurred to create the product.

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