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Steps For Starting A Business
What are the steps for starting a business? Well, it depends on who you ask. When entrepreneurs consider starting their very own business, they usually are pursuing something that they are passionate about. Entrepreneurs pursue visions of what they see as a successful business; they have a vision for what that success looks like and are willing to put in the sweat equity to make it happen. There are A LOT of passionate entrepreneurs out there too; last year alone, people launched over 5 million new businesses in the United States. If you are looking to add to the ranks of entrepreneurs looking to become your own boss, here are 10 steps for starting a business this year.
Get Started With Swift Filings
If you wanted to get started straight away, the quickest and easiest way is through Swift Filings.
Swift Filings can help with services like:
- LLC (Limited Liability Company)
- S Corporation
- Registered Agent Service
- DBA Registration
- Form a Nonprofit
- C Corporation
- Obtain Your EIN / Federal Tax ID
- 501(c)(3) Applications
Start Your Business In Minutes With Swyft Filings
You can legally launch your business online with Swyft Filings.
Head over to Swyft Filings and choose a business name as well as where you would like to form your business. You can choose to form an LLC, C Corporation, S Corporation, or a Nonprofit.
Swyft Filings will check to see if your business name is available.
Add your name, email address, and phone number.
Tell Swyft Filings what type of business you will be running. Some examples are retail, real estate, finance, etc.
Choose when you think you will start to employ people.
Choose to add any licenses you may need for governmental compliance for a fee of $99. You can skip this part if you aren’t ready yet, just click on “No thanks” at the bottom.
Choose your Swyft Filings package. The options are Basic, Standard, and Premium.
10 Steps To Starting A Business
1. Assess Your Prospects
One of the first steps for starting a business is to make sure that the idea that you have for your business is a good one and that it will last in the market that you’re planning to launch into. You don’t want to go into a market that is oversaturated with businesses like yours; similarly, you don’t want to start a brand-new company in a market that is steadily declining, either. You should definitely look at the competitors you will be up against and the gaps in the market that must be filled. You should also consider the type of business you are going to establish as well; the steps for starting an online business are somewhat different than more traditional companies, with some additional skills and expertise required. So, gather all of the business intelligence you can, and talk to potential clients or customers to see what they think about it, too.
2. Write a Formal Business Plan
Make sure that you either do your research on how to write a business plan or work with someone that does to get your vision for your business in place. This is one of the most basic steps for starting a business, but it is, unfortunately, one that many entrepreneurs neglect. A good business plan will lay the groundwork for how your company will operate and how you present your ideas to your target audience. A good business plan will be essential for obtaining startup funds from potential investors or lenders as well.
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3. Build a Forecast
In conjunction with your business plan, you should also build an effective financial forecast. This forecast will be invaluable for you as you seek investment and attempt to make critical decisions about expenditures and hiring. A forecast will include both your estimated revenue as well as your costs and will enable you to determine the amount of cash you can expect to have on hand over the forecast period. You will be able to use this forecast to inform nearly every decision you have to make once it is complete.
4. Determine Your Financing Plan
You will also need to determine how you are going to fund your business. Are you, as the business owner, going to be the only one financing it? Will you have additional investors? Or are you going to secure a loan to get you to launch? You will need to determine how much money you’ll need to start your business, and any additional working capital to keep the business solvent during the early days when you are building up a customer base. You may also want to consider things such as access to lines of credit, so you have the ability to rapidly pay unexpected expenses that pop up from time to time as well.
5. Decide Upon a Business Formation
Once you have established yourself as a business and have decided on how you will run your company, you will have to decide what type of structure you should have. The type of business you set up will have a significant impact on your tax and liability situation, so ensure you take these factors into account. There are multiple options for business formation and ownership, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability corporations, (LLC), and so forth. As you get closer to starting your own business, talk to a legal professional to determine what is the best fit for your company.
6. Protect yourself by Buying Insurance.
Regardless of the type of business you are in, you should always carry some type of insurance to protect yourself against extenuating circumstances and bad situations. Insurance can help protect you against things like property damage or theft and can also help you if you’re building or inventory is damaged during a natural disaster. As you get closer to launch, you should determine what the regulatory requirements are for your type of business. You should also find out what similar businesses are doing for insurance in your area. This will help you determine the best mix of insurance to have to comply with regulations and mitigate risk.
7. Build Your Team
Human resource management is one of the most critical steps for starting a small business. Prior to launching your company, you will need to determine who is going to work for you. In some cases, you may not need any employees or contracted support, while in other situations a workforce will be essential to your company’s success. So, determine what you can and cannot do yourself, and then start planning to hire people to fill critical gaps. You will need to refer back to your financial forecast from earlier to ensure you have accounted for employee expenses; if necessary, adjust your forecast accordingly if you decide to hire people and it adds to your overall expenses.
8. Determine Key Suppliers and Service Providers
You should also determine how you’ll obtain the materials or services you need to deliver results to your customers. If you rely heavily on supplies or raw materials, you’ll need to be able to have these on hand when you need them, and in the quantities you need. Similarly, services, such as delivery or packaging may be important to your success as well. You will also need to determine how to pay for these services since they could play a major role in your overall cash flow.
9. Develop a Marketing and Sales Plan
Your business will only be as good as its marketing plan and determining the best ways to market your ideas is one of the most critical steps for starting a business. Make sure you identify the marketing channels you’re going to invest in, whether digital, more traditional local ads, or both. You should also be prepared to hire a sales team if it is necessary for your success (and within your budget). Finally, you should monitor your marketing strategy and ensure it is reaching your target audience, and that you are meeting your sales goals as well.
10. Never Stop Learning
As an entrepreneur and business owner, never rest on your laurels. Even if you’re successful, you should continue to learn as much as possible, and always be thinking of ways to improve your company. If you aren’t having the success you expected, you should expend even greater efforts on improving yourself. Take classes, attend lectures or workshops and above all, listen; doing so will strengthen your business skills, which will help you avoid pitfalls and take advantage of fleeting opportunities.
The Lowdown: Get Your Business Started Today
Whether you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store or researching the steps to start a business online, you should expect an exciting and challenging ride ahead. So, take the time to consider the advice offered here, and begin the steps for starting your own business as soon as you can.
Thanks for reading 10 steps for starting a business.