You’ve had an “ah-ha” moment and you’ve decided to start your own business. While that can be an exciting idea, you need to know what to do in order to make your new business a success. Starting a business is much like making a new recipe. You need to make sure you have all the right ingredients and follow the basic instructions to have a great dish. If you don’t, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, check out these “ingredients” to help make your new business idea boom!
What You Need to Know About Starting a Business
Mold Your Idea
You’ve come up with the best idea for a new business. Now it’s time to refine it so that you can start focusing on the key points. When you begin molding your idea into an actual business, consider these questions:
- What makes my idea different than what’s already out there?
- What problem does my service solve?
- What is the competition like? Have they been successful? What is not working for them?
When you start answering those questions, you can get a better idea of what your business can do.
Make a Business Plan
Having a business plan is an essential part of starting a business. In the very least, you need to have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish with your business and how you plan to do it.
If you plan on seeking money from an investor, your business plan needs to be more elaborate. It needs to include a summary of your business, a company description, what services you’re providing, a market analysis, and a marketing strategy. This information will help investors decide whether they want to give you money to start your business.
Choose a Business Structure
One of the first things you’ll learn about starting a business is that you need to choose a business structure. You can choose:
- Sole Proprietorship – Business is owned and managed by one person
- Partnership- A business owned and operated by more than one person
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)- A combination of a corporation & and a partnership, owners are called members, not shareholders
- Corporation-Company owned by a list of shareholders
Pick a Name & Register It
Once you’ve decided what name to give your business, you have to own it. First, you need to see if it’s already used or trademarked. If it is, then it’s a no-go. If it’s not, then you need to register it. Once you do this, also check to see what types of licenses or permits you’ll need. You don’t want to get off on a wrong foot by not checking what you need to operate your business legally.
Choose a Location
You’ve heard it before…it’s all about location, location, location. Choosing the right spot for your business could make or break it. You’ll need to decide how much space you’ll need first. Then, start looking around for good spots. You’ll have to keep your budget in mind when it comes to rent or lease options. There is also the option to buy your space. This may be an option depending on the price, but many new business owners don’t like to go this route. If the business doesn’t work out for some reason, they now own a building that they’ll need to sell. Looking for a space you can rent with the option to buy may make the most sense. This way you can test your business out for a while and see how it goes. If it’s a booming success, then you can look into the option to buy.
How you go about doing this will depend on the type of business you’re starting. Some small businesses may only require a handful of employees to start. Others may require more staff. Think about your business plan and about the minimal employees needed to get things going. You can always add more people later.
When you’re hiring new employees, be clear about the job description and duties. You also want to do your homework about when it comes to wages. You want to be competitive and fair, while still making a profit.
The Big Money Question
When it comes to starting a business, money is a big part of the puzzle. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to finances and starting a new business.
- How can I start my own business with no money?
When some people start off, they don’t have much money or any money at all, to start a business. If you fall into this category, there are several things you can do. One is to apply for a small business loan. This can help to cover beginning expenses until you start turning a profit. You can also look into getting investors.
In some areas, there are also small business grants that you can apply for. These can be hard to find and may get taken quickly. But, it doesn’t hurt to look into them because they’re free money!
Speaking of free…look into how many services you can get for free to get your business off the ground. If you know of someone who can help with a website or making a sign, ask. Think about the friends you have or people you know who you may be able to trade tasks with. One big freebie to take advantage of has to with advertising. Facebook and social media are great channels to advertise for free.
- How much money do you need to start a small business?
The answer depends on what type of business you’re starting. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, most microbusinesses cost around $3,000 to start. If you’re thinking of starting a home-based franchise, you can expect to spend anywhere from $2,000-$5,000.
If all of this information seems overwhelming and you’re still not sure what type of business you want to start you can get inspired by thinking about some of the most successful small businesses. They fall into these categories:
- Tax Preparation
- Catering Services
- Business Consulting
- Mobile Hairdresser
- Online Tutoring
- Cleaning Services
If you’re looking to start a cleaning service or any other type of business and are not sure where to start, contact Debbie Sardone. Debbie is a leading expert in the cleaning business. When it comes to starting a business from the ground up, no one has more experience. She started her cleaning business out of the trunk of her car and grew it to one of the largest maid services in the country.