Having a great start-up business idea that motivates you to start building your own business empire is excellent. However, when the initial excitement passes, you will realize that the process of start-up launch has to be broken down and planned carefully. In the US, more than 600,000 start-ups are launched each year. Before you contribute to that number, there are some necessary and crucial steps you need to undertake in order to launch your own business properly. Here is what you should do.
Create a Business Plan
The first important step is writing a business plan. The four categories of every business plan are – business description, finances, marketing and management. Business plan contains market analysis, short- and long-term plans, business aims, market strategies, competitive analysis, development plans and financial factors. It will help you determine whether your business will be strong, secure and promising from the very start. Also, if you don’t have the funds necessary to fund the business, but plan to raise capital, your lenders will require and well-structured and extensive business plan.
In order to identify your enterprise, you will need to procure a Federal Tax Identification Number (also known as an Employer Identification Number) from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). This number is required for conducting business transactions, such as paying taxes, obtaining a business license and opening up a bank account. As soon as your registration is complete, you will receive your EIN.
Choose your business name and register it by contacting the office of the secretary of state. Decide on the legal form of business you plan to establish (a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or a limited liability company) and work with an attorney or tax accountant to create the necessary articles of business incorporation.
In order for a business to be successful and serve its purpose, people have to be aware of its existence and products/services it offers. That is why a marketing plan is required. The support of close business associates, friends and family members, as well as word of mouth, can only take you so far. Concentrate on creating a brand and building brand awareness through Web presence, as well as online ads and print publications. Also, hand out marketing materials, business cards, and promotional material (t-shirts, mugs, new ballpoint pens, notepads and USB sticks) with your company’s name and logo imprint on them.
You may very well decide to handle your business accounting on your own, but that might work in the beginning. If you don’t have an extended expertise in the accounting field (and if you do, you probably won’t have time to deal with it when other obligations start building up), hiring a good accountant will prove to be an invaluable asset. Anyhow, having a financial and record-keeping system kept clean and in place is necessary before you get started.
If you need a separate physical site to operate your business, look for retail space or office, equipment and furniture, as well as utility providers and suppliers. If it’s a home business, then a city permit for operating a business from home is required. In that case, your home address will be your business location.
Business Relationships and Employees
After you get all the paperwork done and obtain a business owner’s insurance policy (which is necessary for covering liabilities and protection in case of lawsuits and property damage), obtain all the permits and licenses required for operating your business. Open a business, checking, and savings account in a bank, and inform on all the available loan options.
When hiring employees (that is if you need them), consider things such as taxes and benefits, payroll and training, employment law, human resources management, employee status and whether they will work part-time, full-time, or on contract.
Once you have everything prepared, your business is ready to go. If the location has been set, employees hired and trained, and resources on the reach, set a big opening day that will mark the beginning of your new business day-to-day management.