The First 5 Steps to Start a Small Business

small business

Anyone looking to start a small business can feel overwhelmed. For most people, it involves taking on unfamiliar tasks and projects. Here are some steps to take that can help the process seem more manageable. 

1. Research

If there are similar businesses already operating, it can be helpful to look into what makes them successful. If the business is a completely new idea, start by asking these questions:

  • Does it solve a problem?
  • Does it fulfill a need?
  • Does it offer a product or service the market is lacking?
  • What is the competition like?

Finding answers to these questions can help identify whether or not the business has the potential to be successful. 

2. Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning is essential to any new business. The plan should outline the goal of the business and what it will take to accomplish it. The better and more thorough the planning phase, the better the odds can be of success. One of the top things to think through is the financing. Whether or not loans are needed, there will most likely need to be an initial investment made, which involves capital. Having a decent idea of what it will cost to start and keep the business running for at least a year can give the business its best shot. This is also a good juncture during which to decide on a business structure.

3. Get All Necessary Registrations, Licenses and Permits

There is usually more paperwork involved in this step of the process than many people realize. At least the business name and domain name need to be registered, and the necessary licenses and permits will vary by industry. Until these have been obtained, the business can’t move forward.

4. Choose and Set Up a Location

Will the offices be in the back of the retail location? Will there be a home office? Is private office space needed for multiple employees? Take into consideration the equipment necessary, the number of employees and the potential volume of customers when making this decision. One part of this step that should not be missed is to get a business phone number. Customers will need a professional way to contact the business without using personal home or cell phone numbers. 

5. Pick a Team

Hiring employees may seem daunting, but breaking it down into steps can help. Figure out which positions are needed and the job responsibilities of each one. Even if no employees are necessary, it can be helpful to have a support system like a small business coach or mentor to use as a resource for advice, encouragement and ideas.