How to Start a Business in a Few Short Steps

I recently thought about what kinds of thoughts went through my mind when I first started my small business. Maybe you’ve had these same thoughts: “Where do I start?” and “What needs to be done?” These are both excellent questions that must be answered before opening your doors (or “virtual doors”) to the public. In this blog post, we’ll talk about each of these questions and I’ll provide some answers that will hopefully help you achieve your goal of getting your business off the ground.

Where to Start

If you have a good idea of what products or services you want to offer, then you’ve taken the very first step toward some solid planning. If that’s the case, do some Google searches for those products and services and see what the competitor’s sites look like. You’ll want to look at what “branches” are covered on their site. When I say this, I mean that you’ll want to look for specific people they are targeting in their offerings.

For example, if you’ve decided to sell Internet marketing services online, you’ll want to better understand who your customers are. Make pages and mini-web sites that cater specifically to small business owners, women business owners, local prospects and people who have a strictly online business. With these categories of customers decided on, do some research into what needs each of these groups of customers have. They will be surprisingly different from each other in some ways and very similar in others. Build on that knowledge to create trust in your potential customers and to really be seen as an expert in your field.

What Needs to Be Done

Starting a business is a daunting task if you don’t really know what needs to be done, and in what order. However, by sitting down and making a list of the to-dos, you can be well on your way to creating a successful business enterprise. First, decide whether you will operate as a Sole Proprietor, LLC, or a Corporation. I’ve personally found the small business section of About.com to be especially helpful. Once you’ve weighed in on the type of business structure you’d like to use, here are some to-dos to consider:

  • Decide on a company name
  • Buy a domain name for your web site
  • Decide on hosting and design services
  • Hire someone to do a professional logo for you (about $100)
  • Purchase a business license (you may also need to file a DBA, so ask your city)
  • Decide on how your business will be organized (sole proprietor, LLC, corporation)
  • Make a business plan
  • Seek out lenders; banks, friends, family to raise funding
  • Get business insurance to protect your personal assets
  • Set up an email address and business phone line
  • Have business cards printed up
  • Start marketing online!

It really is that easy!

To a more solid start for your small business,

Kim



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3 Responses

  1. There is so much information here! I’m trying to remember all of it so I can put it to work.

  2. Awesome information
    Great business info, definately following this site from now on.

  3. Very good information thank you.
    Bookmarking this page.

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