How to Start a New Small Business
Owning your own business is part of the American Dream for many. Working for yourself is liberating and can encourage you to work harder and, hopefully, earn more. Even if you don’t earn more than you used to at your day job, being able to work for yourself and not someone else is often rewarding enough to make up for less income coming in.
If you are a budding small business owner, there are a number of things you should do to start your business.
Before Your Business Opens
Before your business even begins, you will want to develop a business plan. This plan can serve two main purposes. First, it helps guide you as your business grows and flourishes. A business plan states what you want the business to do and how you want to grow it. Second, a business plan lets potential investors evaluate whether they want to fund your business or not. In addition, they can determine the potential profitability of your business.
Second, you will want to seek investors, if necessary. Not all small businesses require funding. If yours does, you will need to find backers. There are plenty of traditional avenues to pursue, and some people even look to peer to peer lending companies like Lending Club to get financial backing.
Third, prepare to accept payments. If your business is conducted over the Internet, you will need to set up a website and prepare to accept payment. Even if your business does not have a web presence (though it should), you will need to have a merchant account through a company such as BetterMerchantAccounts to process your payments.
When Your Business Opens
After your business is open, you should continue to pursue funding, if necessary. Besides cash loans, consider grants.
Hire a tax professional. If you haven’t done so before opening your business, hire an accountant who can help you keep your books, if necessary, as well as prepare and file your taxes. The laws can be more complex for businesses, so you want to make sure your taxes are filed correctly every year.
Third, make sure you have all of the required licenses and permits to operate your business. If you don’t, you could face a fine, or your business could be temporarily shut down.
Finally, if your business continues to grow, you may find that it becomes larger than you can handle on your own. In that case, you will want to consider hiring employees. Of course, when hiring employees, there is another round of paperwork that you will need to file to make sure everything is done legally.
Starting your own business is both exciting and time consuming. While this is an outline of most of the steps you will need to take, keep in mind the entire process may take months. However, the process is well worth while so that you can be a small business owner and achieve your American Dream. Many small business owners go on to own large corporations that are extremely profitable. Could yours be one of them?
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