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HOW TO START A SMALL BUSINESS

When you consider some of the most popular reasons to start a business, including having a unique business idea, designing a career that has the flexibility to grow with you, working toward financial independence, and investing in yourself.  But not every small business is positioned for success. In fact, only about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years, and about half survive five years. So you may be in for a real challenge when you decide to take the plunge, ditch your day job, and become a business owner. The stage is often set in the beginning, so making sure you follow all of the necessary steps when starting your business can set the foundation for success.

Do Your Research; most likely you have already identified a business idea, so now it’s time to balance it with a little reality. Does your idea have the potential to succeed? You will need to run your business idea through a validation process before you go any further. In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something the market wants.

Make a Plan; you need a plan in order to make your business idea a reality. A business plan is a blueprint that will guide your business from the start-up phase through establishment and eventually business growth, and it is a must-have for all new businesses. If you intend to seek financial support from an investor or financial institution, a business proposal is a must. This type of plan is generally long and thorough and has a common set of sections that investors and banks look for when they are validating your idea. If you don’t anticipate seeking financial support, a simple one-page business plan can give you clarity about what you hope to achieve and how you plan to do it. In fact, you can even create a working business plan on the back of a napkin, and improve it over time. Some kind of plan in writing is always better than nothing.

Plan Your Finances; Starting a small business doesn’t have to require a lot of money, but it will involve some initial investment as well as the ability to cover ongoing expenses before you are turning a profit. Put together a spreadsheet that estimates the one-time startup costs for your business (licenses and permits, equipment, legal fees, insurance, branding, market research, inventory, trademarking, grand opening events, property leases, etc.), as well as what you anticipate you will need to keep your business running for at least 12 months (rent, utilities, marketing and advertising, production, supplies, travel expenses, employee salaries, your own salary, etc.).

Choose a Business Structure; your small business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company or a corporation. The business entity you choose will impact many factors from your business name, to your liability, to how you file your taxes. You may choose an initial business structure, and then reevaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs change.

Pick and Register Your Business Name; your business name plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Make sure you think through all of the potential implications as you explore your options and choose your business name.

Get Licenses and Permits; Paperwork is a part of the process when you start your own business. There are a variety of small business licenses and permits that may apply to your situation, depending on the type of business you are starting and where you are located. You will need to research what licenses and permits apply to your business during the start-up process.

Choose Your Accounting System; Small businesses run most effectively when there are systems in place. One of the most important systems for a small business is an accounting system. Your accounting system is necessary in order to create and manage your budget, set your rates and prices, conduct business with others, and file your taxes. You can set up your accounting system yourself, or hire an accountant to take away some of the guesswork.

Set Up Your Business Location; Setting up your place of business is important for the operation of your business, whether you will have a home office, a shared or private office space, or a retail location. You will need to think about your location, equipment, and overall setup, and make sure your business location works for the type of business you will be doing. You will also need to consider if it makes more sense to buy or lease your commercial space.

Get Your Team Ready; if you will be hiring employees, now is the time to start the process. Make sure you take the time to outline the positions you need to fill, and the job responsibilities that are part of each position.

Promote Your Small Business; once your business is up and running, you need to start attracting clients and customers. You’ll want to start with the basics by writing a unique selling proposition and creating a marketing plan. Then, explore as many small business marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business most effectively.

Once you have completed these business start-up activities, you will have all of the most important bases covered. Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight. But use the plan you’ve created to consistently work on your business, and you will increase your chances of success.

At Korsell Corporate Consult Limited, we help you with your business planning, strategy document and other custom services. Speak to us now 055 391 9618 or Email: info@korsellcorporateconsult.com

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