Whether an online business or a real world storefront, owning your own business can be a pathway to success. However, it will take a lot of work, and there are significant risks involved. Many restaurants fail in their first year, and small retail concerns fare almost as badly. The increasing rents near downtown areas mean that you’ll need sufficient starting capital to survive your first year in business. Write a business plan that lists your objective as well as a tally of your expected start-up costs. Then, double those costs, and you have a rough idea of how much money you’d need to have a chance of staying in business, never mind striking gold. The following four steps are crucial to starting any small business.
1. Perhaps you have ideas for starting a business already, or just recently noticed some service that’s missing in your community. Use online tools and resources to create an original business plan. This written plan will map out how you plan to start and run your business.
2. Choose a business location. You need to learn the difference between high-traffic and high-rent, to select a viable location and adhere to zoning laws. Find government backed loans, small business loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started in business. Working capital has to be sufficient to provide liquidity during any initial slow periods.
3. Decide which form of business incorporation is best suited for your enterprise, a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, an ‘S corporation,’ non-profit organization, or cooperative venture.
4. Learn about tax requirements from the IRS, and your state revenue department. Obtain a tax identification number, and required business licenses and permits. Further, if you are planning on hiring, further steps may need to be taken.