Critical ‘Must Haves’ When Starting A Small Business
Starting a business has been an integral part of the American dream for hundreds of years. This is the segment of the business world that has helped this country grow during its infancy, and it has been a mainstay in helping to keep the American economy afloat ever since. With all of the changes that all of this growth during the years has brought, the most important thing a person needs when starting a small business is knowledge. The amount of training and assistance that is available is staggering to say the least. What you need is to focus on what type of business you plan on operating, and find the assistance and training that is applicable to that field.
The time involved to get trained will depend on the type of business you want to have, and whether you plan on having someone train you or you plan on training yourself. Either way, you want this to be comprehensive in that it should cover everything from starting your business, maintaining it and then possibly selling it out when you want to retire. Everything involved may seem overwhelming at first, but it will all be worth it when you see the success starting to overtake the hard work you put in to make it a success.
The training you get and any assistance that comes with that training is going to be the foundation on which your business is built. From here, what you will need to get is a business plan. You can keep the plan in your head and just do it, or you can write it down in a professional manner. The latter of those 2 options is preferable for at least 2 reasons. One, having it all written will keep the ideas you have fresh for years to come. Your business, be it large or small, is going to be complex because it involves so many things. From where the business is going to be, how many employee’s you plan on starting with, advertising, marketing, and the list goes on.
The second, and possibly most important reason, is that a professionally written business plan is key to getting a loan to help get your business up and running. Now, if you have your own capital this isn’t going to be necessary. Nor would writing down your plan for the purpose of securing a loan, but again, writing down your plan is beneficial. There have been many times when people start their own business with certain things in mind, only to have those certain things change in time. The business world can be very fickle and your own plans may have to change to keep up with the external changes that have a direct or indirect influence on your business.
Having all of the applicable business licences is a legal necessity and something you definitely need to plan on getting. The reason this fact is being pointed out after the financial aspect is that some people tend to put the cart before the horse. Securing a loan is typically not contingent upon having the required licences to legally operate the business. However, getting the required licences would be pointless without the cash to get the business up and running. If need be, if the licensing procedures are costly, you can always take out 2 separate loans. One to get the licensing you need, and then when that is taken care of, secure a second loan for the business itself. With small businesses though, this is typically unneeded as many licences can cost as little as ninety-nine dollars.
Once you have the capital and the legal obligations taken care of, you need to come up with a name for your business and register that with the state where the business is head-quartered. When starting a small business this is kind of a no-brainer because you, typically, will only have one location. Some people though, when starting out, will have their main offices in one state while having another portion of the business, like a distribution centre for example, in another state. With this being the case, you need to register your business name in the state where the business originates from.
Your business name needs to be filed for the obvious legal reasons, but it also needs to be filed because it would be rather hard to advertise and market your business without one. Hopefully, this aspect of your business is a part of your plan because, without it, no other part of your plan is likely to work. This should also be a part of the budget that was included in your start-up loan. The main reason new businesses fail is because they fail to get the word out. Focusing on the best ways to do this should have been a part of the training you received at the outset.
Adding to these musts when starting your new business, is to actively retain legal advice. You will want to do this to get advice on contract and documents, as well as ongoing consultation and representation as you build and protect your business. One way to do this, without enormous cost, is to purchase a small business legal plan. You can usually find one that will provide the essentials for a start-up business, as well as ongoing advice as your business matures.
Aside from the training, the business plan, the loans, the licensing, and the small business legal plan, perhaps the most important thing you need to start your own business is patience. The old parable about the tortoise and the hare is true. Especially in the business world. No one gets rich quick, at least not legitimately, so slow and steady really does win this race. The rule of thumb to go by is to expect to be in business for 5 years before turning enough of a profit to live comfortably on. This is why many financial institutions that give out loans to small businesses like to see a 5 year plan. They know as well as anyone that 5 years is typically how long it takes to turn a liveable profit.
If this all sounds like a lot of work, well, it is. But with education, planning, organization and patience it doesn’t have to be hard. The rewards of owning your own business and being your own boss far outweigh the time and effort it took to become successful. There are many places online and, you can go to get testimonials from people who have “been there, done that”, and succeeded. I wish you good luck and much success with your new business.