Starting a Small Business: A How-To For – Hopefully – Success

Lots of people dream about how to starting a small business, and every year, some of them actually turn that dream into reality. Unfortunately, as many as 50 percent of small business owners find that dream becomes a nightmare, as the business fails within the first year. No one can absolutely guarantee success, but there are some measures you can take to improve the probability of success. Here’s what you need to know for how to starting a business that won’t immediately fail.

Many people who dream of starting a small business think that they’ll be able to “be their own boss”. Well, it’s true that you won’t have a direct supervisor, but you’ll find that once you’re in business, every customer is your boss – and if you don’t keep them happy, you’ll soon be out of a job, even though you don’t have someone to fire you. Be prepared to work long hours, as you may not be able to afford as much in the way of help as you really need. Lots of people do well for themselves by starting a small business – the ones who plan ahead and follow through with what’s necessary at every step of the way. So, first, you should take an honest and objective look at your own skills, talents, and work ethic, and make sure that you have what it takes to carry the business through the first, hard days.

Then, before actually starting a small business, have a plan – a written plan. You need to answer all of the following questions (and any others that you can think of yourself) and put the answers down in writing.

• What will you call your business?

• What resources will you need?

• Will you run the business out of your home, or will you need office, retail, and/or warehouse space?

• What are your short- and long-term goals?

• How much will your product cost to produce?

• How much will your other overhead costs (rent, utilities, advertising, etc.) be?

• Will you be able to sell enough products at a high enough price to cover those costs?

• Will you have competition? If so, what is your plan to beat the competitors?

• How will you market your product?

• What business form will you use (will you incorporate)?

• How will you cover the start-up costs?

• Will you need investors or outside financing?

Only once you have all of these – and possibly more – questions answered, will you be ready to take the next step – actually starting to produce and sell your product.

Only once you have all of these – and possibly more – questions answered, will you be ready to take the next step – actually starting to produce and sell your product.

Once your business is up and running, keeps your accounting records straight right from the beginning. Although it may seem boring and more time-consuming than it’s worth, in fact, knowing where your business stands financially at all times are essential. Be sure your costs stay in line with your projections. If the costs start to run higher, revise your original projections and make sure you can stay afloat with the resources you have. You absolutely should have a separate checking account for your business, apart from your personal checking account. Also, consider speaking with your bank about getting a merchant account, so you can accept credit card payments, or, especially if your business is online, you might consider getting a PayPal account, so you can accept orders and payments online.


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