If you are eager to start a new business it is important not to get in too big of a hurry and potentially set yourself up for failure. However, there are some steps you can take to make the process more efficient.
1. Make Sure Starting a Business Is Right for You
Owning a business can be an extremely rewarding experience, but sometimes the idea of being your own boss can be more appealing than the reality. Try to find some people you trust who have been there and will be honest with you about what running a business is like. Make a pros and cons list of owning a business versus working for someone else. Do some soul searching and make sure this still seems like a good idea before you invest any resources into the venture.
2. Choose the Right Business Type
You do not want to jump on the first business opportunity you find. Do your research. What types of businesses do your skills, experience, interests and educational background make you particularly suited for? What are the startup costs and can you afford them? How long will it take you to begin making a profit?
You will also need to decide whether you want to start a new business from scratch, purchase an existing business or become a franchise owner. Since you are wanting to get started quickly, purchasing an existing business or a franchise, such as an office cleaning franchise, could be the better choice, because some of the work has already been done for you.
3. Do Your Homework
Once you have settled on a business idea, you need to find out everything you can about that business. You will want to find out what the current market trends are, how much competition there is, how profitable similar businesses have been and are projected to be and how much demand there is for the products or services you plan to provide.
Additionally, it is a good idea to do some research regarding day-to-day operations. You need to have a good idea of how many employees you will need to hire and how hard it will be to find qualified employees in your area. You will also want to know how much of your own time you will need to invest to keep the business running and what kind of outside help you may need to hire and what it will cost you.
4. Write a Business Plan
A business plan is important for multiple reasons. First, it helps you flesh out your idea, what you want to accomplish with your business and how you plan to accomplish it. Second, you will probably need to obtain financing to start your business and most lenders and investors are going to want to see your business plan before they will consider approving you for financing or investing in your company.
If you are not sure how to write a business plan, there are many resources available online and at your local library. You can also purchase a software program, hire a business plan writer or consult with an attorney. Many community colleges offer courses on entrepreneurship that cover the topic of writing a business plan.
5. Select a Business Structure
Most small businesses are organized as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S-corporation or a limited liability company. Each of these business structures has advantages and disadvantages. Sole proprietorships and partnerships are simple to form but may expose your personal assets to risk. The other forms have tax advantages and disadvantages and provide varying amounts of liability protection, but are more complex to start. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney and a CPA or other financial professional before choosing a structure.
6. Build Your Team
If your business is very small, you may be able to run it by yourself, at least at the start. However, eventually, you will probably need to hire employees. It is also a good idea to have a team of professionals, such as attorney, accountants, IT support, contractors and others who can help you with your business operations.
You can start a business quickly and efficiently, without rushing into errors that could hamper your success. These six steps will help you get started on the right foot.