How to Start a Small Business: A Step by Step Guide

So, you want to start your own small business? Congratulations! Starting a small business is a big step in one’s life and can be super rewarding. Have you ever wondered just how you go about starting your own small business? Follow these steps to ensure you check all the necessary boxes before you begin.

1. Do your research

Before starting your new business venture, you want to make sure you’re not getting in over your head. First, look at your competitors to see what kind of costs they’re incurring as well as how they run their business operationally. It’s important to investigate your competitors’ processes to know what a realistic set up should look like.

Next, dive into financials. What kind of capital do you have set aside for start-up costs? Have you outlined exactly what it will cost to get your business off the ground? Setting up a financial plan before you start your business is a crucial step in order to stay on top of your costs.

2. Structure Your Business

What kind of business would you like to have? You can choose from having a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (LLC), a partnership, or a corporation. This choice has many implications including how you file your taxes, what documentation you must provide about your business, and much more.

Additionally, make an organizational flow chart. Obviously, as your company grows you will need to add more and more positions. However, creating a structure for how the organization will run can give you the foresight on how many people you need to hire in order to help you get your business up and running.

3. Make it legal

As misfiling legal documentation can be super costly, ensure you have all the paperwork necessary to make your business ready to operate. Start by choosing a unique business name. Once you have chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s not currently taken or trademarked. Next, you should register your business’s name with your business formation paperwork.

Then, start the process of getting all the licenses and permits you might need to run your business. Look online for information about what permits are necessary so you don’t cause yourself to get fined later down the line. Additionally, look into what kind of insurance you’ll need to adequately cover your assets in case anything unforeseen happens.

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4. Find your ideal office space

A fun part of starting your own business is getting to pick out where exactly you’d like to work. If you’d like to work remotely from home, you get to decorate your home office with all the essentials you need to be successful.

If you’d rather work in a traditional office space, you get to pick out which commercial property you’d like to work from. Don’t forget that when looking at commercial properties you want to consider which is best for you: to rent or to buy.

Also, be aware that many rental contracts ask for a 3-5-year commitment. This means you’ll need to predict how many employees you’ll add to your team over the next few years to ensure you have room for them in your new space.

5. Put some software in place

Do some research into what kind of software you’ll need to make your new business a success. Many times, having automation in place for your business can greatly cut down on the time and costs associated with several workplace functions.

First, to keep your employee benefits, timesheets, payroll, and other HR admin functions in one place consider using a software platform like Zenefits. This kind of software is hugely useful in keeping all employee booking keeping type things all in one place.

Next, find an internal software system that will work best for your needs. If you plan on doing a lot of marketing outreach, a system that helps automate manual outreach and keeps your leads all in one place such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud might be a good system for you to use.

6. Hire your team

Once you’ve gotten everything into place to start your new business, it’s time to hire your staff! When hiring for a new business there are many things you need to take into consideration. First, decide how many people you need to help get your business off the ground. What different departments do you need to help make your business a success?

There are many automated features associated with recruitment and hiring that can help you efficiently hire for your new positions. Using free job boards such as Indeed and LinkedIn can help you to add qualifying questions in order to knock out several candidates who won’t be a good fit before even having to look at a resume.

After narrowing down your candidate list, interview your top picks. If you’re new to giving interviews, use some common interview questions to structure the interview. Additionally, look for common traits in your candidates that prove they are a good hire. For example, 73% of hiring managers look for candidates with a strong work ethic. Looking for a candidate with qualities that are proven to lead to successful hires ensure you’re hiring the best candidates possible.

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