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Are you thinking about starting a small business? I have started two businesses and worked for many others. As a bookkeeper I work in the background while others maintain the face of the company.
Over the years, I continuously receive questions on which steps to make before starting a business. Therefore, I have created a list of the 9 Steps to Make Before Starting a Small Business to help entrepreneurs like yourself get started.
Starting a Small Business? Let’s Get Started
One of the most important steps to make before you start a small business is deciding what it is you want to sell. There are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before starting up a full-fledged business:
- Are you going to sell something handmade?
- Is it beneficial to resell a product?
- Is a blog for you?
- Can you sell on an e-commerce platform?
- Will you be providing a service?
- Are you planning on selling virtually or locally?
The type of business you opt to dive into will help determine what you need to do to get started.
1. Research the Niche
There are a lot of people out there doing and thinking the same thing as you. Whatever niche you have an interest in, be sure to read and research.
Research the market’s trends, identify your consumer and study your competition. Do your due diligence to sell and promote a niche in demand. The niche that you prefer may become a slow-moving business if it is not a fan favorite.
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2. Love Your Small Business
Love your business and niche! Do not start a business based on what you think will sell if you don’t absolutely love it. A business owner who is not passionate about what they are doing will grow bored and tired.
Having a business can be time consuming and hard work. I often work seven days a week. Your business will only grow if you want it to grow so be sure to enjoy the type of business you choose.
3. Business Registration
Pick a business name, register your business name, and decide what type of entity you want your business to be.
Additional steps to make for your business registration are checking with your local business registration office to establish if you need a business license, a re-sellers permit, a gross receipt tax rate, or a federal tax identification number.
A useful resource is the Small Business Administration. In the beginning stages of our business, I contacted the Small Business Administration office when I was unsure of local requirements. They were accommodating with information and resources.
4. Small Business Plan
Another one of the 9 Steps to Make Before Starting a Small Business is creating a business plan. Writing a business plan exposes flaws or fresh ideas a business owner may not recognize before opening the business.
A business plan will change as the company grows. Business planning helps to create a strategy when you start a business.
5. Business Start-Up Money
After assessing your business plan think about what you need financially to start a business. Small businesses can start with very little money or none at all depending on the business venture.
Put together a list of items that you will need while starting your business. Research items online, make phone calls, and contact vendors for prices. Consider expenses for office supplies, equipment, subscriptions, and materials or cost of goods.
Your list will help you finalize an amount for the startup cost of your business.
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6. Select a Selling Platform
Elect a place to sell your product or service when you start a business. Etsy is great for homemade products. New and used products sell on eBay.
You can sell products or services online through e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Volusion, BigCommerce, and Weebly. For my husband’s business we chose Shopify because it was easy to learn, and it was simple to add products.
Shopify has an excellent customer service department which I’ve used multiple times. Shopify offers a free trial period before opting for one of their plans. The basic Shopify plan is only $29.
I also use GoDaddy.com for domain names and SiteGround hosting for my blog. Please remember that starting a website will not come easy to everyone and making time can be a challenge at first.
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7. Pick a Payment System
There are a ton of payment systems available to use. If you are using a program like QuickBooks for bookkeeping and accounting, you might want to incorporate their Intuit go payment app.
Online e-commerce companies like Shopify offer their payment system and point of sale options. Etsy provides a payment system for their sellers. Square, PayPal, and Stripe are some favorites.
8. Track Income and Expenses
Use accounting software for proper bookkeeping records. There are many programs to choose from like QuickBooks, Wave, and FreshBooks. If you do not feel comfortable using software then opt to hire a bookkeeper or an accountant.
Come tax season you will be thankful you had a way to track your income and expenses. It will cost you more later if you don’t start your business off right!
Sign up for my free Bookkeeping Simplified Guide. My Bookkeeping Simplified Guide includes free access to my method on how to put your bookkeeping on a schedule.
9. Ask for Help When Starting a Small Business
Not everyone has a background in business and accounting so if you need help don’t be afraid to ask for it. There are classes you can take and professionals you can hire. I emphasize to all new business owners – make sure you have a record keeping practice in place.
The research and time it takes to get started will vary for every small business owner. These 9 Steps to Make Before Starting a Small Business are the right moves for you if you work hard for a service or product you feel good about.
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Thoughts About Starting a Small Business
Starting a small business takes time and effort; therefore, it’s important you take your time to think through some big decisions. The 9 Steps to Make Before Starting a Small Business will help you begin your new venture, but remember this is only the beginning.
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Starting a small business is exciting – feel good about the decisions you are about to make!