In order to start a business, there are a number of fundamental steps you must undertake before you can open your doors for business. While your particular business and company goals will most likely impact this initial checklist, all new owners alike should do the following prior to opening their doors to business:
Determine a Business Model and Plan to Make Money. Choose a business name. Obtain your required licenses and permits. Create a business bank account and keep track of your receipts and expenditures.
Decide on a Business Model and Plan to Make Money. You may be able to find a business idea that is currently profitable, or you may want to start from scratch. Either way, it is vital to come up with a business plan. This will help you to outline the purpose of your organization and what you hope to accomplish in the months to come. For example, you may want to make money with your online business, so your business plan will include information on creating an Internet presence, creating an e-commerce site, and how you will market your products and services.
Choose a Business Model and Plan to Get Started. Once you have a business idea and a business plan, it is time to choose a business model. There are hundreds of different models out there, but keep in mind that only two out of 10 businesses that start turn into big successes. The most successful businesses often follow a proven approach to operating an enterprise. If your company has an idea, then you may want to conduct some competitive analysis. Competitive analysis can provide the framework for your business plan, so it is important to use it carefully.
Get Your Business Insurance and Business License Ready. It is extremely important to have a comprehensive insurance policy covering your entire operation. This includes theft protection, public liability coverage, and professional indemnity insurance. You should also prepare a set of standard business plans that are available through the Small Business Administration so you know what you need to get started and how to proceed.
Research Licenses and Regulations. Before you can start a business, you must first obtain basic business licenses and legal documentation. These can vary from state to state, so it is important to understand business finance, taxation, and licensing requirements. You can save money by doing some of this research yourself, but it helps to have professionals who can give you professional advice about legal matters. There are plenty of free resources on the Internet that can help you do some research. However, if you need more assistance, you may want to consider spending some money on business insurance, consultant services, or startup kits from established businesses.