Learning how to start a small business can be a complicated process. Make sure you’ve considered all of the following as you get your business up and running.
- Create a business plan. Think of it as your roadmap to success, outlining your goals for the next several years of business. The Small Business Administration has lots of helpful resources for what it should include.
- Line up your finances. Start with a budget and be specific: how much money will you need to get started? Do you have it saved up already, or will you need to secure a loan? Figure out where the money will come from.
- Choose your business name. Will you do business under your own name, or will you choose to name your business something else? Consider a name that sets you apart, and make sure it doesn’t infringe on and existing trademarks.
- Get your paperwork in order. You’ll need a tax ID number, and you may also need business licenses and permits. If your business is named something other than your own name, you may need to file a DBA (Doing Business As) name.
- Learn your local tax laws. In addition to federal taxes, there are state and local taxes to take into account. Find out the specific laws for your area.
- Consider how to market yourself. It’s not enough to just do what you do; your customers have to know you exist. For tips, check out our article on marketing your small business