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How to start a small business

If you have an idea for a small business, don't let it go to waste.Like hundreds of thousands of other Americans you want to start your own small business and be a success. How do you start?Let's explore some questions you should ask to get started and discuss some tips for starting off right and being successful.

First you need to ask yourself why you want to start a small business.It isn't easy and the reason to start shouldn't solely be based upon making money because not everyone succeeds. Next, really reflect on what it is you want to do?If you are going to run a business it should be something you enjoy. Otherwise, why not go work in an office somewhere for someone else. Successful companies develop from individuals that find passion in what they do. Then look at and analyze what your nice is going to be?How are you going to compete?Is there competition?Do you have the skill set to do what it is you want to do?Be realistic, is this an idea that will really work? The Small Business Admisitration (SBA) has a website and provides a quick 5 minute Business Readiness Assessment Tool to help you on your way.After completing the assessment it provides you with step by step suggestions to help you get the rest of the way to starting your business.

Here are ten tips to start you off:

  1. SAVE!!! Save as much money as you can to start your business off with. Finding funding is not always the easiest thing to do and causes and enormous amount of pressure and stress on a brand new business.

  2. Think small. Your idea may be Big.but think about how you can implement it slowly. Obviously building 30 stores in a brand new region to start is not going to be cost effective.

  3. Protect Yourself. Make sure you protect your personal assets.Never tie your business to your home - if the business fails you could be homeless.

  4. UNDERSTAND PROFIT!Make sure you know what profit really is and how to obtain it. Do a little research.

  5. Develop a business plan! No matter how big or small your company is, your business plan provides you with direction and keeps you on course. A budget should be included with this. Adhere to it.

  6. Stay competitive. Never quit researching the competition. Markets change; customers are fickle and shift loyalties quickly.

  7. Make sure you put everything in writing. Even if you trust them completely, put everything in writing. In today's litigious society it is never a bad thing to make sure you have a back up or copy of transactions taking place.

  8. Hire qualified people. Don't just pick anyone to work for you. Make sure you put the most qualified and best combination of people in your business. Find the combination that creates a positive working culture.

  9. Stay informed about the legal status of all your employees. You don't want to get caught for not paying taxes for an employee because of miscommunication.

  10. TIMELY PAYMENTS. Make sure you pay your bills on time and that you pay your taxes no matter what.

Other things you need to consider are how you are going to obtain capital for your business.Performing cost analysis and break even analysis to see how you can make money. You'll need to do some business forecasting. You'll have to select a name and make sure that it isn't already in use. Decide on a location that will best suit the needs of your business and your customers. Make sure to obtain the necessary legal documentation. Get business insurances, accounting practices, and tax reporting methods all set up.

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