How To Start a Business
Where To Start in the Business Start-Up plan is probably the first question most people ask.
It’s hard to know where to begin and what information to look for when starting a business. This article shows some methods of gathering the information needed to get started.
Research Your Idea
One of the most important steps to starting a business is to research your business idea. There are organizations that provide free resources, public libraries having many books, videos and computer software guides and government offices, banks, associations and newspapers can be found on the internet.
Sources of information to research would be government information such as the industry, statistics, census tracts, and economic development and trade.
Know your competition; make a list using trade directories or the phonebook. Visiting the competition will help get to know the products, services, price and marketing approaches being used.
Join related business associations; they can help with advice and industry information.
Read magazines, newspapers, and specific business journals to learn about the industries trends, issues, legislations and any other important information in the industry.
Take surveys of potential customer, this helps to recognize if there is a need for the product or service.
Meet and talk with suppliers related to the business. The suppliers will be able to give you information on the current trends, the industry standards, prices, competitors, and the products available.
The next important step is to selecting trusted business advisors, lawyer, accountant, banker, and insurance agents. Finding the right advisor can be the difference between success and failure.
When starting a new business, finding financing can be difficult. A new business is usually a higher risk business than one that is already established. There are several places funding may come from such as self financing, family and friends, a partner or partners, private investor, banks, trust companies, credit unions and suppliers or government programs.
Selecting a Business Structure
Next you need to look at selecting a business structure. Sole proprietorship has advantages of low start-up costs and the owner has direct control. Disadvantages would be unlimited liability and difficult to raise capital. Partnership is another option that also has low start-up costs, and is an additional source of venture capital. Disadvantages are, unlimited liability and divided authority. A corporation has an advantage of limited liability and easier to raise capital. Disadvantages are a corporation is expensive to organize and is closely regulated.
The next step is the business name registration. A business name has to be registered before using the name and renewed, usually every five years and to open a business bank account.
Another important step is finding a business location; this can have a great impact on the success of the business. When considering a location look at the physical requirements such as parking, the layout and the receiving area if required. The type of space required, is it an office, warehouse or a retail store. How big of a space do you require, what are the utilities, such as water, gas and power? Is it affordable, what are the taxes and lease rates.
Also, inquire about zoning regulations, and permits needed for construction or renovation of the business.
Leasing is very important to understand before any documents are signed. The terms of the lease, taxes, repairs, insurance, and payments, description of space, restrictions and termination policies and penalties, can all be overwhelming; a lawyer will be able to ensure everything is correct and help with lease negotiation.
Original article: How To Start A Business: Important Steps in Researching a Start Up Plan – written by Pat on Factoidz