Dying to get your start-up started? There’s no better time than now. You’ve got a dream. And now, it’s time to make that dream a reality. According to the Small Business Administration, here are the 10 important steps you need to follow before launching your new business venture.
Step 1: Get Business Training.
Before you get started, you’ll need to learn the basics. Enrolling in a business program at an accredited university is an ideal way to get the information you need to successfully set up and run your start-up.
Step 2: Create a Plan.
As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Creating a business plan ensures that you’ve done your homework and can meet your strategic goals and objectives. This plan lays the foundation for your start-up.
Step 3: Choose a Location.
You know what they say in real estate: “Location! Location! Location!” You’ll need to determine the best location for your start-up based on your target market, budget, industry research and business needs. Choose with care – this decision will have a significant impact on your success.
Step 4: Secure Your Financing.
It takes money to make money. You’ll need to obtain funding for your start-up, whether it’s through self-funding, a partnership, business loans or grants obtained through a bank or other institution, or additional investors.
Step 5: Develop a Structure.
There are several types of businesses. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. You’ll need to choose the right structure to fit your objectives, whether that’s a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC), a corporation or an S corporation.
Step 6: Register Your Name.
You won’t go far without a name. It’s necessary to register your start-up under a Doing Business As (DBA) name. You can do so through your county clerk’s office or with your state government.
Step 7: Register for Taxes.
You must also register with your state for a tax ID number, worker’s compensation, unemployment and disability insurance. Tax obligations, of course, vary by state and are usually related to employment and income taxes. You’ll register through your state’s registration site. As a business owner, you’ll need to adhere to federal and local tax policies as well.
Step 8: Get Your Licenses.
It’s important to obtain several federal and state permits and licenses to legally run your start-up. Be sure to get these in place.
Step 9: Know Your Responsibilities.
Being the boss has its perks, but it comes with responsibilities too. You must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), set up records for withholding taxes, comply with employee eligibility verification, register your state’s new hire reporting program, get worker’s compensation insurance, post required notices, file your taxes, set up recordkeeping and keep informed about the latest requirements for being an employer.
Step 10: Find a Mentor.
There’s a lot to learn. Why go it alone? You may already have a mentor or know a local businessperson whom you admire. Either way, it pays to build a rapport with an experienced person who can help you in the early stages of your start-up. Someone who has been there already will be a valuable resource for you. Don’t have anyone in mind? Reach out to the Small Business Association for advice or assistance.
BONUS TIP: Use Your Grit.
It takes a lot to get a start-up off the ground and bring it to the point of producing profits. You’ll need lots of resilience to deal with early setbacks and frustrations. Your start-up won’t become a success overnight. Hang in there and show your clients and competitors what you’re made of. The biggest predictor of success is your ability to bounce back. Show your grit and be persistent! Remember: When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher.