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Starting a Small Business 

Q  I am thinking about starting a small business. Where do I start?

A Before you take the plunge, here are some first steps to take:

  • Ask yourself, "What are the main reasons for wanting to start a business?" Talk to or read about successful small business owners. Compare your answer with theirs. Are your reasons realistic?
  • Conduct a "Personal Assessment" of your skills and personality to see what areas might need work or might hinder your success, as well as what your strengths are.
  • Conduct some brief research of the market. Is there a need for your product or service that is not being met adequately?
  • Talk to small business owners in a similar type business. Determine what your day will be like. Try working a day in a similar business to see what it would be like and what you would be doing all day.
  • Take a class on "starting a small business." Contact your StartZone to find out what classes are offered.
  • Move through the 'Do you want to go into business?' needs assessment. It provides suggestions on what you can do to assess your current situation, and provides next step referrals based on where you are in the process.

Now you may be ready for this list of second steps to take.

  • Write a business plan. View our section on Business Plans for more information.
  • Ask yourself, "Does this plan show that the business will generate enough revenues to pay all of its expenses, provide an adequate compensation to you, the owner, and also provide an adequate return on your investment of time and money?"
  • Get necessary financing. (See "How do I finance my business" below)
  • Secure a location.
  • Register get licenses/permits
  • Obtain insurance. Arrange for utilities and phones.
  • Set up a record-keeping system; consider hiring an accountant or bookkeeper.
  • Order inventory and supplies
  • Take your business plan and develop a "marketing calendar" of specific marketing activities indicating the dates when you will do them.
  • Hire and train employees. Consider an employee manual; determine policies/procedures. (See Human Resources FAQs)

 


 

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Page last updated: October 11 2013

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