Many successful businesses have started as an idea on a cocktail napkin. Starting your own company is hard, but it’s not impossible. If you’re reading this, you probably have an idea for a business already. That’s step one. Congratulations! You are now on your way to becoming an entrepreneur. What comes next is follow-through. You need to take that idea and turn it into a functioning business.
Below are 6 simple steps (and by simple, I mean I am covering the bare minimum here) to help you get started.
1.Make a Plan.
Whether it’s on a napkin or an online document, get your plan in writing. (For fun, consider including doodles!) Your plan should project at least 3 years ahead and provide an outline for the route your company plans to take.
2.Location, Location, Location
This is one of the most important decisions you will make, so do the research and then do it again. Address and office space can make or break a business, and fighting against the obstacles of a poorly-chosen location is a headache you don’t need.
3.Show Me the Money
You may have a great idea for a business, but an idea is all it will ever be if you don’t have a way to finance it. Research loan programs that you qualify for and don’t underestimate the power of networking. Your potential investor could be the brother of your friend’s sister’s husband’s golfing buddy. Also, crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter have been a successful vessel for many start-ups and personal projects to gain funding from individual supporters.
To avoid any surprise visits from the IRS or another company popping up with your business’ name, make sure you have completed the following 3 sub-steps:
Step 4a: Determine your business’ ownership structure-Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Corporation, Cooperative, or Nonprofit.
Step 4b: Register your business name with your state government.
Step 4c: Get the proper tax identification number from the IRS and register for your state and local taxes.
Depending on your type of business and state of operation, there are specific federal and state licenses and permits that you will need to obtain. Get the paperwork started as soon as possible and plan for delays.
6.Assemble Your Dream Team
If you plan to hire employees, you need to be well-versed and compliant in the federal and state regulations of your responsibilities as an employer. This process can be tedious, but if you just take it step by step, you can build your team and keep your sanity.
Use Your Resources.
The process of starting your own business can seem overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you are seeking financial support, legal advice, or just need someone to walk you through all the paperwork, there is assistance available. For example, visiting the U.S. Small Business Administration website is a great place to start. Or, if you are in the process of choosing a location for your business, a company like YourOffice can help by providing prestigious business addresses and executive office space. YourOffice is a great option because it offers the flexibility and customization that a growing business needs.