10-Step Guide to Starting a Small Business
1. Conduct Market Research for Your Startup Business Idea
- Identify potential customers’ habits, trends and needs
- Figure out if your type of business meets customers’ wants
- Determine the best way to market your product or service
- Get feedback on your business idea
- Primary comes from a direct source, like a person or company.
- Secondary is from an existing resource, like a published study.
- Quantitative uses math and data analysis to inform you on important stats about your business and market.
- Qualitative consists of more people-focused information, such as their needs or opinions about products and services.
2. Write a Business Plan
- An executive summary
- Business description and structure
- Market research and strategies
- Management and personnel
- Financial documents
3. Finance Your Business
You can’t start your business without money. Your market research can tell you how much you’ll need to get your business up and running. If you don’t have enough saved to start, you may need to raise more money or borrow capital.
4. Determine a Business Structure
Some common business structures you can choose are:
5. Find a Business Location
Don’t forget the office-related tax that can come from your business’ location. It may be a good idea to work with a tax professional or accountant while finding a space, because it can impact your tax liability. For example, if you have a home-based business, you can claim your home office space as a deduction.
6. Develop the Brand and Marketing for Your Startup
7. Register Your Business
8. Build Your Team
Finding startup talent and hiring your first employees can take time. So don’t feel like you should rush through the process. And be sure you’re following federal and state employment laws, because if you don’t, you risk a fine or lawsuit.
9. Safeguard Your Business
Other types of business insurance that can help your startup include:
10. Grow Your Small Business
Source: The Hartford Insurance