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8 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

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Eight Core Focuses of a Business Startup

You have it right there in front of you: the best idea for a business ever. You know what you're going to sell and it's going to make you a ton of money. But where do you start? How do you make your business a reality?

1. Decide what kind of business you're going to run. Are you a sole proprietor? Do you have a partner? Or are you forming a corporation. Each of these options has pros and cons. However, it's important to be aware that a sole proprietorship is the simplest to establish. If you are starting a side business that will not have your full attention, take a close look at operating your business as a sole proprietorship before considering other options.

Your Have to Start Somewhere

8 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

Have All the Legal Requirements and Documents

2. Check your state's requirement for licenses and permits. Every state has their own website with this information, and if you're having trouble finding it, just type your state and the words "business permit" into Google. It will pop up. Most states have very simple requirements for sole proprietorships, but if you chose another structure, there may be some paperwork for you to fill out.

3. Establish an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your company. An EIN is like a Social Security number for your company the IRS uses it to track tax information about your company, among other uses. It takes about five minutes on the IRS website to set up and the form.

Understanding the Power of an Entrepreneur

Stay Organized during This Process

4. Most banks offer free business checking accounts, and it's in your best interest to establish one. A separate business bank account will help you to keep your businesses finances separate from your personal finances, which simplifies managing both.

5. List out your prices. You may need to check around and see what your competition is charging. You also need to make sure that you cover your expenses and your time. If you are providing a service, Freelance Switch offers a calculator that can help you determine what you need to be making on an hourly basis.

6. Your company needs a website. Now, this step can be very easy or very hard. For a lot of companies, just listing your services and contact information online is all you need to do. For some companies, everything relies on your website. For those businesses only needing a simple site, start with a free site, like what Wordpress offers. For those with more complicated needs, start by choosing a domain name.

Start Your Business on a Budget

Promote Yourself Whenever Possible

7. Tell people about your new business. Tell everyone! If they don't need your product, they may know someone else who does. You can expand on this basic marketing in any number of ways like sending out press releases, giving away samples or buying advertising.

8. Plan how you will develop your business. Once you're established and are actually making a little money, it's time to start thinking about the future. Are you going to want to hire employees? Are you going to want to lease office space? And every question like this has another tied to it: When? You need to set goals that should be met before you expand.

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Comments

Aug 2, 2014 11:54pm
Joey_Batz
Very basic but very important steps. This article stands out to me because a friend and I had been thinking about starting a business. We wanted to do investment advice seminars and webinars. But the legal requirements, insurance to protect us, costs of running a single seminar versus the expected revenue, and the existence of free seminars run by FINRA pretty much killed it for us.

Just one thing to clarify though: Very few banks actually offer a COMPLETELY free business checking account with no strings attached. You usually will have to enroll in something or keep a minimum balance. That said, it is often pretty easy to avoid having to pay a monthly maintenance fee. Usually by having a business loan, Merchant Services, or some other program that more than likely helps you anyway, you can generally avoid fees.
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