How To Start New Business – “I’m going to start a new business,” you say with excitement and enthusiasm. You have a great new business idea and tell your friends and family about it. Then you realize you’re not sure where to start. This article will provide you with a new business basic checklist. I cover business names, products and services, insurance, bookkeeping and marketing to help make your new business a reality.
So you’re ready to take the plunge and get started. First things first, decide on a business name. Consider names that are easy for your customers to remember and don’t last too long with social media or web page design. Check your local state for business name registry and see if your business name is available. There is usually a charge for this service and most countries require you to register. You may also need an Australian Business Number to meet your tax obligations in Australia and this is usually done at the same time.
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The next step is to decide what you are selling, be it goods, services or both. Do your local market research and look at your competition and analyze what they are offering customers. Ask yourself if your prices are competitive and if there are comparable services to what you are trying to market. Let’s use a new lawn mowing business as an example. Joe’s Lawn Mowing only offers customers lawns and edging, can you offer more? You need to decide what services you will provide, for example: lawns, edging, trash removal, and landscaping. In some cases it can give you a competitive edge over the competition by offering more services. Check your local council for any rules, restrictions or licenses that may apply to your new business.
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What if something goes wrong? As you cut away and crash, a rock goes through the window of the Porsche. Insurance is really important in case something goes wrong in any business, it is imperative that you are protected from loss or damage. Get some quotes on public liability and if you are consulting or giving advice, you may need professional indemnity insurance.
I know how much we love the bookkeeping side of business, but don’t put it off and be the person who gives the shoebox to the accountant. Take some time and learn the basics, these days you can learn through internet on YouTube and many other sites. You can always buy a simple accounting software package to get started, or make some simple accounting sheets if you’re a whiz at Excel. There are also many template examples available for free on the internet.
As a business you need to know how your business is doing financially. You need to know what your breakeven point is, what mark-up you will use and what your profit will be. A successful business knows what their financial situation is. With the right package you can control your stock, what to order and what is most popular. Combine the cash flow forecast with actual and projected figures for the next 12 months. This information is vital to the survival of your business in today’s economic climate. Your bank manager will need this information if you need a business loan and you need to know what cash is coming in and out of your business.
There are many good ideas and templates online, put together a marketing plan. Some simple marketing strategies to help you get started: Catch the entrepreneurship bug? Congratulations—this is an exciting time for you! You have ideas, plans and goals to achieve. But, even starting a business can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t already know what you legally need. Check out the Starting a Business Checklist to plan everything you need to know before opening your doors.
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Do you have a million dollar business idea? Great! Now, it’s time to take care of the tasks required to open your business to the public. Here are the seven steps in our startup checklist.
Before you start, you need to plan ahead. Write down any and all questions you may have. These questions may be about:
…and a lot more! It is crucial to find answers to all your questions so you can create a small business plan. Without a plan, you may make decisions that will not benefit your business in the long run.
A business plan can be a formal document or a broad outline of the goals to be achieved. Generally, your business plan includes information about your business, its purpose, and what you want to sell. As you create your plan, learn how to do a market analysis. Market analysis should include information about your industry and target market.
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Are you planning to make funding requests? Have you already solicited funds from friends, relatives, financial institutions or other sources? Add that information to your business plan as well. In the same section, include financial projections to have an idea of how you plan to proceed.
An additional benefit of formalizing a business plan is that it leads to money. Lenders, banks, and investors want to see your plan before funding your business. This helps you launch a startup more quickly and easily (which we’ll get to later).
The data you collect for your business plan will also give you a clear picture of your competition and market. You can use it to improve small business growth strategies that target your ideal customers in a competitive market.
Your legal business structure determines how you pay business taxes, personal protection and income reporting. The business structure you choose is one of the most important decisions you will make. Once you have your plan, the structure will tell you how to start building your business. Take a look at some of the most common business structures.
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Sole proprietorships are one of the easiest business structures to create. There are some advantages of a sole proprietorship, including fewer government regulations.
But, there are some risks. In this structure, the owner is the same legal entity as the business. So if a company cannot cover its debts, the owner is liable for them. Also, the owner’s personal property is at risk.
If you and at least one other person are considering starting a business, you may choose to form a partnership. Two or more persons may have a partnership. When you create a partnership, the owners are the same legal entity as the business. So, personal assets can pay off business debts if the company can’t pay them.
Partnerships also enjoy pass-through taxation. A business does not pay taxes. Instead, taxes are passed through the business to the owners, so the income is taxed only once.
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A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners. Because the business is separate from the owners, owners enjoy limited liability for business debts.
Incorporating a business is a very expensive and complex process. And, corporations are double-taxed. Both the business and the owner pay taxes on the income earned by the business.
An LLC combines elements of corporations and partnerships. Like a corporation, an LLC has limited liability, so the owner’s property is protected. And like a partnership, an LLC uses pass-through taxation, so income is taxed only once.
Just because you have a million-dollar idea doesn’t mean you have $1 million to finance it. That’s why funding is next on the checklist for starting a business.
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Many businesses are self-funded, but this is not always possible for every new entrepreneur. If that’s not possible, you have several ways to finance a small business.
Loans for small businesses help cover some of the costs of starting a new business. Most banks offer small business loans. But, getting bank loans is very difficult if the company is new.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) also offers loans to small businesses. The SBA’s loan program provides bank financing backed by the SBA. With the SBA’s guarantee, it becomes easier for new companies to get bank loans.
When applying for loans, consider what you need for a business loan and follow these small business loan tips.
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Remember, most lenders require a business plan in loan applications. So, make a plan before applying for loans.
A business credit card is another common option for financing a company. But, business credit cards carry high interest fees. So, don’t rely on credit cards to fund the entire business. And, pay off credit to avoid damaging your credit score.
Make the process easier by learning how to get started the right way. Download our free whitepaper, Starting a Business Resources and Checklist, for what you need to get started, helpful resources and a handy checklist.
The business name you choose is the first impression potential customers get of your company. Be careful in choosing a unique name and check your state’s website to confirm its availability. If it is available, enter the business name. If that’s not available, go back to the drawing board.
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The state you operate in and your business structure will determine how you register the name. For example, corporations
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