The Small Business Start-up Guide – Starting and owning a business is a dream of many people. However, they may not realize how much behind-the-scenes work and effort is required to turn an idea into a fully functional entity. It can be difficult for budding entrepreneurs to know which tasks to prioritize and what should be outsourced versus handling on their own. For those who are still in the idea stage, we have put together this guide to help you get your business off the ground.
The first thing you need to do is find an accountant and a lawyer. They will provide guidance on determining the appropriate entity structure for your business and establishing your business as a legal entity with the appropriate federal and state agencies. Leave these tasks to the professionals instead of trying to do them yourself, which could lead to more problems and possible fees and penalties. There’s a lot of intricacies involved, and having someone who knows exactly what they’re doing will save you a lot of unnecessary stress. Be sure to come prepared to these meetings with answers to some common questions, especially whether your business will have employees, as there are other complexities and factors involved.
The Small Business Start-up Guide
Decide how you will keep your accounting records. The key is to determine what needs to be maintained and develop a standard operating procedure for it. An accountant can help you with this process.
Small Business Administration
How will you finance your business? Are you investing personal funds or will you need bank financing? If you need bank financing, you will need to develop a business plan to present to the loan officer. There are usually local resources that offer help in creating a business plan, which will be discussed next.
Starting a new business is expensive, and many business owners don’t have the extra funds to start with. Lean on your community resources to get advice and guidance from people who have been through the process. Many communities offer free help for entrepreneurs. SCORE, the largest national network of volunteer, expert business mentors, has local chapters that offer resources, training and mentoring for entrepreneurs. Find your local chapter here. SCORE also offers several free templates for business owners, including ones to help you create a business plan, calculate your startup costs, or perform a sales analysis.
Research sales and use tax requirements for your area and industry. Sales and use taxes also vary from state to state, so be sure to check the requirements for the states in which you will be doing business. You can also meet with a state and local tax professional, such as the team at RKL, to get help with this step and ensure your business is in compliance with all regulations that apply to your market and business.
One of the most important steps in starting a business is determining your market. Who are your products or services intended for? What unmet needs will you fill in your community? Will you have competition? What sets you apart? Developing a plan to reach your target audience is critical for your business to have any chance of success. Having a unique factor that sets you apart from the competition gives you a better chance of survival.
Starting A Business Quickstart Guide The Simplified Beginner’s Guide To Launch 9781945051821
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when starting a business, but you don’t have to go through it alone. RKL’s small business advisors provide close, personalized service to start-up business owners and entrepreneurs. Contact your RKL advisor or use the form below to start a conversation.
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