Starting a Business

There are many individuals who do not pursue their dreams of starting their own small business, simply because they have no idea where to start or are scared of failure. With the lack of stability in the economy, especially during the past few years, it is hard to have the determination and drive that one needs when taking on a risk or investing in a new project.

All companies begin with a certain idea; try to find your inspiration through whatever measures you can. You may have a product in mind already that you think may be profitable, or you may need to think about what will set you apart from your competitors.

Once you have the idea in mind, it will be necessary to do some extensive research on the product or service you are planning to offer, and how it fits in the market. This will help you decide the potential your business venture really has.

It is also a great time to make adjustments if you feel that there may be issues or kinks that need to be worked out. Small businesses that want to be successful must find a way to fulfill a need that has not been met or solve a specific problem.

The key should be to offer consumers something that they really want, or feel that can’t do without. Performing market research is one of the best ways to help a business owner make decisions regarding these types of questions and find out what exactly you can offer to the customer.

Some of the questions you should ask yourself are: “Is there a need for this item?” “Who needs it?” “Is there competition that already offers it, and what are they like?” You must then ask yourself how the company will fit into the market, and how can your business be successful?

Before you decide to move forward with these plans, you need to make sure that you have adequately answered these questions and that you are prepared. This process is risky there is no doubt about that. If you are not prepared to go into debt until your company takes off or deal with the slow process of bringing it about, then this may not be the right option for you.

A good thing to remember is that all organizations, like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, all had their rough times and setbacks in the beginning. Though you may not want to completely change the way that business is run like these companies have, you do not know the power or capacity that you have until you try and get your idea off the ground.

When you have made the decision and are ready to take on the challenge, you will need to make a plan. The first task is the money. You will need to decide whether or not you will use your own funds to start it up, or whether you will need help from investors.

If you decide that you are not able to fund it yourself and that another method of funding will be necessary, make a list of the organizations or individuals that you could ask to be investors. These can be friends, acquaintances, family, or other individuals that you have made connections with through networking.

The plan should outline your goals, what you wish to accomplish, and how you will accomplish it; it may also be helpful to set a timeline for yourself, though you may not be able to stick to it completely. Choose your business structure, whether you wish to create a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or limited liability company.

This will have an immense effect on how your funds are split up, documented, and how taxes need to be filed. Decide on a name that is catchy, classy, and fitting to your product or service.

The name will be the brand for your entire business and how you are known to your customers, clients, and investors. There are many other legal steps that you will have to take, such as registering your company’s name, checking for trademark issues, and getting licenses and permits that you may need to perform services or create products.

Choose a location that will garner the most support from customers; this is where your market research will come in handy. Make sure that you understand the demographics of your area and where your clientele is most likely to shop at.

After all of this has been accomplished, it will also be necessary to set up an accounting system and decide how you are going to manage your money. With all of the processes that must be accomplished to start a company, it can be very overwhelming; however, if you stay on track and do not allow yourself to get beat down, you can find it to be a rewarding and fulfilling venture.

About the author: Janice Spellman

Janice is a Marketing Consultant at Speadmark. She has helped many businesses in Richmond and Washington DC grow through traditional and digital marketing and branding, using strategies that attract, engage, and convert.

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