Maybe you’ve grown tired of working for someone else, and you’re more than ready to become a business owner. Or perhaps you’ve started working from home recently, and with more time on your hands, you’ve been inspired by the Investadvisor blog to start your own side hustle.
Perhaps you’ve recently retired, but you’d like to bring in some extra income on your own time. There are many reasons you might consider starting your own business, but chances are, you’re not quite sure what your first move should be.
Right now, you probably have a lot of questions about entrepreneurship. Which business model is right for you? What should you do to understand your target market? And how can you get the funding you need to get your business off the ground? Let’s explore the steps you’ll need to take in order to become a business owner!
1. Choose a Business
Perhaps you already have a particular product or service in mind that you’d like to offer, or maybe you know that you’re interested in starting a business yet short on concrete ideas. It’s time to brainstorm a few business ideas and determine which one you’d like to move forward with!
Certain types of businesses might be easier to run for people with little to no prior entrepreneurial experience. For instance, depending on your skillset, you could launch a freelance writing and editing business, a social media management company, a video production and editing agency, or a web development agency. And if you’re artistic or crafty, there is always a market for creative artisan products!
2. Conduct Market Research
Before you officially open your business and start advertising your offerings, you need to develop a thorough understanding of your competition, the sector you’ll be entering, and your target customer or client demographic.
In order to conduct market research, LivePlan recommends defining the size of your market, your likely customers’ demographics, your customers’ needs and how they search for products or services, and any relevant trends occurring within your target market. You’ll also need to identify your direct and indirect competitors.
Early market research is the key to connecting with the right audience when you become a business owner. The data you gather and analyze now will be invaluable as you develop your marketing strategy later on.
3. Register Your Business
Once you’ve come up with a business name, you can register your business! This can help you protect your personal assets and save money through special tax benefits.
Many small business owners choose to form their businesses as limited liability companies, but you could also form a corporation or partnership. You will need to register your business’s name in your state – you may need an attorney’s assistance for this process.
4. Secure Funding
Next, you’ll need to create a full business plan. Take your time with this process, as it will include several sections, such as a summary of your business idea, your chosen business structure, details on your product or service, and your market analysis.
As you write your business plan, keep in mind that you may need to present this plan to potential investors if you plan on seeking outside funding. This means that you should include your funding requirements as well.
If you’re looking for funding, National Business Capital recommends considering taking out a startup loan or a business line of credit, applying for grants, or turning to crowdfunding.
If you know that your business idea has the potential to be very lucrative, you could consider looking to angel investors or venture capitalists. However, keep in mind that most small businesses are initially financed by personal savings!
5. Get Business Insurance
Find out which type of insurance would be legally required for your company, and prioritize getting the comprehensive coverage you need over choosing a policy with the lowest costs.
6. Invest in Software
The right software can make it much easier for you to manage every aspect of business operations. You can find software programs designed to support you in all sorts of tasks, from project management to team collaboration to bookkeeping and invoicing.
You may want to start by investing in a project management service for small teams, a messaging app that is accessible for both desktop and mobile, and accounting software to help you manage your finances.
When it comes to handling your new company’s finances, keeping all your documentation organized is crucial. Not only will this allow you to budget more accurately, but it will also make tax time go smoothly! Keeping an eye on your overall cash flow is just as important as carefully tracking your spending.
This is why using time-saving software for invoicing and more can also be a smart investment – you’ll be able to stay up-to-date on your accounts receivable while speeding up invoice preparation and minimizing the risk of errors. Plus, with invoicing software, you can send and receive multiple invoices simultaneously and create copies of similar invoices for several clients.
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7. Hire Your Team
At first, you might be able to handle all of your entrepreneurial duties solo. But eventually, you might want to hire employees or contractors as you grow! Make sure to clarify the key responsibilities in the job description before advertising an opening, and be prepared to handle the necessary legal paperwork throughout the onboarding process.
Hiring your first team members can be nerve-wracking, but they will bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to your business!
Starting a business is a challenging endeavour. Thankfully, it’s become easier than ever to start your own small company and become a business owner! You might feel uncertain about how to begin, but these tips will help guide you.
With this roadmap, you’ll be ready to pull your business plan together, get the funding you need, and embark on your entrepreneurial path.
Ready to start boosting your income, saving more money, and investing wisely? Investadvisor has the financial tips you need! Check out the blog today to start polishing your personal finance skills.