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How To Start Up A Small Business

Aug 17, 2007
Starting up a small business is always exciting. It is also full of challenges. It is easy to go wrong if everything isn't planned properly. Not setting it up correctly can create legal problems. Here are some tips to help start a small business so the new business is viable, well managed, and successful.

Business ideas
It is always a good idea to start with a list of things to do with a business. Start with hobbies or interests and add work experience to come up with possible business ideas. Once the correct idea is found analyze its feasibility as a means of making money. To do this, construct a business feasibility study.

Business Planning
Business Planning helps to detail all aspects of the business. From identifying the suppliers to determining product costs, from sales-pricing to establishing customer and competitor profiles, from defining marketing strategies to planning taxes, the feasibility study explains whether the business will be viable or not.

It also helps figure out how to finance the business. This may be with savings, loans, or through credit card financing. Whatever the decision, don't forget to develop a business plan, especially if there is a need for borrowing money through a loan or credit. A business plan not only helps get financing, but it also keeps the entrepreneur focused on the new business. It helps define business activities, organizational goals and how to achieve them. It details the business environment of the industry and, most importantly, contains the financial information bankers look for.

At this stage, think about the legal structure of the company. Shall it be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation? Check some of the websites that provide assistance to help determine, which form is more tax-efficient and suitable.

Legal Set-up
Find out what permits and licenses are needed to operate the business. Do remember to double check whether anything is missed. Some states require special licenses to sell services or a particular type of product.

Operational Set-up
With most of the underlying business formalities completed, get the marketing material ready for the big day of the business launch. The company needs business cards, letterheads, advertising brochures, a press kit with press releases, and a corporate dossier.

Open a bank account. Set up accounting systems. Get a business address to operate from. Arrange for the rental lease, and purchase office equipment and supplies. It would be a good idea, at this stage, to consider getting insurance for the business assets. Some insurance requirements, like employee compensation for example, are mandatory in most states, but others like fire, theft, or liability are advisable, though not absolutely necessary.

Additional Help
Many sites offer small businesses the software they need to begin. This software supplies all the needed forms and documents. It also gives detailed descriptions of the laws one must follow in setting up a new small business.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com
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