How To Start a Small
By US Small Business Administration (SBA)
Starting and managing a business takes motivation, desire and talent. It also takes research and planning.
Like a chess game, success in small business
starts with decisive and correct opening moves. And although initial
mistakes are not fatal, it takes skill, discipline and hard
work to regain the advantage.
To increase your chance for success, take the
time up front to explore and evaluate your business and personal
goals. Then use this information to build a comprehensive and
well-thought-out business plan that will help you reach these
The process of developing a business plan will
help you think through some important issues that you may
not have considered yet. Your plan will become a valuable tool
as you set out to raise money for your business. It should also
provide milestones to gauge your success.
- Getting Started
Before starting out, list your reasons for
wanting to go into business. Some of the most common reasons for
starting a business are:
Next you need to determine what
business is "right for you." Ask yourself these questions:
| You want to be your own boss.
| You want financial independence.
| You want creative freedom.
| You want to fully use your skills and knowledge.
Then you should identify the
niche your business will fill. Conduct the necessary research
to answer these questions:
| What do I like to do with my time?
| What technical skills have I learned or
| What do others say I am good at?
| Will I have the support of my family?
| How much time do I have to run a successful
| Do I have any hobbies or interests that
| What business am I interested in starting?
| What services or products will I sell?
| Is my idea practical, and will it fill a
| What is my competition?
| What is my business's advantage over existing
| Can I deliver a better quality service?
| Can I create a demand for my business?
The final step before developing
your plan is the pre-business checklist. You should answer
Your answers will help you create a focused,
well-researched business plan. that should serve as a blueprint.
It should detail how the business will be operated, managed
| What skills and experience do I bring to
| What will be my legal structure?
| How will my company's business records be
| What insurance coverage will be needed?
| What equipment or supplies will I need?
| How will I compensate myself?
| What are my resources?
| What financing will I need?
| Where will my business be located?
| What will I name my business?|
One of the most important cornerstones of starting a
business is the business plan. Once you have completed your business plan,
review it with a friend or business associate. When you feel comfortable
with the content and structure, make an appointment to review and
discuss it with your banker. The business plan is a flexible document
that should change as your business grows.
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