When you start your small business, you need certain resources to ensure its success. Do you have these resources needed to start your business now? Careful planning will make certain that you begin your business with all of the tools you need to achieve your goals.
Your business idea will drive the entire company. It is your idea that sets you apart from competitors, attracts customers and is your reason for existing. You may have your own idea, decide to buy an existing business or buy into a franchise.
Create a business plan to serve as your guide. A well-written plan will also provide you with benchmarks so you can check your progress throughout the year. It is best to reference your plan every month or every quarter so you can make adjustments, as needed.
You will want to decide the legal structure for your business. Will you be a sole proprietor, have a partnership or choose to incorporate as a C- or S-corporation? Investigate your options with professional resources, such as your attorney and accountant. Financing decisions will be affected by the type of structure you choose. (See Reference 1)
Once your business structure is finalized, you will be able to apply for the appropriate local and state licenses, federal tax identification numbers and other legal requirements. With those documents, you will be able to open a business checking account.
Capital is money in the bank or money you can access. You will need sufficient capital to pay expenses until your business becomes profitable. These funds may come from your own savings, friends and relatives, loans or private investor financing. (See Reference 2) For the majority of entrepreneurs, this money comes from themselves or friends and relatives.
An important resource for your small business is space. Depending on the type of business you choose, you may work out of your home, share space with an existing business or lease an office or storefront. Be sure to learn about zoning requirements and sign permits so you stay within legal restrictions.
To be successful, every business needs customers. The lifeblood of your business, customers and their purchases will determine your ability to meet financial projections. If you are just getting started in business, know who will buy your product, where you can find them and how you will reach them. This market research will enable you to analyze the markets to target with your marketing and advertising tactics.
Open Your Doors
Your confidence as a business owner comes from being prepared. Having the resources to start your own business gives you an opportunity for independence and unprecedented financial rewards.
Kathryn Christ is a business consultant and copywriter in Jacksonville, Fla. Christ has been a writer for 20 years with work appearing in publications such as SMPS' "Marketer," the "Business Journal of Jacksonville," the "Florida Times-Union" and numerous corporate magazines. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Siena College.