“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” If these wise words from Confucius speak to you, it is time to consider a new career path. If starting your own company and enjoying every workday sounds great, check out this simple guide to get you started.
Make a New Plan
If your current job is making you feel sad and unfulfilled, it is important to consider what kind of job will make you happy. Before beginning a business plan, you should consider how your ideas match up with the lifestyle that you want going forward. Starting a small business without proper care and consideration of your needs will only lead to more unhappiness.
If you want to spend more time with your family than your current jobs allows, deciding to build a business may be ideal for you. On the other hand, if more travel is the first thing on your mind, this kind of business arrangement may not suit you at all. Figuring out your personal definition of success and happiness will make sure your new business works for you on every level.
Making a business plan is crucial for getting your business running and keeping it successful. You should do basic market research to make sure that your new business will be successful and learn about any competition. This will give your business benchmarks for success and will impress any banks or other potential investors.
The next step is to figure out where your skills and passions best overlap. Once you figure this out, you will be in a position to determine what kind of talents and education you need to proceed. This could be anything from acquiring experience with marketing and web design, finding a mentor to learn how to run a business or obtaining certifications or furthering your education.
Structure and Finances
Once you determine your goals and what kind of small business you’d like to start, figuring out your finances is the next priority. Do you have money saved or invested to use in starting a business or will you need outside investment? Will you have a job while starting your small business or will you be quitting to pursue your goals?
If your finances are not enough to meet your business plan, you should make sure that you know your options on obtaining a loan. Your usual options are the Small Business Association and local commercial banks. However, there may be state or federal grants depending on your industry of interest. Use this handy link to get an idea of what your payments would be based on the amount of money you need to borrow. Depending on the amount of money needed, you could also consider either crowdfunding or seek outside investment.
Aside from finances, you also need to figure out how your small business will be legally structured. If you plan on going at it alone, starting off as a sole proprietor makes sense. Partnerships offer shared risk, but be aware that you and your partner may end up risking yourselves both legally and financially.
To limit any financial losses or legal issues, making your small business into a corporation will reduce any potential losses. For small businesses, forming a limited liability corporation or LLC allows you to be taxed as a partnership while enjoying the legal status of a corporation. This means that if you happen to face being sued, only your corporate assets will be impacted, leaving your personal assets protected.
Registration and Insurance
Once you have figured out the financial and legal needs of your business, the next step is filing articles of incorporation with the appropriate department. This is where all the previous work comes into focus as you will need to outline the purpose of your company, how your company is structured and the name of your business. If you are worried about your business name being stolen or infringed, it may be worth having it trademarked.
It is also a good idea to obtain an Employer Identification Number or EIN from the IRS. You may not be required to do so depending on your small business structure, but it helps keep personal and business taxes separate. There are several other benefits to getting an EIN, like protection from identity theft and making opening a business bank account easier.
Depending on the type of business you plan on opening, making sure that you have proper insurance will help you a lot. At the very least, it will protect you from bad luck and vengeful customers.
It is highly suggested you at least secure a business owner’s policy or general liability insurance. In the event of an unforeseen disaster, having the right kind of coverage in place can determine whether a business can recover.
Depending on where your business is located and the industry, you might have to buy more specific insurance. This is more important if you have employees and a physical storefront, as you will need to think about potential injury and liability issues.
Patience and Perseverance
It’s said that few things worth having come without effort and this is especially true in the world of business. Even with all the groundwork and preparation, the success or failure of your small business will depend on how much personal effort you put in. If you are unwilling to commit in the face of adversity, your dream company may remain that.
Don’t be afraid to seek advice and guidance in the face of difficulties. Finding a mentor or joining a professional network can make a big difference. Not every business succeeds right away or even short term, it takes hard work and diligence to carve out your path to business ownership.
No Business Like Small Business
Having the bravery to create your own business and start the life and career of your dreams is an amazing goal. If you take the proper steps, talk to the right people and take it step by step, you too can start on the path to success. If you’re ready to make the leap, ActWitty has more resources for startups that you need!