Grow Something

Looking to start a new business?

Here’s what you need to get started.

Perhaps a hobby has planted a seed. You have knowledge and passion about something, and you can see a gap in the marketplace where your idea would fit in perfectly. You want to turn this into a business. 

Where do you start? Here’s a quick step-by-step guide.

1. Refine your idea. Do a quick search for existing companies in your industry of choice. Learn more following those that are doing well. How can you improve on their ideas? You’ll need to do it better or faster or a little differently that would attract consumers. This is the start of your business plan.

2. The business plan. Ask yourself the right questions? Who are you selling to? What is the intended result? Really look at your demographics and get as much insight as you can. The business plan is directional, and you can find templates on line that helps you start.

3. Money. Assessing finances is key. Every product or service has a price and you need to figure out what that price will be and how you will pay for it. Are you planning on leaving your current job? Most business fail due to lack of resources. Simply put, businesses run out of money before they turn a profit. There are a variety of ways to fund, from a traditional bank loan to crowd-funding. Reviewing your numbers with a CPA is a good idea.

4. Determine your legal business structure. The legal structure of your company will determine how you file your taxes to defining your personal liability if something goes wrong. 

Ultimately, it is up to you, the owner, to access your current needs and future goals. Review the different structures and consult your CPA and insurance broker for added information.

5. Get insurance. Having the right insurance is an important step before you officially launch. Difficulties can occur on day one, including property damage, theft or even a customer lawsuit. If you plan on having employees, you will, at minimum need worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance. Depending on your location an industry other types of coverage may be needed, but most small businesses are advised to purchase general liability (GL) insurance or a business owner’s policy. GL will cover property damage, bodily injury and personal injury to yourself or a third party.

Feel like sowing the seeds? Let’s get started and next month we’ll cover the next five steps, including registration; building your team, choosing vendors, branding/advertising, and the launch.

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