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How to Start Your Own Small Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Small Business|How to Start Your Own Small BusinessIf you have dreamed about being an entrepreneur and starting your own small business, the process may be easier than you imagined. Since you are not opening a large or medium business, the steps to create your business are much more manageable. You do not have to deal with stock, public trading, large demands for capital, or complex tax or legal issues. Here is what you need to know about taking on this endeavor.

Steps to Starting Your Own Small Business

You can quickly launch your business after completing these steps:

Business Planning

Every business should have a business plan. This is the foundation of your request for outside funding. However, even if you do not require funding from a bank or other financial institution, a business plan can be helpful in creating a roadmap on how to operate and grow your business.

Funding Your Business

You may need some initial capital to start your small business, such as to pay for inventory, equipment, staff, and other needs. You may have several options to fund your business, such as:

  • Using personal funds
  • Asking friends and family to invest
  • Using crowdfunding
  • Borrowing from a bank or other financial institution
  • Seeking out investors

You will want to consider the funds you need to initially start your business, as well as your capital needs for the future. You don’t want to make an initial ask for funds and then have to return to ask for more shortly later.

Pick a Business Location

The location you choose for your business can have a dramatic impact on the potential success – or lack thereof – of your business. The business location you choose can affect your revenue, legal requirements, and taxes. Additionally, if you choose a bad location that is associated with past problems or legal issues, this can negatively impact the community’s perception of your business.

Use appropriate tools to get an address report about locations that you are considering. This can help you to be informed about the location and any potential issues with it.

Select Your Business Structure

The legal structure you select for your business will impact important aspects of your business, including requirements on how to register your business, your potential personal liability, and the amount you pay in taxes. Common types of legal structures for small businesses include:

  • Sole proprietorship – This is the simplest structure to have and if you do not choose any other structure, this will be the default classification for your business. With a sole proprietorship, you do not have any protection from personal liability and your business income is taxed at your individual rate.
  • Partnership – A partnership involves two or more people who are in business together. It is possible to limit personal liability with certain types of partnerships.
  • Limited liability company – A limited liability company has the same types of legal protections as a corporation but provides tax benefits of a partnership.
  • Corporation – A corporation is a separate legal entity from the individual owners. It can own property, pay taxes, enter into contracts, assume liability, and make and defend against legal claims in its own name. Corporations provide protection against personal liability.

You will want to choose the business structure that best suits the needs of your business, now and in the future.

Register Your Business

You will want to register your business to make it legal and to establish a brand for it. You will likely need to register with the government, potentially with the federal, state, and local government. Corporations must file articles of incorporation that identify the business name, its purpose, the legal structure, and other pertinent information.

If you hire employees, you will need an Employer Identification Number.

Acquire Legal Permits and Licenses

You may also be required to obtain various legal permits and licenses to legally operate your business. These vary by your state, location, industry, and other factors. Some trades require you to maintain a professional license. You may also need a permit before you collect sales tax from customers.

Purchase Insurance

Keep yourself protected by purchasing a general business insurance policy. You may also inquire about other types of insurance that may be able to protect you, such as errors and omissions insurance. A competent insurance broker should be able to inform you of your options.

Seek Out Additional Resources

Fortunately, there are many places that you can turn to for assistance and information. The Small Business Administration offers a wealth of information, including many free resources. Many states also have other organizations that provide assistance to small businesses and can help with everything from market research to financial planning. You can also check with the agency where you must register your business for additional assistance.

Conclusion

By following the steps above, you can soon be on your way to starting your own small business and becoming your own boss. Good luck!

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Ben HartwigBen is a Web Operations Executive at InfoTracer who takes a wide view from the whole system. He authors guides by sharing the best practices and does it the right way!

How to Start Up Your Own Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Start Up Your Own Business|How to Start Up Your Own BusinessWhat an exciting time for you! You have decided to start up your own business, and your heart beats faster and a trickle of sweat creases your forehead.

A million thoughts bombard your brain as you have your epiphany moment when you realize that all the events in your life have been leading to this grand moment – your destiny! Maybe you should put the brakes on for a minute, though, and begin to think of things like business growth strategies for your masterplan.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for you to follow.

Is this a business with a hook?

In other words, is there something unique about it that will make people want to buy from you? This may not be the case, but there may be a zillion businesses like the one you thought of, and if that’s the case, then you will have to have that “Wow!” factor that’s going to get the people running to you. What will that factor be for your product or service?

The expert market research writer at best essays, says that if it’s something brand new, then the field is wide open, and your business may fly very early on in its existence. Can you cope with this scenario? You could find yourself shooting to the sky while your business collapses around you.

That’s obviously a worst-case scenario, but you must consider all the possibilities and how you would deal with each of them. That’s very smart thinking.

Structure, structure, structure

The more pillars to support the business, the better. One little pillar could collapse very easily, but a couple could hold up the framework if one or two collapse.

It’s important to firstly think of the top structure. This is an extremely important question – do you want a partner? Do you have someone in mind that would be a good fit? It’s nice to have the security of having someone with you to deal with all the myriad events that occur daily in the running of a business. Is that person going to have an equitable share? If he or she is bringing money in to start the business, that’s great.

However, a word of caution – most people have a story to tell about “the partner from hell.” You don’t want this; your business doesn’t need it and your sanity doesn’t need it. Even best friends can turn into monsters. Money does funny things to people.

The blueprint for success

If you are going to go it alone, or even you risk having a partner, you will probably need funding for your business. You are going to have to get a business plan together, and you could seek an operator that will help you in this endeavor.

All financial institutions that you approach will ask you for a plan, and it must be a sound scenario that looks at your objective, projected income and profit margins.

According to a renowned motivational speaker and researcher at an assignment writing help, don’t lose heart if you get turned down by one company. Try and try again, and if your plan is sound, you will find someone who will back you.

Also, take another look at your plan and maybe do some fine-tuning. There could be a simple reason why backers are turning you down. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out what exactly is troubling them. Some adjustments could see you get that finance! You could approach a small loans provider. Get ofay with all the legal structures and requirements.

The dreaded paperwork!

You will have forms coming and going like never before, but they are a necessary part of starting a business.

There are the forms for your backers. Signed, sealed delivered should be the sequence of events here. Ensure everything is completed on these vital forms. Read the small print! Ask questions!

There are many business structures, and these may change as your business develops. Each time there will be more forms. Read the small print! You will need to plan and think of leases, utilities, staff payments and so on.
More forms! Read the small print.

What’s in a name?

Well, a lot actually. A catchy name for your business will go a long way into grabbing the curiosity of others. Does your name accurately reflect the nature of your business? This is not vital, but it helps in honing down the possibilities when people are thinking of a service that they need.

A cute but irrelevant name could be fun, but also an annoyance. If you’ve ever watched the goings in Shark Tank, you’ll know how the sharks get irritated when the presenters think they’re onto something good with a name but it’s quite meaningless. Anyway, think, test it out on friends and ask them to be blatantly honest with you. Catchy and relevant is the way to go.

Register your company

You must register your company with the government and the IRS. If you have gone with a small loan’s provider or a business start-up consultant, they will be able to help you with all that is needed in getting your company in line with the government requirements.

You will find it a requirement of most states to supply a form stating the nature of your business. When it comes to taxes, you will need to keep your business and personal taxes separate. There are rules aplenty when it comes to the IRS, but again, you can get expert help on all this from your consultant or backers. Just ensure that you have completed everything that is needed by state and federal governments. Don’t leave any strings hanging that can trip you up.

Get insured!

This is something that slips the minds of a lot of people. There could be damage to the property you have rented, or theft, or a myriad nasty things that could happen.

There are quite a few different insurance policies that cover various aspects of your operation. Make sure that you know all about them, especially if you are providing a service. It is the nature of life that things can go horribly wrong, and when it does and you’re insured, then there’s nothing to worry about.

Speaking of those strings that can trip you up, most business memoirs will include events that damaged a company, but the owner wasn’t insured. It could be a small thing that would never occur to you. Again, get the advice of insurance experts.

Tackling the team

If you’re going to have a sales team and specialists working for you, build your team wisely. If you’re going to advertise, use the sites that you think will attract the right people.

Make use of the call-back system that Broadway operators use when casting a show. Get the person to come back and then back again. It’s rare that producers of a show cast the person the first-time round. By using this system, you’ll make doubly sure that you have indeed chosen the correct candidates.

Also, when using “call backs,” have different people with you when interviewing. This way, you’ll get the perspectives from all the angles.

Is anyone there?

This is a simple one yet can make or break a company. Once you have everything in place, get to market your company. If no-one knows about it, how can anyone buy from you?

Depending on the nature of your business, find out what will make the right impact, and this should be a team effort. Today, besides direct marketing, using digital marketing to its fullest extent will ensure that people get to know about you, quickly! Here’s some sound advice – only market when you’re ready to. There’s nothing worse than garnering a demand without your ducks in a row.

Conclusion

Good luck with your efforts. Three words you must keep in mind all the time – Plan! Plan! Plan! Let this be your mantra on the road to success. The times are challenging but challenges always throw new opportunities and that is what builds new brands and billionaires.


About the Author

Charlie Svensson works as a freelance academic writer for an assignment writing service that ranks as the best thesis, dissertation and essay writing service in the business. His work is centered around providing assignment writing help to university-level students, both native and foreign. He is currently authoring a book on the role of sports in career excellence and plans to release it around January next year.

Protection From A Fall, Coming In The Fall

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business Protection|Protection From A Fall, Coming In The FallIf you have survived so far as a business, you may be in for another shock. Due to the lockdown, so many companies have had to let people go and some businesses have even had to close down. But for those businesses that have survived and began to go back to normal trading days, you may still be in for an uphill battle. Scientists are now saying that during the fall, there will be an ever-greater threat of getting coronavirus. It’s a strand of the flu virus, so it can survive in colder temperatures. So, professional bodies are guessing that during the fall, many more people will get the virus and thus, workers will be forced to stay at home once again.

At-home working infrastructure

Taking a survey of all your employees that are able to work from their own homes, is vital at this point in time. Make sure that you are asking these types of questions.

  • Do they have good internet to make sure they are staying on top of their emails, correspondence, conference call schedules, etc?
  • Are they able to use similar or the same software they would normally use in the office, but at home? In other words, is their computer capable of doing the work they would normally do?
  • Do they have an ability to store their work in the cloud, but also, at home? This would entail that they need to have a hard drive of some sort.
  • Do they have recreational space? Remember that working from home can sometimes feel like being trapped. So make sure that they have a space they can use for a lunch break, or talk a walk to the local park.

Protect your business

You want to also be careful about your own business and that it doesn’t get shut down or closed by a governing body. You should tell all your employees to be careful and do not bring the virus to work. However, if there is a positive case in your office, you may be told by the authorities to close your business while it is still a haven for the virus. Speak with tried and trusted insurance brokers who can find you the best and most modern business insurance plan. Check out their business interruption plan as well. This will allow you to recoup some of the losses from no longer being functional, so you can continue to pay bills and the rent, etc.

A reporting method

Coronavirus tests are relatively cheap. Every employee should be asked to buy several tests and make sure that they are testing themselves once a week at home. This allows them to tell you, every Monday, whether they can come to work or not. This prevents them from bringing the virus to work and keeps your business flowing.

As business owners, we have to prepare for the worst, so we may stay active and keep our clients and customers happy. Using these methods, you can keep your employees safe, your business flowing and planning for the fall and what it could bring.

Tips to Reduce Insurance Costs for Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Healthcare | InsuranceAs a business owner, you know that it’s important to protect the business that you have put so much into by having appropriate insurance coverage. However, even though you might appreciate the importance of having various types of insurance to protect your business, you might still be burdened by just how much it costs. Controlling insurance costs is possible in some ways, though, including by following these tips.

Choose the Right Insurance Company

One of the biggest things that will impact the insurance rates at your place of business is the insurance company that you choose. Taking your time to shop around and choose an insurance company that offers the right coverage but that also has affordable rates is very important, so if you haven’t done that lately, you might want to explore different options like Captive Insurance to see if there is a better insurance company out there.

Focus on Health and Wellness

If the health insurance rates that your company is paying are way too high, consider focusing on implementing a health and wellness program for your employees. This can help your employees live healthier and happier lives and may impact insurance costs for your business at the same time.

Focus on Protecting Your Property

You may be counting on your insurance company to protect your building, vehicles and other company property. It’s definitely good to have insurance coverage to protect these things, but taking steps to protect your own property as well can help with preventing theft or other problems and reducing insurance rates. For example, installing GPS systems in company vehicles and installing a security and surveillance system in your commercial building can both help.

Insurance rates can be a big burden for many companies. Don’t get rid of or reduce your insurance coverage because of these costs, though. Instead, look for ways that you can reduce your rates. You can start by trying the tips above, and your insurance agent might even have suggestions that can help, too.

Figuring Out the Best Way to Get Your Business Insured

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Figuring Out the Best Way to Get Your Business Insured

40 percent of businesses don’t reopen after a disaster. That’s the bad news.

The worst news? We’re in the middle of a disaster. The COVID-19 pandemic is taking the economy to the cleaners and leaving many small businesses on their death bed.

The good news? As a business owner, there are steps you can take to protect your business from foreseen and unforeseen disasters. One such step is to purchase adequate commercial insurance.

This sounds easy and straightforward, but it’s not. You must find out the best way to get your business insured; otherwise, you could end up underinsuring or even over-insuring your company.

Continue reading to learn how to go about insuring your business.

Identify and Assess Your Risks

Every business faces a wide range of risks.

Some risks affect all kinds of businesses regardless of their industry or niche, and others only affect certain types of businesses. For example, owners of medical practices face malpractice risk. Restaurants don’t face this kind of risk.

However, both businesses do face a fire risk. An electric fault can result in a fire that razes down the buildings that house both businesses.

As such, the first step to insuring your business adequately is to identify all the risks it faces. You can do this on your own or you can hire a risk assessment professional to help you.

If you’re hiring a professional, ensure they’ve got enough industry-specific experience. If you own a logging business, for example, an industry risk specialist is in a better position to identify logging insurance risks than a risk pro who specializes in the retail industry.

After identifying all your risks, assess their threat-level. Which risks pose a more imminent threat? Which ones are less likely to affect your business?

Next, what amount of damage is every risk likely to cause?

With a proper risk assessment, you’ll know the amount of coverage you need to protect your business.

Determine the Kind of Insurance Policies You Need

Wouldn’t it be awesome if insurance policies offered a blanket policy that covers all the risks your business faces?

Well, some large insurance companies offer customized policies, but it would rarely be a blanket policy. Also, there’s the general liability insurance policy that covers most of the risks your business faces, but it’s barely adequate on its own.

Yet, a common mistake small business owners make is purchasing general liability insurance and stopping there. Don’t make this mistake.

There are several other types of business insurance policies you should buy, depending on the nature of your business. Here are some of those policies:

Property Insurance

If you run a brick and mortar store and you own the building, purchase property insurance.

Your building faces a number of risks that can result in extensive damage. Fires and natural disasters, such as floods and windstorms, can destroy the building, forcing you to abandon it until repairs are made.

A property insurance cover will compensate you for the damage and other losses.

If you run a home-based business, you might want to add on to your homeowners’ insurance policy, so that it covers your commercial activities as well.

Business Interruption Insurance

You don’t need to look beyond the coronavirus to see how a disaster can disrupt your business operations.

During such times, business interruption insurance is your ally. Depending on the terms of coverage, the insurer should compensate you for the losses you make during the interruption period.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Do you have more than 3 employees?

In most states, that’s the requirement for purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. When an employee gets injured on the job, you won’t worry about compensating them for their medical expenses and other losses. Your workers’ comp provider will do that.

Cybersecurity Insurance

If your business has digitized some or all of its operations, it’s imperative to buy cybersecurity insurance.

43 percent of online attacks now target small businesses like yours, which means your risk level is high. A cybersecurity insurance policy will protect your business from the effects of an attack, including business interruption and data loss.

Other types of insurance you might need include product liability insurance and commercial vehicle insurance.

Find the Best Insurance Provider

You’ve probably heard horror stories of insurance companies that refuse to settle claims. If you don’t do your homework when looking for an insurance provider, you might end up telling such stories.

You want to work with a legitimate, reputable insurance company.

Read up online reviews about a specific insurance carrier before giving them your money. What are past and current clients saying about their service quality? Do they take forever to settle valid claims?

Also, you want to work with an insurance company that provides most, if not all, of the insurance policies your business needs. This way, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate for discounts when renewing your policies.

Consider Self-Insurance

Large corporations don’t typically purchase insurance from other companies. They self-insure, simply because they can afford to cover their risks from their deep wallets.

Self-insurance isn’t just for big companies, though. Even small businesses can develop a self-insurance plan, as long as you know how to go about it.

One effective way is to set up a captive insurance company. This is just like any other insurance firm, only that it is wholly owned by your parent business. You have complete control over its operations.

Get Your Business Insured the Right Way

Getting your business insured adequately can be a costly task, especially if you’re a small business running on a tight budget. However, it’s the right thing to do. Even a minor disaster can bring your business to its knees when you don’t have insurance.

With this guide, you now have the information you need to insure your business the right way.

Keep reading our blog for more business tips and advice.