Ambitious minds take ambitious action, and few actions are more ambitious than starting a business. If you find yourself in possession of a killer idea, or wish to grow a fledgling enterprise, it’s important to know what you’re in for. Here’s how to build your idea from the ground up, and turn your ideas and resources into something rewarding.
Start with Your Motivations
To begin with, ask yourself why you would want to start a business. The success of many businesses has a lot to do with our motivations for starting it in the first place. A business can become your annual salary, while also fulfilling your desire to do work that’s more meaningful. Having your own business means finally getting to be the boss, and constructing a schedule that is optimal to your lifestyle.
Perhaps you’ve finally realized that what you’re best at can provide immense value to others and would constitute a firm foundation for entrepreneurship. Many are simply exhausted from sitting behind a desk and would love to monetize the thing they’re passionate about. Whatever your motivations may be, identify them, and use them as fuel going forward.
Turn Your General Idea Into Something Specific
Next, it’s important to identify what your product will be. Let’s say you want to help the earth by selling items that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Rather than becoming overwhelmed by the possibilities, spend some time researching what’s already out there, and begin to hone in on a niche that means the most to you. The easiest way to become successful is by doing something better than what already exists, or by doing it differently.
Ask yourself these questions:
• Who is going to buy my product or service?
• How will you be getting paid?
• Is my service going to be sustainable over the next decade?
The best businesses aim to solve a problem, and will survive by making a difference. Don’t be afraid to start small and simple, there will always be room for growth.
Take Out A Loan, Or Start Saving Money
It’d be unfair to tell you the average cost of starting a business when it is entirely dependent on what product or service you intend to offer. However, whether you’ll need $100 or $30,000, you’re going to have to develop a business plan. A major component to that plan will be the cost of starting up, as well as money necessary to keep you going until your first sales start rolling in. To estimate your costs of starting up, make two lists: one for your assets and the other for startup expenses.
• Assets– Also known as capital expenditures, these will be the one-time costs. Think of property, equipment, and certain inventory as things you’ll only buy at the beginning, or again down the road.
• Expenses– These are the recurring costs that will be a part of the startup costs and continue throughout the life of the business. Things like rent, supplies, marketing materials, gas, and how much you will pay potential employees.
Once you have a firm business model, it may be a good time to consider taking out the loan. If loans aren’t your style, by all means proceed with the planning and set a goal for how much to save.
Make It Official
If you’ve made it this far, then you should be proud. Making your business official means you have
a direction, are likely ready to invest in its growth. To prepare for this, here a few legal and financial steps to consider.
1. Determine the Legal Structure
• What form of ownership is best for you? This will determine which income tax form you will file.
2. Register Your Business Name
• This will be registered with your State Government if you do business as anything but your legal name.
3. Set Up a Tax I.D.
• This will be used to identify your business as an entity.
4. Register For State And Local Taxes
• In addition to taxes required by the federal government you will have to pay some state and local taxes.
5. Acquire Licenses and Permits
• To run your business legally there are certain federal and state licenses you need to obtain.
It may seem overwhelming, but the more you educate yourself the easier it will become. An important thing to remember is if you’ve chosen to go into business for the right reasons, eventually you’re going to make it happen. Foreknowledge, structure, and a calm mind will do a great deal when building a sound financial future through entrepreneurship.