In this modern age, starting a small business from scratch does not require much in comparison to what it used to be a few decades ago. This does not mean no work is involved when you start a small business. With a few smart steps, you can cut down the grunt work by a lot and get up and running in no time.
Today, anyone from anywhere can start a small business. The internet has made that possible. Despite all the new age ideas, some traditional small business roles still have their places in this modern age.
When you wish to start a small business, all you need is to follow a straightforward, step-by-step guide. That’s exactly what we are going to look at in this small business guide.
Here are the eight easy steps for starting a small business from scratch.
1. Come up with a great business idea
The first step towards opening a new business is coming up with a great business idea. Something that interests the market as well as meets your condition. If you have a particular passion plan that can be monetized, that’s great. However, not everyone is likely to have that kind of luxury.
In such cases, you can come up with winning business ideas simply by doing quick market research. It doesn’t always have to be an elaborate one that requires paying an agency to do research. You can start with a simple Google search about your business and the potential profit it is likely to make.
It will tell you whether your idea will turn into a successful business. This is especially important if you are looking to fund your business with a small business government loan.
Look out for business ideas that will fill any vents in the marketplace. Here are some great business ideas to get started with.
Here are some great ways to start a small business.
- Tutor – Anyone can become a tutor nowadays. If you are knowledge in a particular subject, you can create a course easily and get started with an online coaching business.
- Dating consultant – A unique business idea of this modern age. People require help with their dating lives. If you can provide one, try turning that into a business.
- Alteration specialist – Tailoring is a dying profession, but people need alteration even with their ready-to-wear clothes.
- Gym trainer – Fitness trainers have a lot of demand in today’s age of health consciousness. If you can quality as a fitness trainer, you can even provide online consultations and earn money.
- Photographer – While everyone is a photographer today, there is still a lot of great opportunities for professional photographers who can infuse life into pictures.
- Store owner – In this age of online businesses, owning a store may sound like a challenge. Still, it has its needs. By mixing online and offline modes of serving your customers, you can make a notable difference.
- Interior designers – People are now more design conscious than they were a few decades ago. Whether it is home or place of business, the average modern-day person loves to be in a well-designed spot.
- Chef – The food industry is all set for a massive growth in the coming years. If you can play the role of a chef, opportunities are endless. Besides finding work, you can even start your own small business in the form of a café or a bistro.
- Rental properties – Owning rental properties is a major business in today’s age. It doesn’t even require a huge investment to start off. If you are willing to do the work, you can find some smart investments that can provide steady recurring income passively.
Small business from home ideas:
- E-commerce/drop shipping – Owning an online store is nowhere as complex as a physical store. You can just set up your business by creating an online store for the products that are in demand. You don’t even have to own a shipping channel, and there are services that will do that for you.
- Freelancer – Freelancing is a great opportunity to earn money online. Gig economy is on the rise, and freelancers have a lot of great opportunities.
- Voice-over artist – Although anyone can be a voice artist, it really helps if you have an appealing voice. There are services that are ready to pay hundreds of dollars every day for high-quality voice-over articles from around the world. It is even better if you can make multiple languages.
- Blogger – People are always on the lookout for information, and bloggers can provide it for them. In turn, bloggers can promote products online and make money passively.
- Digital marketers – Do you have what it takes to promote a product or service digitally through different channels? If yes, you have a great future. The demand for digital marketers is on the rise since web 2.0, and it is getting better in today’s scenario.
- Social media manager – This is a part of digital marketing. People are ready to pay huge for social media professionals who can assist with their social media growth.
- Social media influencer – Tiktoks and Instagram reels are not just for entertainment. They can be huge money-making machines if you can command a huge following. Brands pay influencers big bucks to gain visibility among their target audiences. If you can be an influencer, there is a huge deal of opportunities.
- YouTuber – Similar to social media influencers, YouTubers have a great opportunity to earn money. If you specialize in a particular niche, you can create quality content and promote various services.
- Online health consultant – Just like fitness trainers, there is a massive demand for health consultants in this health-conscious world. When you provide this service online, you can charge affordable money and reach out to a wide customer base.
2. Write down your business plan
A business plan is the roadmap of your business. There are no set guidelines for writing a business plan. You can go with the best approach that suits your business. You can even download a template online to come up with a good business plan for your small business.
Besides giving you clarity about your operations, a business plan can play a critical role in attracting business partners or funding for your business. All investors focus on one important thing – getting good returns on their investment. If your business plan can convey that, you will have no restrictions in getting the right level of funding.
When writing your business plan, keep the following things in mind. Your business plan must:
- Be objective and thorough
- Liaise your business’s purpose and vision
- Serve as a guide to your business going forward
- Create a foundation for your business that makes it stand out
3. Decide the right location/marketplace for your business
Deciding the location for your business is one of the most important decisions when you start a small business, and it will make all the difference (at least if you’re selling physical products). The location of your business can affect everything from your income tax to your business’s revenue.
If you are doing online business, you need to decide on the platform suitable for your business. Whether you are going to run your own website or use a different platform for your product or service. Do your research before deciding on the right platform to start your online business.
When deciding on a location, make sure you consider the following:
- See if the location will provide productivity to your business
- Make sure that aren’t any same businesses as yours nearby
- Make sure that the location is a commercial area
- See if that would be needing your products or services
4. Fund your business
Once you’ve made all the decisions regarding how and where your business will function, it’s finally time to fund it. When you start a small business, funding can be quite difficult, especially if you are a newbie just starting out. Fortunately, there are solutions for it.
Let’s explore some simple solutions available to fund your small business:
- Self-funding: You can use your own savings from various sources to fund your business. You can even use your 401(k) savings. Besides using your savings, you can even obtain funding from your family and close friends and give them equity in your business.
- Venture capital funding: If you have a killer business idea, venture capital is the way to go. This involves giving funding to a business in exchange for a part of ownership. This is normally provided to business that are perceived to be high growth or unique.
- Crowdfunding: You can leverage the power of the internet through crowdfunding. This involves sharing your business idea on a crowdfunding platform and raising capital from a large group of people. However, you don’t have to provide ownership in exchange for their small contributions. Rather, you give a “gift” (typically the product) and other perks (name in the contributors list) in exchange for their funding.
- Small business government loan: The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that supports small businesses of all kinds. They also have tie-ups with various lending partners to provide easy access to loans for borrowers. You can use the lender match feature to get a small business government loan through SBA.
- Other small business loans: There are other ways to get a small business loan as well. There are private lenders in the market who can provide access to different types of funds based on your requirements.
Looking for business funding?
5. Register your business
The first thing you need to consider when you start a small business is whether you need to register your business at all. If you are a single person doing business from home, you can simply do business with your legal name. However, you might be missing out on some tax benefits, personal liability benefits, and other legal benefits.
If you need trademark registration or tax exemption on your products, you can go for federal tax registration. However, if you don’t need that, you can simply go with state registration. This is applicable to everything from LLC to partnership firms.
This will protect your brand’s name and identification. Registering your business has many other benefits as well including tax benefits, legal benefits, and personal liability protection.
6. Look out for insurance policies
Once you’ve put out your business on the map, consider investing in insurance policies. Insurance policies tend to provide great benefits in case your business is hit by an unforeseen incident.
Securing your business with insurance policies can provide you with a sense of security, you might not get otherwise. Here are a few Insurance Policies for small businesses we recommend:
- State Farm
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
7. Get Your Tax IDs
Once you decide to register your business, you need to apply for your tax IDs as well. Those with federal registration can apply for an Employer Identification Number or EIN. This works just like the social security numbers for individuals. You can apply for your EIN for free and receive it within a few minutes.
You can apply for state IDs if you are registered with the state government. These IDs help you pay your taxes and comply with other government norms.
8. Test your business
Once you have set up your business completely, you can go ahead and test it. The ultimate aim when you start a small business is to make some sales. You can engage in marketing activities, promote your business and get some sales.
You may find some issues when you are first starting out. This is where a testing phase will come in handy. Based on the results, you can make adjustments to your business model and find new solutions.
Successful businesses require constant improvements, and this should be your focus when running your own small business. When you implement new solutions, test them again and see how they are working in achieving your business goals.
Persist and succeed
Launching a new business can be tricky, especially for those with no prior experience. To get up there, one must implement the right strategies and stay keen. You may encounter a few issues when you first start a small business. This requires making some small adjustments to the way you operate. Remember, perseverance is the key when running your small business.
We will be putting out a much more detailed eBook soon on all aspects of running a small business. Look forward to that. It will help you gain some early success. Stay tuned.
And good luck with your first successful business!
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