Anthony Sharp - The Edutainer (HE He/Him/His)
I would suggest speaking with the Small Business Administration to help you start the basics
Also, interview someone who you know who has their own business and ask them for advice as well.
Hope that helps
Great question! As someone who is a business owner myself, I can tell you that a lot of what others have responded with will be very helpful in starting a small business. There is, however, one step that I didn't see mentioned which I believe anyone aspiring to starting a business complete first: make a business plan!
A business plan is your formalization of what you believe your business is/should be. It is something that will be your road map as you navigate the various steps of starting your business. An effective business plan will have a timeline of what you need to complete as well as your target for completion. The process of writing the business plan will also help you with coming up with ideas on how to accomplish things you didn't think about prior. A lot of times, aspiring business owners are very excited about the product or end result but forget all the steps in between to get to that point. A business plan will tie all your ideas together and be something that you can reference back to along your journey.
Spend some time with this step. If it is worth expending the effort to start a business, it is worth spending a bit of time planning beforehand. Your business plan will also help you when/if you will need to communicate your ideas to others, whether you are looking for partners for your startup or need to show someone how well thought out your idea is.
Finally, in addition to your business plan, the next most essential part of starting any business in my opinion is not second-guessing yourself. Starting a business is difficult. It can be even harder to find success. But you'll never be able to get to that point if you doubt yourself and/or overthink why you are doing it in the first place. If you are convinced that you have an idea that you love, go for it! File your Fictitious Business Name statement, open a business bank account and start your business! Being a small business owner can be incredibly rewarding and give you a fantastic amount of freedom! But you will never get there if you listen to naysayers or worry too much about all the technical aspects of owning a business. If you are passionate about what you will be doing, the rest will work itself out.
Good luck and I wish you a ton of success!
Timothy recommends the following next steps:
Bob recommends the following next steps:
2. The team. Unless you are a consultant or this is a lifestyle career, you must plan the team well. Investors invest in people first and foremost, so the team is EVERYTHING!
3. Know that Cash is King. You need to learn how to manage cashflow. Without understanding this, your business will fail. (I have been in a business where I held a cheque for €750,000, but had essential gone bust, as the cash never came in. This was due to poor cash management.
4. Prepare to wear many hats. IF you are setting up your business, you will be Founder/Owner/Director/HR/Manager/Procurement/Sales/Technology/Web Developer and so on... you need to have your finger on the pulse of every aspect of what it takes to set up a business.
5. Go 'Lean'. Read the Lean Startup. - Bootstrap your business, put everything in the cloud, but ruthless with contracts/financial agreements, secure beneficial payment days (90 days+). Have cash in the bank for 9 months salary at a minimum, but do not expect sales to come in, in tthe first 6 months.
6. IF you are selling product or services; understand that it will take you circa 3 months to generate sales and begin invoicing. It will take at least 3 months to receive settlement of those invoices. - Maybe longer! (Know your customer!!!! Be selective!!!)
7. Raise the correc tamount of funds beforehand.
These are tips. But before you do anything you need to know your product/service inside out, live it, breathe it. Know it sells already and its value.
Great question! In addition to the other responses, I'd like to add to do your research about the market in which you want to start your business. Make sure there is a demand-- or find a solution to a consumer's need. You sound like you have an entrepreneurial spirit which is awesome-- I would also suggest reading up on other entrepreneurs-- Daymond John is a great example in my opinion.
You are getting some really good advices from Bob, Kiirsten and Russell above.
Here are more information to help your thinking process:
1. Ideation: What kind of business do you have in mind?
What? What kind of value are you providing to your customers?
Where? Where are your customers?
How? How to reach your customers?
When? Are the products seasonal?
Who? Who are your competitors?
2. Define what success looks like so you'll know when you get there.
3. What will make the business worthwhile for you?
4. Cost structure:
Think about any one-time start up cost. Rent, website hosting fee, apps fee, etc.
What is your break-even point?
How much business do you need to start making money?
Social and creative = Real Estate, Insurance Sales (Multiple areas), Pharmacy sales - (requires MBA)
Non public - delivery service - logistics - small manufacturing
Russel recommends the following next steps: