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What is the first step to starting a small business?

I am looking into starting my own business, maybe a restaurant or bakery. Even if it is a taco truck or something really small because I have a lot of passion for baking.

Thank you comment icon In my opinion , as a small business owner in my country , you should create your business appealing to your buyers so that you can attract a lot of customers. My mother told me about this advice when i'm beginning to sell snacks and candies in my store. You can still sell whatever people needs like food and snacks or add some desserts in your business. Make sure your business will appear at people's basic needs and necessities . :) Catherine Ty

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Subject: Career question for you

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Luke’s Answer

Some of the first steps would include creating a business plan and forming a company recognized by the government. You could form an LLC (limited liability company) which is a fairly simple process - but the challenge will be everything after that.

If you want to run your own bakery, your business plan might include:
-clientele
-real estate that you've scoped out for purchase or rent
-start up costs
-insurances
-recurring costs like ingredients, utilities/bills, etc.
-tools and materials listing and cost
-marketing
-you should also include a plan to mitigate risk. what happens when things go wrong? what is your plan of action if your marketing ideas to bring in customers don't work?
-accounting and tax practices
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Jerel’s Answer

Hi Nayeli! Starting a business can be a really rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging, so it's important to approach it with a clear plan and strategy. The first step to starting a small business is to do your research. You'll need to understand your market, your competition, and your potential customers in order to create a viable business plan. Here are a few steps you can take:

Identify your niche: Start by thinking about what makes your business unique. What kind of food do you want to serve? What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? What sets you apart from other restaurants or bakeries in the area?

Research your market: Once you've identified your niche, you'll need to research your market. Who are your potential customers? What are their needs and preferences? What are your competitors doing?

Create a business plan: Based on your research, create a business plan that outlines your goals, your target market, your products and services, your pricing strategy, and your marketing plan.

Secure funding: Starting a small business can be expensive, so you'll need to secure funding to get started. This could be through a small business loan, grants, or personal savings.

Get legal and regulatory requirements in order: You'll need to register your business with the government and obtain any necessary licenses and permits. You'll also need to make sure you're complying with any local health and safety regulations.

Start small: Finally, start small and grow your business gradually. This will help you manage your costs and make adjustments as you go.

Starting a small business can be a lot of work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Just remember to do your research, create a solid business plan, and stay focused on your goals. Good luck with your venture!
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PRASANJIT’s Answer

Please follow the below steps to start small business:

Start with a Good Business Idea. If you're wondering how to start a business, it may be easier than you think.
Conduct Research and market survey about your Business Idea.
Write a Business Plan.
Make Your New Business Official.
Know Your Finances.
Protect Your Business.
Build Your Business.
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Tiffany’s Answer

That sounds awesome! There are two or three things that will help you achieve your goal.

First, get a job working in a bakey or establishment that does what you want to do. Be a reliable employee and learn everything you possibly can there. Be a sponge! Ask questions, pitch in to help your peers and the owner.

Second, go to culinary school that has produced successful bakers, or whatever you decide is your focus.

Third, take some business classes (some culinary schools also include this in their curriculum) so that you can learn about how to manage employees, laws around that, how to create budgets, manage expenses, market your products and/or services, etc.

Good luck!
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Chris’s Answer

Excellent answers already given here.

My input, having been very successful in Sales over 3 decades, is the following which should be timeless advice:

1. Enjoy it!! - find something you ENJOY doing day to day for the sheer love of it. There will always be highs and lows, the this gets you through the lows.
2. Understand your customer - ensure you can empathise with your target customers, and can solve their problem / supply to their needs. What is our market demanding? What do customers want? How / why / what / where / who? Build this out in your business plan. Plan your work, then work your plan!
3. Focus - the difference between success and failure is often that extra bit of resilience/motivation/focus, especially as a small business owner.
4. Always develop your learning - whether that is culinary training, business training, networking skills, business development approaches etc. There is more access to free training in the public domain than ever, to at least start you off...then keep developing! Things are always changing to keep up with the business environment and your specific customer market.
5. Mentor - get a mentor if you can. You might be surprised how willing someone with more experience may be to help you out!

Finally - good luck!! Remember what Billie-Jean King stated - "the more I practice, the luckier I get".
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Doug’s Answer

From a practical point of view the quickest way to begin would find a local ghost kitchen, somewhere that has the appropriate health and safety standard.

Then make a list of local businesses with a certain amount of employees. Find the office manger and give them free samples for a week. Add a handful of business cards so employees know how to find you.

The goal here is to find the most cost effective way (cheapest) to get samples to customers.

You could use your own kitchen to reduce costs (and risk) even more, but I’m not sure about the health and safety aspect.

I wouldn’t bother registering a company until you have some customers.
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Daniel’s Answer

Great Question Nayeli!

I would think about the two steps below and really put some thought into your business.

Come up with a business plan. This would include items such as operations, location, capital/funding, vision/mission statement etc. You can easily get lost in the weeds on this part. Don't get caught up in details that you can figure out later. Think big picture and ask yourself what is your business really trying to accomplish? That is always a good starting point on a business plan!

Lastly, come up with different business goals and set dates when you want to accomplish them. Setting a timeline will help you stay on track and know where you are in the process. It is very difficult but don't let yourself get caught up in the whirlwind of the "day to day." Meaning, set yourself and the business up with clear goals and do your best to not let the "daily fires" use up all your time. Inadvertently, you will have to attend to some of these daily fires but make sure you block off time to keep the vison of the company alive.

Out of the many business books I have read, if I could only suggest two books to you, it would be the books below. Hope these thoughts help and good luck on the journey

Daniel recommends the following next steps:

Read Dream Big by Bob Goff
Read the The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling
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