start up

How to Start Your Own Business: Basic steps for starting any business

Many people want the freedom and financial independence of starting a business of their own. They view it as having to work less, get paid more, and hope that it will give them the flexibility to run their lives as they want. But be careful! While these are all possibilities, there are also drawbacks to running your own business, such as the increased responsibilities, the financial worries and risk, and possibly working longer hours and harder than ever before. Here’s where to start when you want to build your own business.

Market Research

Do your market research. Make sure you have an audience for your product or service, whatever it is, before you invest any money or too much time in a business. If you have a great product, but nobody knows what it is or wants it, then you are sunk. Or you are in for a long, hard struggle before you make any money. Look in the yellow pages to see how many similar businesses there are. Your Chamber of Commerce can also give you advice on how to do this research, as well as other contacts you could use. Or you may consult an expert, or even search the web for articles on market research. I’m sure you’ll find many.

Licensing and Regulations

Check with your local regulating agency as to what is required for your business. Some businesses are regulated, particularly if there are any imports or if you are professionally regulated. Government websites should be able to tell you anything you need to know about the required licensing, including business licenses required. You should also be able to find out information on any import programs or government grants available for new businesses.

Financing

Every business requires some up front financing, regardless of its size. You should make sure that you’ve done a full business plan, so that you understand what financing you will require. Most people will start their first business with some of their own savings, and possibly some “love money” from friends or relatives. Make sure that you have the required funding before you go out and start. And stick to the plan! Don’t move too fast or too hard, or you may find yourself unable to meet the financial demands of the business. And that can sink you as quick as anything else.

Business Model

Don’t try to invent a new wheel. There are many business models available to follow. Use one of them! Whether it’s a retail store, internet shop, or mail order, or even a straight up clinic or professional office, use a model that already works, and you will be ahead of the game from the start. Talk to other people in the industry, and they may be willing to give you advice. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and the worst they can do is say, “No.”

Good Luck!

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