If you are interested in starting your own business, you’re definitely not alone. In 2013, there were more than 28 million small businesses in the U.S., and 22 million people were self-employed. That means that over 50 percent of the employed population works for a small business. And since 1995, small businesses have created 65 percent of net new jobs. So now is a great time for you to make the change and start the business you’ve been considering. With an online business degree from Brescia University Online, your personal and professional goals are in reach. Take these 10 steps to starting a business in Kentucky and bring your business to life in the Bluegrass State.
Step 1: Know why you want to start a business
It’s important to make sure your decision to start a business is based on the right reasons. Don’t start a business solely because you just got laid off, or because you feel you’ve run out of options. Deciding to start a business is a life-changing choice, and you need to be aware that there are risks as well as potential rewards involved. Have a solid idea that you believe will be successful.
Step 2: Identify your business type
While you may have a completely unique idea for a new business, chances are your business falls into a common category. Whether it’s a restaurant, bakery, bowling alley, hair salon or daycare, have a clear idea of the kind of business you’re looking to start. Then, research the competition.
Step 3: Create a business plan
This is one of the most important steps to take when starting a new business. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to write 50 pages and nail down every single detail. Instead, create a document that is a few pages in length. Define and explain the most important aspects of your business so that you can begin, rather than getting stuck in the planning stages. Some important aspects to include are:
- What products or services you will provide
- Pricing and cost information
- Your target market
- Your starting marketing plan
- How much startup money you need and what it will be used for
- Potential obstacles
- Short- and long-term goals
Step 4: Get the education and training you need
Earning a business degree is a great way to show investors and employees that you have the skills you need to succeed. At BUonline, we offer a bachelor’s degree in business that will give you a strong foundation of business knowledge while teaching you how to apply it to real-world situations. Our customizable program lets you tailor your education to your goals through a variety of electives. We’ll prepare you for leadership and management roles.
Step 5: Identify Your Customer
This is an important step that is often overlooked in the early stages of starting a business. You need to become an expert on your target customer. Who is your product specifically for: busy families, working moms or high school students? The more you can identify your customers, the better you can address their interests and needs with your business.
Step 6: Choose Your Location
Deciding your business’s location is a big choice to make. You’ll need to research real estate and other businesses in the area, look at demographics, assess your supply chain and understand state laws and taxing practices. These details can make the difference between success and failure.
Step 7: Get Start-Up Money
First of all, it’s important to keep costs down in the early stages of a business. Find out what resources you already have available to you through friends and family and go from there. Crowd-funding is a great option for financing your business as well. This allows your network of friends and family to contribute to your startup costs to support your business.
Step 8: Decide on a Legal Structure
You’ll also need to decide what form of business to establish. Your choices include LLC, partnership, sole proprietorship and others. This determines what kind of income taxes you’ll file and what forms you’ll need to fill out.
Step 9: Take Care of the Details
This actually includes multiple steps, like registering your business name and obtaining licenses and permits. There are a lot of details you’ll need to take care of before you can actually open for business, but these details are easy to take care of once you have established a clear direction for your business.
Step 10: Get Started
Once you are ready to open your business, things start to move very quickly. You’ll need to draw in customers, which involves making and executing a marketing plan. Create a social media presence for your business as well. The most important part of the early stages of a business is to make sales so that you can afford to keep going. With the careful planning and preparation you’ve put into your business by this point, you are ready to go.
Visit the following resources for more information to help you get started with your business goals.