How to Start a Business in 10 Easy Steps – From Set Up to Launch


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Wondering how to start a business? Starting your own business can be a rewarding endeavor, requiring careful planning, dedication, and a strategic approach from the beginning. If you’re interested in business ownership but aren’t sure where to start, this guide has you covered.

Refer to the Table of Contents to navigate through the key steps and strategies for starting your business.

Table of Contents

How to Start a Business

Though every business start journey is different, there are several steps that apply to most entrepreneurs, from finding your business niche to marketing your products and services. The business start process involves choosing a viable idea, market analysis, and securing financing. Following our detailed steps to start a business will ensure you cover all essential aspects, from legal registration to market entry, providing a clear roadmap for launching your venture.

We’ve laid out this entire to do list/startup checklist in the 10 steps below!

Deciding what business to start is a commitment that will be with you for a long time. Make sure you choose one that appeals to you and makes sense for long term success.

1. Brainstorm to Find the Right Business Idea to Begin

Before starting a business, it’s important to have a strong business idea. A successful business idea should be unique and innovative, and the concept should provide value to potential customers.

Some business owners start something that’s never been done before, while others venture into an existing industry and simply find one or two ways to stand out. Buying into a franchise system, or franchising can streamline the startup process by providing a ready-made business model and support network (Check out our franchise guide for more on selecting the right options). However, if you come up with something truly unique, consider patenting an idea to protect your business.

As you narrow down your business concept, here are some qualities to prioritize:

  • Simple and clear – A good business concept should be easy to understand and explain to others.
  • Unique – A good business concept should be different from what is already available in the market.
  • Scalable – A good business concept should have the potential to grow and expand over time.
  • Profitable – A good business concept should be able to generate enough revenue to cover costs and make a profit.
  • Sustainable – A good business concept should be able to operate over the long term without running out of resources.

Popular Types of Business Startups to Consider

If you need inspiration to kick off your new business venture, here are some popular business ideas to consider:

  1. E-commerce Store – An e-commerce store is an online platform that allows businesses to sell products or services to customers over the internet. E-commerce stores can be created for various types of businesses and niches, and they can be set up on platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. Online stores can be run from anywhere in the world, making them a great option for entrepreneurs looking to work remotely.
  2. Freelance Service – Freelance services offer specialized skills and expertise to clients on a project basis. Freelancers work independently and can offer services such as writing, graphic design, programming, or photography. Freelance services are becoming increasingly popular due to the growth of the gig economy and remote work opportunities.
  3. Food Truck – A food truck is a mobile food business that can sell various types of food. These trucks can be found at festivals, markets, and street corners, and can offer a range of cuisines from fast food to gourmet fare. A food truck can be a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs who love cooking and want to bring their cuisine to the masses.
  4. Home-based Daycare – A home-based daycare provides childcare services in a home setting. This type of business can be ideal for stay-at-home parents or caregivers who love working with children. Daycare providers must comply with state regulations and requirements and ensure that they have appropriate insurance coverage.
  5. Personal Trainer – Personal trainers provide fitness coaching and training services to clients. Personal trainers can work with individuals or groups and may specialize in areas like weight loss, strength training, or endurance training. This type of business can be started with minimal equipment and can be operated from a home gym or a rented space.
  6. Virtual Assistant – A virtual assistant offers administrative and support services to businesses and entrepreneurs remotely, including tasks such as scheduling, customer support, bookkeeping, email management, social media management, and more.
  7. Bed and Breakfast – A bed and breakfast provides lodging and breakfast to guests in a home setting. Bed and breakfasts can offer a more intimate and personalized experience compared to traditional hotels and can be located in urban or rural areas. This type of business can be ideal for individuals who enjoy hospitality and have a spare room or two in their homes.
  8. Pet Grooming – A pet grooming business offers grooming and care services for pets. Grooming services can include bathing, nail trimming, hair cutting, and more. This type of business can be ideal for individuals who love animals and want to work with them on a daily basis.
  9. Cleaning service – A cleaning service provides the cleaning and organizing services to homes and businesses. This type of business can be operated solo or with a team and can specialize in residential or commercial cleaning. Cleaning services require little overhead costs, making them an ideal option for those looking to start a business with low startup costs.
  10. Event Planning – Event planning involves helping clients plan and execute events. Event planners can work with clients to plan weddings, conferences, parties, and other special occasions. This type of business requires strong organizational and communication skills, as well as attention to detail.
  11. Consulting – A consultant offers expertise and advice to businesses and individuals. Consultants can specialize in various areas including marketing, finance, human resources, operations, or economic development. This type of business can be ideal for individuals with years of experience in a particular field and who want to help others succeed.
  12. Food Delivery – A food delivery business delivers food to customers who order online or via phone. Food delivery services can be offered for various types of cuisine, including fast food, pizza, Chinese food, and more. This type of business can be started with minimal startup costs, as delivery drivers can use their own vehicles and equipment.
  13. Social Media Management – Social media management involves managing businesses’ social media accounts. Social media managers can create and publish content, engage with followers, and analyze performance metrics to improve social media strategies. This type of business can be ideal for individuals who are skilled in social media marketing and have a strong understanding of different social media platforms.
  14. Tutoring – Tutoring involves offering one-on-one educational services to students. Tutors can specialize in various subjects, including math, science, language, and test preparation. Tutoring services can be offered in-person or online, making it a flexible business opportunity for individuals who enjoy teaching.
  15. Graphic Design – Graphic designers create visual designs for businesses and individuals, helping to establish a strong brand identity through branding, web design, print design, and more. This type of business can be ideal for individuals with strong creativity and design skills who enjoy working on a variety of projects.
  16. Landscaping – Landscaping involves providing landscaping and gardening services to homeowners and businesses. Landscapers can offer services such as lawn care, garden design, tree trimming, and more. This type of business can be ideal for individuals who enjoy working outdoors and have experience in gardening and landscaping.
  17. Mobile Car Detailing – A mobile car detailing business provides car cleaning and detailing services at clients’ locations. Mobile car detailers can offer services such as washing, waxing, and interior cleaning. This type of business can be started with minimal equipment and can be operated from a home garage or rented space.
  18. Personal Shopping – Personal shoppers offer shopping services to individuals and businesses. Personal shoppers can help clients find the perfect outfit for a special occasion, or they can help businesses source products and supplies. This type of business can be ideal for individuals with a passion for fashion and shopping.
  19. Subscription Box – A subscription box business sends monthly boxes of curated items to subscribers. Subscription boxes can include a variety of products, such as beauty supplies, food, clothing, or pet products. This type of business can be ideal for individuals who enjoy sourcing and curating unique products.
  20. Web Development – Web developers design and develop websites for businesses and individuals. Web developers can specialize in front-end or back-end development, or they can offer full-stack development services. This type of business can be ideal for individuals with strong technical skills and a passion for web design and development.
  21. Drop Shipping – This business model allows you to sell products without needing to hold inventory. With this method, you partner with suppliers who handle the inventory and shipping process while you focus on marketing and customer acquisition. If you want to learn how to start dropshipping, check out our comprehensive guide on “How to Start Dropshipping,” which provides step-by-step instructions on setting up and running a successful dropshipping business.

This is but a small sample of what is available out there, and remember you can always come up with a new business no one has thought of, too.

Choose a Name for Your Business

How do you start a business? Choosing a name is just the first of many pivotal decisions ahead. Once you have a general idea, it’s time to consider how to come up with a business name. A solid name is distinctive and memorable. Bonus points if the name makes it obvious what products or services you sell and is easy to both say and spell. You can also test potential names with customers to see how they react.

Once you settle on an idea, perform a preliminary search on Google, the Secretary of State database for your state, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) site. A no-conflict, free trademark search will let you see if business names are available in all 50 states. You can also look into how to buy a business name if your choice is taken but not currently in use.

If you don’t find the name, you can go to your local county clerk’s office and file a “Doing Business As” (DBA) or a “Fictitious Business Name” (FBN). The DBA and FBN protect against name theft and it lets people know who actually owns the business. Additionally, reserve your business name as a website domain and on various social media sites, even if you’re not set on using every popular site right away.

2. Write a Solid Business Plan

A business plan is your company’s guiding document. A business startup faces many challenges, including market entry, competition analysis, and building a customer base.

Embracing the lean startup methodology, which emphasizes adaptability and customer feedback, can help your business navigate these challenges.

Here’s a list of elements to include in your business plan:

  1. Executive Summary: Summarize your business’s mission, vision, and goals, providing an overview of your entire plan. Highlight your company’s unique selling points and future growth potential.
  2. Company Description: Detail your company’s background, structure, and the problem it aims to solve. Explain how your products or services fill a gap in the market or serve a target audience.
  3. Market Analysis: When conducting Market Analysis, it’s essential to adopt a systematic methodology that encompasses industry trends, target market behavior, and competitor benchmarking.
  4. Business Model: Outline how your company will generate revenue, specifying the pricing, distribution channels, and customer acquisition strategies. Include your value proposition and competitive advantage.
  5. Products and Services: It’s very important to describe your offerings in detail when you start a business. Emphasize their benefits and unique features. Explain how they address customer needs and differentiate them from competitors.
  6. Your Break Even Point: Calculating your break-even point is important for strategic planning and investor confidence. Conducting a break-even analysis is also important for any business, as it precisely calculates the sales level needed to cover costs, guiding pricing and financial strategies.
  7. Marketing and Sales Strategy: Develop a plan for promoting your business, reaching your target audience, and converting leads into sales. This will help you have a more in-depth knowelege of how to launch effectively. Consider advertising, public relations, social media, and other tactics. Have a brainstorm session to generate creative and effective promotional ideas that resonate with your target audience.
  8. Startup Costs and Financial Projections: Calculate the initial investment required to launch your business, and provide a detailed breakdown of projected expenses and revenues. Include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow forecasts.
  9. Management and Organization: Present your company’s leadership team, their roles, and their experience. Describe the organizational structure and any key personnel you plan to hire.
  10. Exit Strategy: Outline possible exit scenarios for your business, such as mergers, acquisitions, or public offerings. This demonstrates foresight and provides a roadmap for potential investors.
  11. Appendix: Include any supplementary information, such as resumes, legal documents, permits, or industry research, to support your plan and provide additional context.

Research Your Competitors and Your Customer Base

Understanding your competition is key to the success of your business. So a thorough evaluation of your market should be part of this planning stage. Here’s how to conduct market research and target the right audience: Market research is a cornerstone of your business planning, providing the data needed to make informed decisions about your product, pricing, and promotional strategies.

  • Primary Research: Conducting primary research involves gathering first-hand information directly from competitors, potential customers, and local businesses. Visit their establishments, interact with their customers, and attend industry events to gain valuable insights. Collect data by surveying your target audience and analyzing their preferences and pain points. Primary research helps to validate assumptions and uncover new opportunities in the market.
  • Secondary Research: Secondary research involves analyzing existing information from external sources, such as market reports, industry publications, and competitor websites. Study their marketing materials, customer reviews, and social media presence to gauge their brand image and customer satisfaction. This research helps you understand the current market trends, assess competitor positioning, and identify areas for improvement.
  • SWOT Analysis: A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis allows you to evaluate the competitive landscape systematically. Learning How to perform a personal SWOT analysis can help you identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses by examining their products, services, pricing, marketing strategies, and customer service. With a SWOT analysis, you can explore market opportunities and potential threats, such as emerging trends, shifts in consumer behavior, or new regulations. A comprehensive SWOT analysis will provide a clear understanding of your competitive advantages and areas for growth. Check out SWOT analysis examples online to see how to create your own.
  • Understanding Market Needs and Customer Behavior: When launching a new business, it’s essential to deeply understand your target market’s needs and behaviors. To begin your entrepreneurial journey, it is essential to conduct thorough market research to gather insights about your potential customers – what drives their purchasing decisions, their preferences, and their pain points. Use surveys, focus groups, and market analysis tools to collect this vital information. This understanding will inform your product development, marketing strategies, and customer service approach, ensuring that your offerings resonate well with your intended audience.

3. Sort Out Your Business Finances

By keeping a close eye on your business costs, you can identify areas to optimize, reduce expenses, and make informed decisions for the future. Here are some practical steps to help you sort out your business finances, ensuring you maintain a healthy cash flow and stay on top of your business costs.

Proper accounting practices are essential not just for compliance but also for gaining insightful financial data to guide your business decisions. Make sure you consider the implications of income tax early in your planning process to ensure compliance and optimize your financial strategy.

 

Start a Business Bank Account

Opening a separate bank account for your business is essential to keep your personal finances separate from your business transactions. This separation simplifies bookkeeping, tax preparation, and provides a clear financial overview of your business operations.

To start a business bank account, research various banks in your area and their offerings. For example, some banks may offer many options for small business loans and credit cards, while others may prioritize things like online and mobile banking. Once you choose a bank that best fits your needs, gather the required documents (such as business registration and tax identification) and visit the bank to open the account.

Set up your business finances carefully, it can mean the difference between success and failure.

Consider Business Credit Cards

Acquiring a business credit card can help streamline expenses, provide additional financing, and offer valuable rewards. It allows you to separate personal and business expenses, making bookkeeping and tax preparation easier. A business credit card can offer more than just a convenient payment method; it can also help you manage cash flow and build your business credit history.

Moreover, some cards offer cash back, travel rewards, or other benefits tailored for businesses. Research different credit card companies and their offerings, considering factors such as interest rates, fees, and reward programs. Choose one that aligns with your business needs and spending habits to maximize benefits.

Select an Accounting Software

Investing in accounting software or hiring a skilled bookkeeper is a smart move for any business owner, as it simplifies financial management, bookkeeping, and tax preparation. Selecting the right accounting software early on can save you time and help avoid financial management errors as your business grows. The best accounting software for small business users automates processes, reducing the chances of human error and saving time.

Some popular accounting software options include QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks, each offering various features to cater to different business needs. Evaluate your requirements and choose software that provides the necessary tools to manage your finances effectively, ensuring the long-term financial health of your business.

Determine Your Break-Even Point

Understanding your break-even point is crucial for any business, as it indicates the level of sales necessary to cover your costs without generating a profit or loss. This financial metric can help you set realistic sales targets and effective pricing strategies.

To calculate your break-even point, divide your fixed costs by the contribution margin (selling price per unit minus variable cost per unit). Knowing this figure will assist in making informed financial and operational decisions for your business.

4. Fund Your New Business – Bank Loan and Beyond

Starting a new business often requires capital, making it crucial to manage your money wisely across all phases of development. Exploring options like bank loans, venture capital, or crowdfunding can provide the necessary resources for your venture.

Methods to finance a new business include bootstrapping, venture capital investments, crowdfunding, business lines of credit, and business loans and grants. Understanding these options will enable you to choose the most suitable approach to fund your business.

Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is the process of self-funding your business using personal savings, assets, or reinvesting profits. Bootstrapping, or self-funding, allows you to maintain complete control over your business, emphasizing fiscal prudence from the outset. This is an especially popular option for low-cost business ideas

Bootstrapping can be a slow process but provides a solid foundation for business growth. Entrepreneurs choosing this method must be prepared to manage their finances carefully and make sacrifices to invest in their venture.

Venture Capital Investments

Venture capital (VC) investments involve obtaining funds from investors in exchange for equity in your business. VC firms typically target high-growth, innovative companies with the potential for substantial returns.

This funding option can provide a significant financial boost, but entrepreneurs should be prepared to share decision-making power and potentially relinquish some control over their businesses. Networking and creating a compelling pitch are essential to attract venture capital investments. The structured setup of corporations and scalability appeal to investors looking for high-growth opportunities.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding involves raising funds from a large number of people, typically through online platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

This funding method allows entrepreneurs to showcase their business idea or product to potential backers, who contribute money in exchange for rewards or equity. Crowdfunding can not only provide capital but also help validate your idea and generate interest from potential customers. Check out our post on What is Crowdfunding? for more on this option.

Business Line of Credit

A business line of credit is a flexible financing option that allows businesses to access funds up to a predetermined limit. Entrepreneurs can borrow and repay funds as needed, only paying interest on the amount utilized.

This funding method can help manage cash flow fluFctuations and cover short-term expenses, making it an ideal solution for businesses with variable financial needs.

Business Loans and Business Grants

Obtaining a small business loan or grant can provide the necessary capital to fund your venture. Business loans, available through banks or alternative lenders, require repayment with interest over a specified period.

Business grants, on the other hand, are non-repayable funds typically offered by governments or non-profit organizations. Research available options, prepare a strong business plan, and demonstrate financial responsibility to increase your chances of securing a loan or grant for your business. Explore financing options offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which provides loans and grants tailored for small businesses.

5. Choose a Business Structure

What is the right business structure for you? The structure you choose will impact taxes, financing, compensation, and insurance. Not to mention the risk and liabilities of your personal assets.

When you Choose a Business Structure, it’s pivotal to briefly discuss how different structures impact the management and oversight of finances, directly influencing fiscal responsibilities and tax obligations. Choosing the right business structure is crucial when you start business planning.

Another point to remember when choosing your structure is the variations from state to state. Mak When choosing a business structure, consider a corporation for its benefits in liability protection and potential tax advantages, especially if you’re planning to seek significant investment.

Consider forming a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) if you’re starting a business with partners and want to prfotect your personal assets while enjoying the flexibility of partnership taxation.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax efficiency and operational flexibility of a partnership.

Be sure to find out how the common business structures like sole proprietorship are applied in your state to protect yourself from legal and tax liabilities.

Before choosing, get familiar with all the potential options below. You may also consult an accountant or business consultant for guidance. When you start a small-business, it’s especially important to choose the right business structure. Consider the following elements when making your decision:

  • Your financing needs and options.
  • How you want to pay taxes.
  • The kind of liability protection you need.
  • What kind of administrative complexity can you handle?

Keep in mind that you will need to fill in an article of incorporation for certain business structures like corporations for legal recognition.

Sole Proprietorship

This is the simplest business structure. The profits and debts of a sole proprietorship company are the responsibility of one person. As such, the owner is personally liable for any debts.

This means creditors can come after your personal property and savings and you are personally liable for any lawsuits brought against the business.

A sole proprietorship is easy to set up, low cost and has an easy exit. When it comes to taxes, all you need to do is to keep track of all the business’ income and expenses. At tax time, just report it on Schedule C with your personal tax return.

Doing Business As (DBA)

“Doing Business As” (DBA) or a “Fictitious Business Name” (FBN) registration is not technically a legal structure. It allows you to conduct business under a name other than your own.

Although a DBA is more common among sole proprietors, LLCs, corporations, and partnerships can all file to get a DBA.

States have different DBA requirements, so make sure you comply. For instance, New York State has specific DBA filing requirements.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC is a cross structure combining the best features of partnerships and S Corps. It provides owners, called members, with the liability protection of corporations while allowing earnings and losses to pass through to the owners as income on their personal tax returns.

Single or multiple members can be part of an LLC, and the profits and losses don’t have to be divided among members equally. A single-member LLC can be taxed as a corporation or an individual using the Schedule C form. A multi-member LLC, on the other hand, is taxed as a partnership with the K-1 form.

Corporation

A corporation is an entity that is separate from its owners with its own legal rights. A company structured as a corporation can sue, be sued, own property, and sell its ownership in the form of stocks.

There are several types of corporations:

  • C corporations – Owned by shareholders, they allow an unlimited number of investors and are taxed as separate entities.
  • S corporations – Are designed for small businesses to avoid double taxation. It doesn’t file its own taxes and profits are passed through and reported on the personal income tax return of the shareholders. An S corporation has employment and profit taxation rules as well as strict ownership laws.
  • B corporations – Are for-profit entities structured to make a positive impact on society. They are also known as benefit corporations.
  • Closed corporations – These are not publicly traded companies and they benefit from limited liability protection. Compared to publicly traded companies, they have more flexibility.
  • Open corporations – Are traded on a public market by allowing anyone to invest in them.
  • Nonprofit corporations – Are formed to serve the public good and they have tax exemptions to help with that goal.

Partnership

A partnership is an unincorporated business owned by multiple people or other businesses. The profits in partnerships are divided among owners and it is reported on their tax returns.

Some of the different types of partnerships are general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and limited liability limited partnerships (LLLPs).

If your business goes beyond a sole proprietorship, make sure you are fully aware of your liabilities. Find qualified experts to guide you while you are on your way to starting a perfect business.

Want to learn more? Take our business structure quiz to learn what kind of business organization is right for you.

6. Register Your New Business

Registering a new business is a very important step for startups and involves several important steps, including obtaining a business license, registering with the federal and state government, getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN), obtaining the necessary insurance, paying taxes, and acquiring professional licenses.

Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a necessary step for tax purposes and when planning to hire employees.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business for tax purposes. It’s needed for various reasons, such as filing taxes, hiring employees, opening a business bank account, and applying for business licenses or permits. It also establishes your business as a separate legal entity to maintain financial separation between your personal and business finances.

You can apply for an EIN directly through the IRS online, or by fax, mail, or phone.

Tax Documents

As a business owner, it’s essential to understand and fulfill your finance and tax obligations. This includes filing taxes, paying self-employment tax, and staying informed about any changes in tax laws or regulations. Understanding your tax obligations, including sales and use tax, is vital for operating legally and efficiently

  • Filing Taxes: All businesses are required to file taxes annually with the federal and state governments. The type of tax forms you’ll need to file depends on your business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation). It’s crucial to maintain accurate financial records and file your taxes on time to avoid penalties.
  • Self-Employment Tax: If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to pay self-employment tax in addition to income tax. Self-employment tax covers Social Security and Medicare taxes for self-employed individuals. It’s important to calculate and pay these taxes to ensure you’re contributing to your future Social Security and Medicare benefits.
  • Sales and Use Tax: Depending on your business’s location and the products or services you offer, you may need to collect sales tax from customers and remit it to your state or local government. Be sure to register for a sales tax permit if required and stay up-to-date on your state’s sales tax laws.
  • Employment Taxes: If your business has employees, you’ll need to withhold and pay employment taxes, which include federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and state income taxes (if applicable). You may also need to pay state unemployment taxes and other employer-specific taxes.

Professional Licenses

Some businesses may require professional licenses or permits to operate legally. Here are a few common examples:

  • Health Department Permits: Businesses in the food industry, such as restaurants, bakeries, and catering companies, often need health department permits to ensure they meet sanitation and food safety standards.
  • Alcohol Licenses: Businesses that sell or serve alcohol, such as bars, restaurants, or liquor stores, must obtain an alcohol license or permit from their state or local government.
  • Building Permits: If your business requires construction or renovations, you may need to obtain building permits from your local government to ensure that your project complies with building codes and regulations.
  • Occupational Licenses: Some professions, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, and real estate agents, require specific occupational licenses to practice legally. Check with your state’s licensing board or agency to determine the requirements for your profession.

Business Insurance

Insurance is a vital aspect of protecting your business from potential risks and liabilities. There are several types of business insurance to consider, depending on your industry, location, and specific needs:

  • General Liability Insurance: This insurance covers your business against claims related to property damage, bodily injury, and personal injury resulting from your business operations. It is essential for most businesses, as it protects against common risks and potential lawsuits.
  • Property Insurance: Property insurance covers your business’s physical assets, such as buildings, equipment, and inventory, against damage or loss caused by events like fire, theft, or natural disasters. This insurance is crucial for businesses with significant investments in physical assets.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If your business has employees, workers’ compensation insurance is typically required by law. This insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits for employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, this coverage is designed to protect your business against claims of negligence or mistakes made while providing professional services. It’s particularly important for businesses that offer specialized services or advice, such as consultants, lawyers, or architects.

7. Source Products and Equipment for Your Business

The best places to source products will vary depending on your industry, target market, and business model. Thoroughly research your options and consider factors such as product quality, cost, shipping times, and supplier reliability when making your sourcing decisions.

Choosing suppliers and vendors well is one key to success. On-time delivery and stable costs are both important.

By carefully selecting your product sources, you can build a strong foundation for your business and offer products that appeal to your customers. Managing your inventory efficiently is crucial for product-based businesses, ensuring you meet demand without overstocking. Here are some popular options for sourcing products:

  1. Domestic Manufacturers and Wholesalers: Sourcing products from domestic manufacturers and wholesalers can provide several benefits, including shorter shipping times, lower shipping costs, and easier communication with suppliers. Additionally, products made domestically may be perceived as higher quality by customers. To find domestic manufacturers and wholesalers, you can attend trade shows, join industry associations, or search online directories and marketplaces.
  2. Overseas Manufacturers: Many businesses choose to source products from overseas manufacturers, particularly in countries like China, India, and Vietnam, due to lower production costs. Working with overseas manufacturers can result in significant cost savings, but it may also present challenges, such as language barriers, time zone differences, and longer shipping times. To find reputable overseas manufacturers, you can attend international trade shows, use online platforms like Alibaba and Global Sources, or work with a sourcing agent.
  3. Private Label Manufacturers: Private label manufacturing allows you to source products that are already being produced and rebrand them with your company’s name and logo. This approach can save time and resources, as you won’t need to invest in product development or manufacturing. To find private label manufacturers, you can search online directories, attend trade shows, or contact manufacturers directly to inquire about their private label services.
  4. Dropshipping Suppliers: Dropshipping is a business model where you sell products without holding inventory. Instead, you partner with a dropshipping supplier who handles product storage, packing, and shipping on your behalf. This can be a cost-effective way to source products, as you don’t need to invest in inventory or warehousing. To find dropshipping suppliers, you can use platforms like Oberlo, SaleHoo, or Spocket, or search for suppliers within your industry.
  5. Marketplaces and Online Retailers: Online marketplaces and retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy can be great sources for niche or unique products. These platforms allow you to buy products at wholesale prices and sell them through your own online store. Keep in mind that competition can be high on these platforms, so it’s essential to find ways to differentiate your products and brand.
  6. Local Artisans and Craftsmen: For businesses looking to source unique, handmade, or artisanal products, working with local artisans and craftsmen can be a great option. By partnering with local creators, you can support your community and offer one-of-a-kind products to your customers. To find local artisans, you can visit craft fairs and farmers’ markets or search online platforms like Etsy.

Manage Your Supply Chain and Cost

Supply chain management involves coordinating with suppliers, managing logistics, and navigating international trade regulations. A robust supply chain management strategy helps mitigate risks like delays and shortages, ensuring smooth operations and customer satisfaction.

Source Equipment and Software

Businesses that aren’t product-based don’t need to worry about inventory. But These businesses still often need to invest in equipment and/or technology to successfully manage their operations. Sourcing these purchases early can help you manage costs and select the best possible investments for your business goals.

8. Select Your Business Location

Today’s businesses can be established in the digital or physical world. Some businesses need a large commercial storefront or office space, while others can make do with a home office and a few freelancers around the globe. Selecting the general type of location is the first step and will significantly affect your business model. Then it’s time to narrow down commercial spaces if that’s the route you choose. Here are some tips to consider:

Consider Whether a Commercial Space is Necessary

Some businesses require a storefront or physical office space right away. Aside from retail businesses and those with obvious needs, many office-based businesses might choose to do business in person to encourage collaboration or productivity. Other benefits of having a physical space include fostering a sense of community and providing a professional space to welcome clients and/or partners.

However, doing business virtually is also a viable option. Many sole proprietors simply work from a home office or coworking space to save money. This format also allows businesses to build their teams with top talent from around the world since they can easily work remotely using virtual collaboration tools. Additionally, many businesses start out operating virtually and then invest in a physical space later once finances allow.

Determine Whether to Buy or Lease

For those looking for a brick-and-mortar location, it all starts by deciding whether you want to lease or buy your commercial property. There are tax implications for the decision you make, so consult your legal and financial advisors to make the best decision.

If you plan on leasing, go through the agreement thoroughly and make sure you understand it fully before you sign the contract. There are many clauses in lease agreements. If you don’t have the expertise, seek legal advice before you sign.

For those buying, work with a commercial realtor in your area to find spaces that fit your needs and guide you through the process.

Choose the Right Space to Start

The location you choose should address some, most, or even all of the needs of your business. Here are some questions to consider as you narrow your search:

  • Is the price affordable?
  • Is the location known for the products and services you offer, and does it complement your business?
  • Are there suppliers and distributors for your industry close by?
  • Is the area a business hub the city is pushing with future growth opportunities?
  • Is there any future development planned in the area or region?
  • Does the location have a good reputation?
  • Is it secure? What is the crime rate?
  • What is the skill base in the area?
  • Does the space have the right infrastructure in place to accommodate your operations?
  • Are the local zoning regulations in line with your business?

9. Find and Hire Employees

Building a strong team can significantly impact your company’s growth, productivity, and overall work culture. Providing health insurance and benefits can attract and retain top talent, ensuring that your team remains healthy and motivated.

In this guide, we will discuss how to find new staff, manage payroll, and provide health insurance and benefits.

Find New Staff

There are several options for advertising job opportunities and finding new hires. Here are a few to consider:

  • Job Advertisements: One of the most effective ways to find new employees is by posting job advertisements on various online platforms, such as job boards like Indeed, Monster, or LinkedIn. Be sure to create a clear and detailed job description that outlines the required skills, qualifications, and responsibilities. This will help attract qualified candidates and make it easier to filter through applications.
  • Networking: Networking can be a powerful tool for finding potential employees. Attend industry events, trade shows, and conferences to meet professionals in your field. Also, leverage your personal and professional networks, including friends, family, and colleagues, to spread the word about job openings at your company. Social media platforms like LinkedIn can also be useful for connecting with potential candidates.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Partnering with a recruitment agency can help you find qualified candidates for your new business quickly and efficiently. Recruitment agencies have access to extensive talent pools and can help match your job requirements with suitable candidates. They can also assist with screening and interviewing applicants, saving you time and resources.

Set Up Business Payroll

Once you hire your first employee, you need a payroll system to manage and streamline their compensation. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Setting Up Payroll: Managing payroll is a critical aspect of running a business with employees. Using services like ADP to set up a system can help you track employee hours, calculate wages, withhold taxes, and make payments more efficiently. You can choose to manage payroll in-house using software like QuickBooks or outsource it to a payroll service provider. Be sure to research and follow federal, state, and local payroll laws and regulations. Choosing insurance options as part of employee benefit packages is also very important.
  • Withholding Taxes: As an employer, you are responsible for withholding federal and state income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and any other applicable taxes from your employee’s wages. Be sure to obtain the necessary tax forms, such as W-4 and W-9 forms, from your employees when they are hired. Stay informed about current tax rates and requirements to ensure compliance.
  • Paying Employees: Establish a consistent pay schedule for your employees, such as weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Make sure to pay your employees on time and provide them with detailed pay stubs that outline their earnings, withholdings, and any deductions. Keep accurate records of all payroll transactions for tax and legal purposes.

Offer Health Insurance and Benefits

Many employers must offer health insurance and benefits to full-time employees. These elements can also help you attract and retain top talent. Here’s what you should know:

  • Health Insurance Options: Providing health insurance is an essential aspect of attracting and retaining quality employees. Research the different types of health insurance plans available, such as Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), or Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible plans. Choose a plan that fits your budget and meets your employees’ needs.
  • Employee Benefits: In addition to health insurance, offering additional benefits can help make your business more appealing to potential employees. Consider providing benefits such as paid time off, retirement plans, flexible work arrangements, or professional development opportunities. Tailor your benefits package to the needs and preferences of your target employees to maximize its appeal.
  • Legal Requirements: Be aware of any legal requirements for providing health insurance and benefits, particularly if your business has a certain number of employees. For example, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), businesses with 50 or more full-time employees are required to offer health insurance to their employees. Familiarize yourself with federal, state, and local laws related to employee benefits to ensure compliance.

Navigate Remote Work Dynamics

With the rise of remote work, understanding how to manage a distributed team effectively is essential. This includes selecting the right communication tools, establishing clear remote work policies, and fostering a strong virtual team culture. Embrace strategies that ensure productivity and collaboration, while also supporting work-life balance for your team members.

10. Market and Expand Your Business

Determining how to grow a small business can vary based on your industry and business goals. For example, some may target new customer segments while others may diversify product offerings or launch new marketing campaigns.

Both marketing and expansion efforts require ongoing analysis, adaptation, and innovation to ensure long-term success in an ever-evolving marketplace. Here are some methods you might consider as your business grows:

Develop a Brand Identity

Developing a strong brand identity is essential for differentiating your business from competitors, building customer trust, and creating a memorable experience. Here are some key steps to develop your brand identity:

  • Define your target audience: Identify your ideal customers, their demographics, preferences, and pain points. This will help you create a brand that appeals to them. Knowing your customer base deeply through market research and direct engagement is key to creating offerings that meet their needs and exceed expectations.
  • Establish your unique selling proposition (USP): Determine what sets your business apart from others in your industry. Your USP should showcase the unique value you offer to customers.
  • Create a compelling brand story: Craft a narrative that encapsulates your brand’s mission, values, and purpose. This story should resonate with your target audience and be consistently conveyed across all marketing channels.
  • Design a memorable logo: Your logo should be visually appealing, unique, and reflective of your brand’s personality. Invest in professional design services to create a logo that represents your business well.
  • Develop a consistent color palette and typography: Choose a set of colors and fonts that reflect your brand’s personality and use them consistently across all marketing materials and platforms.
  • Establish brand guidelines: Develop a comprehensive brand style guide that outlines your brand’s visual elements, voice, tone, and messaging. This guide will help ensure consistency across all channels and touchpoints.
  • Register a ‘Doing Business as’: When establishing your brand identity and legal presence in the market, registering a ‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) can be a strategic step. This not only secures your business name but also enables you to conduct business under a name that aligns with your branding efforts, without the need to create a formal legal entity.

Create a Marketing Plan for Launch and Beyond

A marketing plan is a strategic document that outlines your business’s marketing goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics. It serves as a roadmap to help you achieve your marketing goals and measure your progress. Here’s a list of what should be included in a marketing plan:

Marketing brings customers in your door, whether it's advertising, public relations or social media, craft your messages to appeal to your targeted customer.

  • Executive Summary: This section provides a high-level overview of your marketing plan, summarizing your objectives, strategies, and key takeaways.
  • Market Analysis: Conduct an in-depth analysis of your industry, market trends, and competitors. This will help you identify opportunities and threats, as well as understand the competitive landscape. Thorough research is important for understanding customer needs and market gaps.
  • Target Audience: One of our main tips for starting a business is to define your target customers, including their demographics, preferences, and pain points. This information will guide your marketing efforts and help you tailor your messaging.
  • Marketing Goals and Objectives: Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) marketing goals and objectives that align with your business’s overall goals.
  • Marketing Strategies: Outline the high-level strategies you will use to achieve your marketing goals, such as content marketing, social media marketing, or email marketing.
  • Marketing Tactics: List the specific tactics and channels you will use to implement your marketing strategies. This might include blog posts, social media posts, or email newsletters.
  • Marketing Budget: Determine how much money you will allocate to your marketing efforts and how you will distribute those funds across different marketing channels and tactics.
  • Performance Metrics: Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you track your marketing efforts’ success and measure progress toward your goals.
  • Implementation Timeline: Create a timeline for executing your marketing tactics, including milestones and deadlines.
  • Review and Adjustments: Establish a process for regularly reviewing your marketing plan’s performance, making data-driven adjustments, and updating your plan as needed.

Improve Customer Experience and Engagement

In the digital age, customer experience is king. Focus on creating seamless, engaging experiences across all touchpoints – from your website and social media to customer service interactions. Use social media platforms to build brand awareness and engage directly with your customers, creating a community around your products or services.

Use customer feedback to continuously improve and personalize the experience. Remember, a delighted customer is not just a repeat customer but also an advocate for your brand. After meticulous planning, you’ll be positioned to launch your business effectively.

Network and Build Business Relationships

Strong business relationships and networking are invaluable for business growth and support. Networking can unlock many opportunities for your startup business, from partnerships to fundingAttend industry events, join professional organizations, and engage in online forums. These connections can lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and valuable mentorships.

Set Up a Business Website

A well-designed and user-friendly business website is a necessary part of establishing an online presence, attracting customers, and promoting your products or services in today’s digital ecosystem.

  • Choose a domain name: Select a domain name that is easy to remember, reflects your brand, and ideally includes relevant keywords. Register your domain through a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap.
  • Select a web hosting provider: Web hosting providers offer storage space and services needed for your website to be accessible on the internet. Choose a hosting provider that meets your needs in terms of speed, reliability, and support, such as Bluehost, SiteGround, or HostGator.
  • Pick a website builder: Website builders like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress offer user-friendly tools and templates for creating and customizing your website. For e-commerce businesses, utilizing platforms like Shopify with features like breadcrumb navigation enhances user experience and site structure.
  • Design your website: Create a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate website that reflects your brand identity. Prioritize user experience by using a responsive design, clear navigation, and engaging visuals. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as an increasing number of users access the web through mobile devices.
  • Develop website content: Create informative, relevant, and engaging content for your website, focusing on your target audience’s needs and preferences. Make sure your content is well-organized, easy to read, and includes keywords to improve search engine visibility.
  • Optimize for SEO: Implement search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve your website’s visibility in search results. This includes using relevant keywords, creating quality content, optimizing meta tags, and building a strong backlink profile.
  • Integrate analytics: Track your website’s performance and user behavior by integrating analytics tools like Google Analytics. This will provide insights into user demographics, traffic sources, and user engagement, helping you make data-driven decisions for your website.

Expand Internationally

Selling internationally exposes your business to new markets, increasing your customer base and revenue potential. Embracing global expansion can lead to business growth, risk diversification, and a competitive edge. Here are some steps you must navigate in order to reap these benefits:

  • Market research: Conduct thorough research on potential target markets, evaluating factors such as consumer preferences, local competition, and cultural differences. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts and product offerings to resonate with international customers.
  • Regulatory compliance: Familiarize yourself with the legal and regulatory requirements of your target countries, including import/export laws, taxes, and customs regulations. Ensure your business complies with all relevant laws to avoid fines or other penalties.
  • Payment processing: Offer a variety of secure payment options that cater to the preferences of your international customers. Consider partnering with payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, or Adyen, which support multiple currencies and international transactions.
  • Currency conversion: Display prices in local currencies to make it easier for international customers to understand the cost of your products or services. Use currency conversion tools or plugins on your website to provide accurate, real-time exchange rates.
  • Shipping and logistics: Develop a reliable and cost-effective shipping strategy for international orders. Partner with reputable shipping carriers and consider using fulfillment services like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or ShipBob to streamline your logistics.
  • Website localization: Adapt your website’s content, design, and language to cater to your target international markets. Use tools like Google Translate or work with professional translators to offer your content in multiple languages.
  • Customer support: Provide multilingual customer support to address the needs and concerns of your international customers. Consider hiring native speakers or using translation tools to communicate effectively with customers in their local language.
  • Marketing and promotion: Develop tailored marketing strategies for each international market, taking into consideration local preferences, language, and culture. Leverage local social media platforms, influencers, and advertising channels to reach your target audience effectively.

What Tools Do You Need to Start a Business?

Starting a business requires a combination of planning, research, and the right tools to help you streamline your operations and increase efficiency. Here is an expanded list of business tools that can support the many different aspects of your new business:

Software and apps are key to running your business. Don't rush to choose, figure out what you need to keep your business running smoothly, even if it's analog.

  1. Business Plan Software: A solid business plan is crucial for outlining your objectives, target market, and financial projections. Business plan software like LivePlan, Upmetrics, or Bizplan can guide you through the process and help you create a professional-looking plan to present to potential investors or lenders.
  2. Accounting and Bookkeeping Software: Keeping track of your business finances is essential. Tools like QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks can help you manage your income and expenses, generate financial reports, and simplify tax preparation.
  3. Project Management and Collaboration Tools: Streamline your team’s communication and project management with tools like Trello, Asana, or Basecamp. These platforms enable you to assign tasks, track progress, and collaborate with your team in real time.
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software: CRMs like Salesforce, HubSpot, or Zoho CRM can help you manage and nurture customer relationships, track leads, and analyze sales data to optimize your sales process.
  5. Email Marketing Software: Stay connected with your customers and promote your products or services with email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Sendinblue, or Constant Contact. These platforms offer email templates, automation features, and analytics to help you optimize your campaigns.
  6. Social Media Management Tools: Simplify your social media marketing efforts with tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social. Schedule posts, monitor engagement, and track analytics across multiple social media platforms.
  7. Eommerce Platforms: If you plan to sell products online, consider using e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce to build and manage your online store.
  8. Payment Processing Solutions: Accepting payments from customers is crucial for any business. Payment processing tools like Square, Stripe, or PayPal can help you process payments securely and efficiently.
  9. Inventory Management Software: Keep track of your stock levels and streamline your inventory processes with tools like TradeGecko, Zoho Inventory, or inFlow Inventory.
  10. Human Resources (HR) Software: Manage employee data, benefits, and payroll with HR tools like Gusto, BambooHR, or Zenefits. These platforms can help you stay compliant with labor laws and ensure smooth HR operations.
  11. Website Builders: Create a professional-looking website for your business with user-friendly website builders like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress.
  12. Analytics and Reporting Tools: Monitor your business’s performance and make data-driven decisions with analytics tools like Google Analytics, Tableau, or Looker.
  13. Video Conferencing and Communication Tools: Stay connected with your team and clients through video conferencing and communication platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Slack.
  14. Graphic Design Software: Create eye-catching visuals and marketing materials for your business with design tools like Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud, or Figma.
  15. Time Tracking and Productivity Tools: Monitor your team’s productivity and optimize work processes with time tracking tools like Toggl, Time Doctor, or Clockify.

These are just a few of the many tools available to support your new business. By investing in the right tools and technologies, you can streamline your operations, save time and resources, and set your business up for success. And always be on the lookout for new technologies to improve your operations.

Start a Business with These Helpful Resources

One way to ensure the success of your business is to take advantage of all the resources that are available to you. Public and private organizations as well as nonprofits offer everything from financial help to education, mentorship, and much more. Here are some of the many resources that are available to you as a budding entrepreneur.

  • SCORE: SCORE provides free business advice and mentoring from experienced business owners and professionals.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers resources and support for small businesses, including loans, counseling, and training.
  • StartUpNation: StartUpNation offers resources, advice, and tools for starting and growing a small business.
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): SBDCs offer free business consulting and training for small business owners.
  • National Association of Small Business Owners (NASBO): NASBO offers resources, advocacy, and support for small business owners.
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): NAWBO offers resources and support for women-owned businesses.
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): WBENC offers resources and support for women-owned businesses, including certification as a women’s business enterprise.
  • Bplans: Bplans offers business planning resources, including templates, guides, and examples.
  • AngelList: AngelList offers resources for startup funding and connecting with investors.
  • Crunchbase: Crunchbase offers insights and data on startups and investors.
  • HubSpot: HubSpot offers resources for marketing, sales, and customer service, including software and training.
  • Mailchimp: Mailchimp offers email marketing tools and resources, including templates and guides.
  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite offers social media management tools and resources for businesses of all sizes.
  • Fundera: Fundera offers resources and tools for small business funding and loans.
  • Nav: Nav offers resources and tools for small business credit monitoring and financing.
  • Yelp: Yelp offers resources for business owners to manage and promote their online reputation.
  • LegalZoom: LegalZoom offers legal resources and services for small business owners, including incorporation and trademark filing.
  • UpCounsel: UpCounsel offers legal services for businesses, including contracts, intellectual property, and employment law.
  • QuickBooks: QuickBooks offers accounting and financial management tools and resources for businesses of all sizes.
  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics offers insights and data on website traffic and user behavior.
  • Canva: Canva offers design tools and templates for creating graphics and marketing materials.
  • Trello: Trello offers project management and collaboration tools for teams.
  • Zoom: Zoom offers video conferencing and communication tools for remote teams and meetings.
  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA): The MBDA offers resources, training, and financing support for minority-owned businesses.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): The VA offers resources and support for veteran-owned businesses, including access to capital and procurement opportunities.
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC): The NMSDC offers resources and support for minority-owned businesses, including certification as a minority business enterprise.
  • Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO): The AEO offers resources and support for microenterprises and small businesses, including training, financing, and networking opportunities.
  • Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM): The EXIM offers resources and support for small businesses looking to export their products or services, including financing and insurance.
  • U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC): The DOC offers resources and support for businesses looking to export their products, including export counseling and market research.
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): The USPTO offers resources and support for businesses looking to protect their intellectual property, including patent and trademark registration.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): OSHA offers resources and support for businesses looking to ensure a safe and healthy workplace, including training and compliance assistance.
  • Economic Development Administration (EDA): The EDA offers resources and support for businesses looking to create jobs and spur economic growth in their communities, including financing and technical assistance.
  • Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA): The SBIA offers resources and support for small businesses seeking investment and growth capital, including education and advocacy.

How to Start a New Business FAQs

How can I start my own business with no money?

This is a very common FAQ. You CAN start a small business without any money, but you must bring other equity into the equation. For example, you might bring knowledge and expertise into an online consulting business, or you may turn an unused part of your home into an Airbnb business. Other free business ideas include dog walking, house sitting, blogging, and social media influencing.

See our free checklist for more on how to start a business with no money

Can I start a business with $1,000?

The answer is yes, you can start a business with $1,000. This generally requires starting an online or service-based business.

Online businesses like virtual assistant services, web design, ecommerce sites, and online courses can all be started for under $1,000. In-person service-based businesses like event planning, cleaning and errand services, and personal chef businesses are also quite affordable.

Be sure to check out our related article 25 Businesses You Can Start For Less Than $1,000 for more information.

What business is best for beginners?

Factors such as your skills, interests, budget, and market demand will greatly dictate what the best business for beginners is.

Some low-cost businesses that require minimal investment and have relatively low risk include home-based business ideas like dog walking, cleaning services, and lawn care. Online businesses such as e-commerce stores, dropshipping, affiliate marketing, and digital product creation can also be easy for beginners.

Do you need a business credit card?

While having a business credit card can be helpful for managing expenses and building credit for your business, you will not always need one to start a business. In fact, many small business owners use their personal credit cards to cover expenses when starting out.

However, it’s important to keep business and personal expenses separate, as this can make accounting and tax filing easier.

If you decide to get a business credit card, shop around for the best rates and rewards and use it responsibly to build your business credit history.

Do you need a business degree to start a business?

While a business degree can be helpful in starting and growing a business, it is not a requirement to become a successful entrepreneur. Many successful business owners do not have a formal education in business but instead rely on practical experience, industry knowledge, and a willingness to learn and adapt.

However, it’s important to have a basic understanding of business concepts such as accounting, marketing, and finance. This can be achieved through self-education, attending workshops or seminars, or working with a mentor or advisor.

Do you need a special license or permit to start a small business?

The licenses and permits required to start a small business vary depending on the type of business and the location. Some businesses may require specific licenses and permits from state and local agencies, such as a food service permit or professional license.

Businesses that handle hazardous materials or operate in regulated industries often require additional permits. It’s important to research the requirements in your specific industry and location and obtain any necessary licenses and permits before starting your business. Failure to do so can result in fines, legal issues, or even the closure of your business.

Working with a professional advisor can help ensure that you are in compliance with all necessary requirements.

How do I price my products and services?

To price products and services, calculate the total cost of materials, labor, and any other resources that go into your operations. Then project how many products or services you intend to sell each month to cover those expenses. This is just your break-even point. You should also consider the perceived value of your goods and services and look at what competitors are charging. If you offer extra value in some way, it’s often wise to charge a bit more. However, some businesses set themselves apart through affordability.

Images: Envato Elements


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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

2 Reactions
  1. It is a very informative article; it answered all my questions about starting a new business. Thank you for sharing such information.

  2. You are welcome Zarnish.

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