Your Own Business:
What Does It Take?
many times have you, or someone you know, said
something like "I've always wanted
to have a business of my own. Something I'd really
enjoy doing. Be my own boss."
Lots of people
have the dream, but they get bogged down in the
details of how to go about it. While this article
isn't meant to serve as a complete business start-up
guide, it will give you an idea of some of the
steps involved in starting your own business.
1. Hire Professionals
The most important professionals you'll need at
the beginning are a lawyer and an accountant.
The lawyer can help you decide if you want to
be a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship,
or some other type of company. A good accountant
can help you make this decision based on which
will be most advantageous to you from a tax angle.
A lawyer can also help you register your business
and get any licenses and permits you will need,
and can advise you about patenting your idea or
protecting your intellectual property by requiring
everyone you discuss your business with to sign
non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements.
Make a Business Plan
You may need to hire a writer or other business
professional to help you write a business plan.
You'll need one to help yourself get organized
as to what your business's main purpose or goal
will be. This could be anything from serving hot
dogs to people outside the home improvement store
to providing technology support to major players
in the business world. Either way, you need a
plan that sketches out how you will proceed toward
your goal and an estimate of how much money you'll
need to get there. What will your equipment costs
be? Will you be hiring employees? How about renting
office space? All of these cost estimates should
be included in your Business Plan.
3. Get Financing
How much start-up money will you need? Do you
have savings you can use? Friends or business
associates who might want to invest in your venture?
Or do you need a bank loan? Whatever the situation,
you'll need to present a copy of your business
plan to bankers or investors if you need to borrow
money to get your company rolling.
4. Set Up Your
A good accountant can advise you on the best record-keeping
software for your business, and help you set up
a system for keeping track of payables, receivables,
sales tax, payroll, employee benefits plans, and
so forth. You will be relying on the accountant
for at least your yearly tax return for your business,
and possibly for quarterly payroll and sales tax
returns. Your accountant can also get you an EIN
number (Employer Identification Number).
5. Find a Location
Depending on your business, location may be very
important. If you need to be visible to the public
(say your business is a bookstore or restaurant),
then you'll have to think long and hard about
where you should set up shop. Location can make
you or break you-and the rent is due no matter
which way your fortune turns. You will also need
to get a phone, get the utilities turned on, install
your furniture and equipment, and get a sign or
two that shouts "Hey look! We're here!"
6. Set Up Accounts
with Credit Card Companies
Every brick-and-mortar business these days takes
plastic or they don't stay in business. You'll
pay a small percentage for every credit or debit
card transaction a customer makes. You will need
to invest in a method for checking the validity
of debit and credit cards-like those "Slide
Card Here" machines at cash registers everywhere.
7. Hire Employees
You may not need to do this step if you're a one-person
operation. Maybe you can get by with just one
part-time person to answer phones and do some
of the paperwork. Of course, it depends on your
business. You can probably run a small bookstore
by yourself, but even a tiny restaurant means
you'll need a cook, several servers, someone at
the cashier, and so forth. You'll need to have
them complete various forms for the IRS, and you
may want to run background checks or at least
check some references before you hire anyone.
8. Promote Your
Decide how you will let people know you exist,
what you can do for them, and why they should
come to you instead of someone else. Common forms
of advertising are TV and radio commercials, newspaper
ads, flyers, and coupons that appear in booklets
distributed by local companies.
The list above
might make you think twice about starting a business
of your own. Perhaps you aren't looking to make
such a financial commitment regarding the hiring
of professionals, finding a location
it's also a big, big risk.
But let's look
back at the way this article began: "I've
always wanted to have a business of my own. Something
I'd really enjoy doing. Be my own boss."
YOU CAN! Without
all of the headaches of traditional business.
is a very simple way of attaining this goal that
has worked well for millions of people. You can
have your very own business in your home, and
you can cross off all or most of the steps listed
above. The best part of exploring home-based business
opportunities is that there is little
risk and the upside is tremendous.
Many of the inconveniences
and pressures of the traditional business are
wiped away with the home business. The biggest
roadblock to starting or buying a business is
that they require a considerable up-front cash
investment. In addition to the large investment,
the time commitment you must make when starting
a business can ultimately turn out to be far greater
than what you have experienced in any job, and
the return is not necessarily worth the extra
time or the financial risk.
There is another
Fill out the form
below, and I will provide you with additional
information about the opportunity that is truly
shaping my life and allowing me the freedom to
live out my dreams without all of the headaches
and costs of traditional business.