9 Essential Steps to Start a Small Business

Thinking of Starting a Small Business? Here's Where to Start.

Small business owner
••• Hero Images/Getty Images

Starting a small business requires determination, motivation, and know-how. Here are nine critical steps to provide you with the know-how to have a successful small business startup:

Choosing what kind of business to start can be an immobilizing task when confronted with the multitude of opportunities. It's important to determine where your passions lie and to understand your personality type. Yet, equally important is what skills you bring to the table and whether you are entering a dying industry or a fast growing .

For any start-ups, a business plan allows you to gain a better understanding of your industry structure, competitive landscape, and of starting a small business. A study mentioned in "Business Plans For Dummies" by Paul Tiffany states that companies with have 50% more profits and revenue than non-planning businesses. plan just makes good business sense.

To start a business, you must invest in the business. The journey of finding start-up funds will be different for each individual. Some start-ups such as consulting require a to get a website and business cards whereas a retail store could need $100,000 or more. Finding the money you need may come from a source you never thought of or may just end up being the .

What's ? Everything and nothing. The will help distinguish you from a sea of bland competitors, provide your customers with a reason to hire you and aid in the branding of your company. Learn what you need to know to find a name for your business.

Deciding on the structure of your business is not a decision to be taken lightly. Whether you choose the , a or form a corporation; your choice will have an impact on your , fund-ability as well as taxes due. Don't fret over your ultimate , because as your business evolves, so too, may your structure.

Starting a small business requires the mundane, yet necessary, paperwork and regulations. Depending on your chosen business structure, may need to register your business with the state authorities. Setting up your small business may require  (EIN) which is also used by state taxing authorities to identify businesses. Additional paperwork can entail licenses, and more.

One of the multitudes of tasks is the setting up of your office. There are in office set up including where to locate your office (home or ), buying the necessary office equipment, designing your work space and getting supplies.

As a new small business owner, you have the responsibility to manage the risks associated with your business. Don't put your at risk without getting the proper to protect your company in the event of disaster or litigation.

Unless you're a number person, the accounting and bookkeeping aspect of running your business can't be avoided. Setting up your accounting will help you understand the financials and help you avert failure.