How to Start a Small Business the Right Way

Trash everything you learned about how to start a small business. This guide is a collection of everything that we've learned from our experiences and with helping our clients to help you start your business quickly, efficiently, and effectively. It's intended for those who want to build a great business--not just a good one. Don't get too caught up in planning, as you'll soon figure out plans will change when you start your business. To start, make sure you're cut out to be an entrepreneur. Then, how to start a small business begins by asking:

  • Step 1: What makes you tick? What business idea suits you?
  • Step 2: What's values will your business hold?
  • Step 3: What are your business plans?
  • Step 4: What are you naming your business?
  • Step 5: Are all of your legal information in place?
  • Step 6: How are you financing your business?
  • Step 7: Go do it!

We've provided a snapshot to each of the above steps below.

Step 1: Discover What Makes You Tick

The first step in how to start a small business begins with a proper and upfront truth of who you are. When you're passionate about something, you'll do some pretty good things with your business. Start by asking yourself: What excites you in life? What are you so good in that you're a "natural" when you do it? To build a successful company, it starts with answering these questions. Learn More

Step 2: Get Preliminary Business Idea

As you'll soon find out, finding that -- great idea' will waste your time. Yes, you will need one to start your business, but don't get too stuck here if you can't find a "perfect" one. Simply find something that you enjoy, and you know you can make a profit with it. For this part, we highly recommend you pick a business type that has already proven profitable - such as a coffee shop, a computer repair store, an auto shop, etc. It rids you of the guessing game, and ensures you have a proven market. The more important step on how to start a small business begins in Step 1, and asks: What industry excites you, and can you succeed in it? Leave those 'great ideas' for the future. Learn More

Step 3: How to Start a Small Business Plan

Again like in Step 2, don't get too caught up in your business plan. As General Dwight D. Eisenhower said on D-Day as he landed his troops, and threw out his plans, ""Planning is priceless, but now that we're moving, plans are worthless." It's a good idea to receive a sense of where you're going, but don't be bounded to it. These plans will change as you run your business; if it doesn't, something's wrong. Some key things to prepare for include how much money will be required, the sources of investment, and the obstacles you will face as you start the business. The only time when you will want a formal business plan is when you want to attract lenders or investors. Learn More

Step 4: Name Your Business

Find a name that fits your business, and one that will stand out in people's minds. Don't go with the generic sounding names, as this may illustrate that you're just another generic company. Strive to be different, and your customers will appreciate it for you doing so. What name would you proudly represent to the world? If you're starting an online business on the other hand, it's better to stick with names that are keyword-focused. This helps you with the search engines -- the greatest traffic-building tool by far. Learn More

Step 5: How to Start a Small Business Legally

This is the driest part when you're starting your business, but unfortunately, it's required. You set up your company with the proper business entity -- whether it's a sole proprietorship, corporation, or partnership. You must be aware of your licenses and permits required of your business type. You must also make sure you're not violating anyone else's trademarks, copyrights, or patents. Learn More

Step 6: Get Money

You'll need investment up front. If you're starting a service business, you can get by with spending modestly; but if you're a brick and mortar business, you'll need a good amount. Learn more

Step 7: Go Do It

Get the supplies and insurance, and go do it. You could start with this step, and all of the other steps will take care of itself as you're building your business. Suffice to say, this step is the most important. Don't get stuck on the planning stages in this guide on how to start a small business. Too many entrepreneurs do the first six steps, but never get to this step. Planning is nice, but you must execute. Set a goal for where you want to be in five years, then start venturing to it.

Pick Up Useful Tools Along the Way

As you're on your road, pick up some Leadership and Management skills to lead your team to greatness. The Finance section will keep your financials are strong. Use the Marketing tips to build and grow your customer base. The Technology section will let you use the most of what you'll need, and the Resources part will offer you more tools to build your business. And don't forget the visitor favorite: Life Skills. We promise you that this section alone will put you ahead of the competition. We constantly update this guide on how to start a small business with the latest practical tips and advice for your company. So please stay in touch by subscribing to our journal, Learn Stuff.

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Posted on February 18

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