You’ve been dreaming about starting your business long enough. Now is the time to take action. But where do you start? If you feel at a loss of how to actually get started on making your business ownership dreams a reality, the trick is baby steps. Like with many things in life, the first step is usually the hardest. By breaking a bigger task down into smaller more manageable steps you will be able to start making some forward motion with your goals. Let’s look at a few baby steps that can get you rolling in the right direction.
Do Your Research
Conducting market research is a crucial baby step when planning a business. Market research will reveal to you whether or not there is a market available for your idea. This step will help you to identify the need in your area for your product or service as well as to help you fine-tune exactly who your demographic will be. Here are a few things you will want to identify during your research:
- Market size
There are many great online resources that can help you learn more about conducting market research. Bringing in the help of friends and family can be a great bonus during this step of the process.
Create an Online Presence
Let’s face it, today businesses are dead in the water without some kind of online presence. The stronger the online presence the better chances you have of reaching your potential customers and clients. One of the first things you will want to do is to choose an online business domain name. Online business domain names are a crucial part of your future company’s identity and branding. This will be the name by which most people will find you online and also how customers will reference you when they are recommending you to others.
This name should be short, capture enough of the company’s full name to be recognizable, and should not be too inventive on spelling and word use. Because many domain extensions such as “dot com” have already been used up, you might find it necessary to consider other domain extensions such as “dot online.”
Alternate domain extensions are a great way to ensure that you can land the exact business domain name wording you want with a legitimate domain site.
Write Your Business Plan
Writing out a business plan is a great way to get your business idea out of your head. One of the reasons many great businesses never get started is because they sit in the dreaming phase too long. There is something very powerful about getting your idea out of your head and onto paper. If you do not know where to start with writing a business plan, The Small Business Administration has a lot of great resources to get you started.
One of the best ways to give your business plan even more power is to share it with others. Once you get it on paper it has life. Once you share it with others you have started holding yourself accountable. Accountability can be a powerful way to keep your motivation high and keep you moving in the right direction with your ambition. A business can also be taken to new heights by making it online. A primary advantage of an online business can be the ability to provide customers the ease of transaction and low-cost marketing. For example, an eCommerce business requires you to plan for such things as timely delivery, secure payment methods, and so forth. You can also contact professionals or obtain services based on your needs. You could receive the help of websites like easypaydirect.com who could assist you in setting up your merchant account to receive online and mobile payments securely.
Nail Down the Legalities
Once you have got some traction going for your business, it will be necessary to nail down the legalities. It is important that you have all of your tax ID documents in order, as well as getting your business legally registered. The process of registering a business will vary depending on what type of business you plan to run as well as the area you plan to operate in.
The best way to learn the details of how to register your business legally will be to sit down with your local business bureau. This agency will be able to help you determine which types of registration will be needed for your particular business. Some types of business will require local, state, and federal registrations. The local business bureau will also be able to provide you with other helpful resources to make sure your business gets started legally and in a way that will best benefit you in the long run.