Before you turn that key and open your new businesses doors (literally or figuratively), there’s research to be completed and decisions to be made. There are at least a dozen books worth of new business considerations. You could drive yourself batty trying to learn everything you need to know to open a new business before you eventually burn out from perfection paralysis and never open your doors. But if you want to start on the right foot, here are 4 things to do before you open the door to your new business.
4 Things to Do Before You Open the Door to Your New Business
Find a Market
Is there a market for your product? Do people need it, does it solve problems, and is there an available niche? What about competition, is the marketplace saturated or is there room for your new venture? How big is the market, where are the customers, and how can they be reached? Do you have a USP (unique sales position) and what about demographics, geographics and all those other graphics?
Get it Funded
How much money will it take to open your doors, produce your product and market it? And what about you, how will you put bread on the table? Are funds available, do you have savings and assets? What are your credit needs? The following questions from How to Choose a Bank for Your Small Business are a good place to begin.
- How is a line of credit determined and what are the bank’s guidelines for extending or reducing it?
- Does the bank offer assistance with SBA backed loans?
- Who has loan approval authority, is it local or corporate?
- What terms are available for loans?
- What are the interest rates and fees on loans?
- Do they offer equipment leasing programs?
Incorporate or not?
“I began consulting for a fee in 2008. Money started coming in. I had no idea what to do about taxes, liabilities, or a business model. Was there paperwork I needed to complete? Did I need to incorporate? Could I simply report the income? Thank goodness I had a trusted accountant who knew the answer. For me, a sole proprietorship was the best fit. It’s the simplest way to do business; it’s an unincorporated entity. All I needed to do was report any income and expenses to the IRS on a form 1040, schedule C. Easy-peasy.” — Should You Incorporate.
However, my situation probably isn’t yours. Because a partnerships, sole-proprietor, S-corps, and more might be the best fit for your needs. So your best bet is to get the advice of a trusted accountant and talk to friends who own small businesses.
Choose a Name
Your Business Name should reflect who you are and inform potential clients what you do. When I began consulting ten years ago, my idea was to help businesses develop action plans, a game plan if you will. I searched for available names for several days until I found one not taken (there was good reason). My consulting firm became “Game Planerz.” Ten years ago it was trendy to misspell words in business names. Today, it looks dated. I no longer use it.
My point is, choosing a name shouldn’t be a quick decision. A co-worker once designed a sign for “Sure Fire Electrical Company” So, I guess their market was people looking to burn down there buildings and collect the insurance. I’ve seen “Passmore Gas & Propane,” “I’ll Cut You” (a hair salon), and “Dr. Stubbs Prosthetics.” Yea, put some thought into it.
After deciding on a name, it needs to be registered. There are local, state, and federal requirements, but I’ll let the experts at the SBA (Small Business Administration) walk you through the name registration process. Register your business name.
4 Things to Do Before You Open the Door to Your New Business, and More
As I said in the beginning, there’s a lot to take in and think about when opening a business. There’s a business plan to create, Federal ID to procure, compliances to be met, employees to hire, marketing to be planned, and more. However, these four are a good place to start because if there’s little or no market, funds are limited, and you can’t find a suitable name, then all of the other areas of consideration won’t matter, will they? So, are you ready to begin with 4 Things to Do Before You Open the Door to Your New Business?
Photo Credit: Author: DanaTentis ID: 1997286 Provider:Pixabay