Starting your own business is exhilarating. But it’s also difficult. You need business-sense, intelligence, and a high tolerance for risk. Failing to plan can derail your business before starts. So here are a few steps that you need to make sure you don’t slack on or skip.

Define Your Business

Create a description of your business. It’s not enough to say you want to start a store. Instead, get specific about what you’re doing. “I want to open a clothing store that sells men’s clothing and shoes” is a concrete idea. Focusing on a specific product or service keeps you on the right path. You’ll also have a better idea about how to structure your business.

Create Your Business Plan

Define how your business will solve a problem. For example, maybe the area where you live has two stores that sell men's clothing. And both stores specialize in casual clothing, like jeans and t-shirts. The only alternative is to drive 45-minutes to the nearest mall or shop online.

The business you’re planning to open gives shoppers a better option. But you need a plan that specifically outlines the problem and the solution. Write it down, even if you think it’s unnecessary. Cover marketing, staffing, administration, types of items you’ll sell, and more. Include goals that you can measure and achieve within a specific time.

Decide on a Business Structure

Do you want a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship? This is important because it determines how your business will operate. It also determines the paperwork that you need to file to officially get your business off the ground, so don’t skip on this and get confused.

A sole proprietorship has a single owner responsible for the business. In a partnership, two or more owners share business responsibilities. And a corporation is its own entity, separate from the owners. It requires a board of directors, shareholders, officers, and employees. Unless you are creating a new business that functions as a side business to an already existing company, you probably don’t want a corporation.

Calculate Start-Up Costs

You’ll need money for a location, supplies, business insurance, and more. It’s likely you’ll spend more than you make in the beginning. How will you pay for these expenses?

A small business loan is a possible solution. Loans are available from banks, credit unions, and online lenders. These loans can help you rent a location, obtain the necessary inventory and equipment, and pay for other start-up costs. Best of all, because they are meant for small businesses, they aren’t going to run you into the ground if you are smart about your business decisions.

Find the Best Employees

This one is a little bit more complicated than some of the earlier steps. Unless you are planning on running your business on your own, you are going to need some excellent employees. The best way to start attracting people is to put the word out. Post job openings on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, and any other job search site in your area.

Once you have people looking for a job, narrow them down based on a few criteria that you decide on. What you need will depend on your business, but remember that you need hard workers. Starting a business isn’t easy, so they need to be willing to work hard.

Starting your business is a challenge. But avoiding devastating mistakes is easier when you have a good plan. Just remember that making preparations before starting the business increases the odds of success.

References:

How to Define Your Small Business Brand

Business Structure Basics

Small Business Administration

5 Ways to Guarantee You Are Hiring the Right Candidate