Starting a new business takes months of planning and preparation. Before you launch, you’ll make dozens of vital decisions about the practical, strategic legal, and financial aspects of your business. Your first steps will set the tone for your business for years to come.
Your Business Model
Your business model provides the basic framework for what you will do and how you will earn a profit. You know your interests and strengths; now it’s time to formulate the best way to channel those into a sustainable money-making enterprise. You will need to evaluate the market, competition, and similar businesses to find your niche.
Traditional business models include manufacture, retail, distribution, direct sales, and service for contract, but there are hundreds more, especially with today’s emphasis on e-commerce. You may also decide on a franchise. Your decision will affect your start-up costs, target market, staffing, and mode of operations.
What to Call Your Business
Your business name advances your brand, so it needs to be unique and memorable. Your name should also reflect the nature of your business. A quirky name or a pun can be fun for a bakery or hair salon but will not be appropriate for a business serving people in a time of crisis or illness.
Before finalizing your choice, do an internet search to make sure it’s available. You don’t want to duplicate a trademarked business name or select something too similar that could confuse people. Once you have a name, you need to register it as an LLC to enjoy liability protection.
Your Financing Sources
Every new business will have start-up costs. If you’re starting small, perhaps as a home-based business, you may be able to pay for initial expenses with your savings. Most people, however, will eventually need to seek outside financing.Loans are the most common way of funding, and you’ll have several types to choose from. You can get a personal loan or small business loan from your bank. However, rates and terms vary widely, so do your homework and check out several lenders before deciding.
You will find many resources available to guide you through the process of setting up your business. You may also want to take an entrepreneurship class, either online or at a college or university near you. The better informed you are, the better business decisions you will make.
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