What are the first steps to getting a small business started?
Topic: What are the first steps to getting a small business started?
July 16, 2019 / By Abihail Question:
I am starting a small online retail business and I'm currently in the very early stages.I have a basic business plan constructed and I have funding taken care of and I know the inventory I need to purchase but that is about it. My question is where do I really begin? Do I register the business with the government? Get the website under production? Purchase Inventory? Obviously I need to do all of these but in what order and what steps have I not included? Thanks in advance for any help/advice.
Best Answers: What are the first steps to getting a small business started?
Sierra | 6 days ago
If you plan to incorporate then yes you need to register with the federal,state and city government. If you plan to run the business as a sole proprietor then all you need is a business license from your local city government.
Steps for getting started:
1. Forming the business either through incorporating or as a sole proprietor. If you plan to incorporate then you need to get with your states Secretary of State to do this.
2. Find your SIC and NAICS code you will need either one or both for your business formation with the government entities.
3. Getting an EIN if required
4. Setting up a Franchise and Excise Tax and Sales and Use Tax account with the Dept of Revenue in the state you are in. You need to determine if you need one or both of these accounts. Just call the Dept of Revenue in your state and they are usually pretty helpful in answering all your questions.
5. Set up a business bank account or bank account with a DBA attached to it.
6. Set up a merchant and or pay pal account.
7. Build a website and get a domain name and hosting.
8. Get inventory.
9. Figure out how you plan to ship product. This all comes down to how you plan to handle inventory. Some people have their own and some get involved with companies that have the product and you sell it and they drop ship the product for you. This saves on you having to carry the product yourself and having unsold inventory in your possession.
10. Marketing your website. Just because you publish a website doesn't mean it's visible to the search engines and the public at large so you need to submit the site to the 3 top search engines at the least and start marketing the site.
This is a basic order and some of these may overlap each other during the process but I hope this helps out. I've been through the routine and had to figure it all out myself. Just ask a lot of questions with the people you are dealing with to get things in order.
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Originally Answered: What steps do I need to take to get my small business(idea) off of the ground?
With almost any business venture, you need to see what kind of or number of accounts you think you will be able to get.......many office bldgs have their own staff of janitors/cleaning crew, so unless you are positive of getting a fair amount of clientele, then it may be better to look into something else. I had a one man produce biz for 8 years, but when the major companies were able to sell product for much less $$ than I could purchase for, it was time to fold the biz......just some things for you to think about
Honest answer ? As with almost all questions people ask here. There's no way to answer your question. Like most people, there's too much to the subject you're asking about to even bother. Best place for you to start .... GOOGLE ( or other SE's ) and then start reading your butt off.
If you think you can pop up here, ask a brief question about a really complicated subject. Then someone else will pop up and give you a summary answer ... simply explaining everything you need to know in 2 mins or less. You'd be living in fantasyland ... and not the type of person ever likely to be successful in a business regardless.
So my advice ... is google until your fingers and eyeballs ache.
ie: starting an online business +your state or city. Starting a business +your state/city +First steps in starting a business +"online retail" etc and so forth.
edit: The guy who mentioned SCORE, gets my vote for best answer. :) Though SCORE can be really frustrating too.
Dont expect instant gratification via them. Have asked a so called SCORE "expert" many a question and gotten some generic ... virtually useless answer(s). Were pretty much worthless ... so again, would hit the SE's and get busy reading. Best person you can count on to get quality answers to questions like these ... is yourself.
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Here's what ya do..
(if you haven't done so already)
Get a business attorney. Get a referral from another successful business person or Look them up in the yellow pages.. Your interviewing them. This is to figure out what the best entity you should become and the best attorney that fits you. I thought my company would be a corp, but an LLC was better for my situation and taxes. My B Attorney help me figure this out along with my tax guy.
Tell the attorney what your wanting to do( start a business and what the business is) and let them give you an overall answer. I would interview at least 3 and pick the one you like best on answer and personality.
Then get a state business license ( Your Business attorney should help you with what licenses you need)
then a good tax guy for your tax questions. Keep in mind to not just stay out of the tax stuff. This is something you want to become familiar with. Because if he/she ever messes up, you take the heat. So stay involved and learn..On e-commerce make sure you look up state taxes, I forgot to charge for people who purchase from me in my state. $2500 tab.
after this, you have a business plan. Has anyone looked over it. I got a second opinion on mine from my uncle. He's is a business major and is never hurts to have it looked over. Ask your Business attorney.
After that. Website.. I hired a guy from Craigslist(freelance) school kid. Worked out great. got a great price and he was pretty good. Map out what you want your site to look like. Page by page and all functions. what link go where and what tabs do what, this includes writing down all the text.
Map it out on paper and easy to understand format. This will save a bunch of time and make sure you get what you want.. Plus ask your webguy if hes familiar with SEO. Having someone that understand this will dramatically improve your website optimization.
Once again interview how ever many guys/gals you need to find a good web person. Hard to find sometime. Explain what you want done, negotiate on price (having everything spelled out should help you on price to) then offer 20% upfront the rest on completion, obviously on a signed contract what you expect done for this price and don't forget****** time line****** has to be complete by a specific date.
I use Valusion shopping cart- 24-7 support, easy back office = awesome
choose whatever card merchant
Bam! you a have a stellar website now..
Time to start selling. what do you need? Product? sure, but what about marketing? Make sure you leave enough money left to market so you can drive traffic and sell this inventory. I have a ton of tips here, but that was not your question.
Passion+drive+action = a success story
PS. I do online retail as well, if you ever have any questions, look me up.. to follow up with your question, your business attorney should answer most those question in your state good luck
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With an online business, there are quite many critical aspects to consider. Check the source box below, I added an article that answers to your questions.
(Starting an Online Business: The 15 Vital Steps)
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Contact S.C.O.R.E they are a group of retired people how help young business starts just like you.
You can google it.
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Originally Answered: For those people who started a small daycare in their home?
I have worked in child care since 1990. I am currently caring for a 9 month old little girl in my home in addition to my own 3 kids. My kids are 9 years, 6 years and 6 months.
First of all I commend you for wanting to do what you can to stay home with your little one. But there is a LOT to think about. It is a very stressful and hard job. It is contant work. I get a little break in the morning and afternoon when the babies nap, but it has taken months to get them on similar schedules. Also it sounds like your first baby. There is a lot to learn when the baby is your own, then to throw two more kids into that mix is a lot. If you love kids, and I mean LOVE kids it can be a very rewarding and special job, but it is not easy.
Also half the problem with any child care is the parents! Every weekend the little girl I watch goes home and every Monday is like starting all over again. Her parents give her whatever she wants and throws her schedule way off. So parents can be half the battle.
First of all contact your local child care licensing office. Just google "child care" and your county and something should be there. Taking care of 2 other children you will need to be licensed. So find out all the guidlines. And if you are sure you want to do this see if they offer classes. If they don't a local technical college should. Some guidlines may include that you need to own your home, have a fenced yard, and how many children you can care for.
Also remember if you are going to start this you will need to invest in extra baby gear if you take care of other babies. If you take care of older children you will need toys appropriate for them, art supplies and someplace for them to sleep. Oh and your vehicle. Can you fit 3 carseats in your current vehicle? If so you still may not want them in the car very often. I once read that someone can be your best friend, but if you hurt their baby in any way, even if it is not your fault, you will always be blamed.
This all sounds kind of negative. That is not my intention. There is just a LOT to think about. It's not very financially rewarding, it is very tiring and the more kids you take in the less time you have for your own child.
Oh, and about money. If your child care calculation is for a child care center plan on making $100 - $200 less than that a month per child. Parents expect in home child care to be cheaper than centers and if you have no education and no experience you cannot rightfully charge the same as a center offering educated, licensed and constantly evalutated people.
I am all for staying home with your new little one. I don't know how much of your salary you need every month. How much goes towards clothing for work, gas to and from work, eating out because work is busy? Take into account the honest costs of working and see how much you really need every month. Maybe you don't need as much as you think to stay home. What is your current job? Is there any part of it you can do as a consultant? or as part of your own business? That may work best, especially if you can do that when baby is asleep.
Sorry this is long. I hope it helped. Good luck with your decision! I hope you have a wonderful pregnancy and enjoy your new little one!