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How to Start a Small Business

Updated on March 6, 2008

Small Business

With hard work and a great idea, you can be a small business owner. If you know how to start a small business, your idea may flourish into a medium to large sized business in no time.

My dad made a website for a guy who worked at AFLAC; the guy had created and patent an intestine cleaner, or some kind of body cleaner, and was selling it on the side via his website. Well, after a year or so, he had to quit his job at AFLAC because he didn't have the time to package and ship out all the body cleaners that he was selling.

Isn't that the dream of most small business owners? To start off with an idea or product and hit it big? You can set your own rules and work on your own time. It's great.

So, how do you get started?

Work From Home

Start a Small Business

First, once you have your idea, you want to figure out how much money you want to invest from the start. The more money that you are able to initially invest, the more options you will be able to choose from.

Before you even consider a loan, your will want to figure out if you'll be able to pay it back, and if so, how soon. Making payments on a loan or a credit card will definitely cut into your total profits.

Note: Don't start a small business unless you have money that you can spare to lose. You'd hate to use a couple of grand from your kid's tuition account with the intention or being able to pay it back before the child's old enough for college. Make sure not to hurt your family's financial stability when trying to set up your small business. If you have to continue working at your full time job while setting up and making a reputable name for your small business, then do it in order not to put your family at risk.

You'll want to research the field to which you want to go into. It's one thing to have an idea of a good business, but it's another to know and understand what all the business really entails. There is more than what you see on the outside, in order to run a successful business.

You may consider checking out your potential competitors in order to see how they run their business. Maybe you can find a better way to do something, or maybe there's something that they do that you haven't thought of, yet.

Note: It will be harder to pull out of debt and agony once you actually start the business, so do your research first.

Then, sit down and make plan of action that will include all of the details along the way of setting up and running your potential business. This is going to take more than a few hours of one day to do. You want to be as thorough as you can, so try to take maybe an hour a day for a few days, or longer, to explore all the different options and routes that you can take with your potential business.

  • You want to include ideas for looking for a place to set up as the business's home, if not in your own home.
  • Include any and all of the supplies that you'll need and how much the supplies cost. (Remember that wholesalers are much cheaper than buying supplies in bulk at the retail store.)
  • Decide how much you will charge customers.
  • Figure out when you'll set payment deadlines.

Make sure to include everything from top to bottom. It will help make the starting up process easier to handle. If you know all, or most, of the costs to the business, then you will know what to expect. Of course, there are surprises and changes along the way, but if you are able to closely estimate what your potential small business is going to cost you in time, money, and energy, the better off you will be.

Note: Before starting your small business, make sure that you have the time to run the business. You don't want to ignore or put your family second to your business, so in your business plan or action, include how much time it will take you to run the business. You may consider hiring help; include these costs, as well.

Then, if you haven't already, decide upon a business name; find the best name that you suit your business. Make it simple, easy to remember, and have it tell all.

Once you think that you've picked the perfect business name, make sure that it is available. You don't want to get caught in any legal issues because you picked a name that is already accounted for. You can check your government office once you pick a name.

When you are ready to start your business, meaning once you have everything accounted for, apply for a business license, and when that official piece of paper is in your hands, get started.


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    • Breakthe9-5jail profile image

      Breakthe9-5jail 8 years ago from NJ

      Nice Hub, very informative!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Super HUB! Whitney; good information.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great work, Whitney! These are definitely things to think about!