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Home Features Steps to starting a small business
Steps to starting a small business
Written by Greg Soffe   

Step 6:

Set up your accounts. Chances are that you have already spent a bit of money trying to get your new idea off the ground, so it is probably good for you to get your books in order. Find a good accountant they will be able to help you keep your finances in order, they should also be able to give you a quoted price for keeping your books in order for the year so you know your expenses up front and can budget.

Get a tax number, register with your local tax office. you will need this to do business and claim expenses.

Decide what the legal position of your new business is. Is it a limited liability company, a partnership, a non-profit business, a charity, a church? you need to decide.

You should be able to get recommendations on these things in your first meeting with your new accountant.

Step 7:

Name your business! this is where you need brainstorm with friends/family & other stakeholders in the business. come up with a distinctive and descriptive name for your new business. It needs to be unique and catchy. Register & licence your company name at your local companies office, you may need your tax number for this.

You may also want to register any logo's you want to use in your business to ensure that you can use them (and nobody else can).

Step 8:

Identify your business location. You need to decide where you are going to do business. You will find that your market research helps here. Where are your customers? Do you need to be where they are? can you afford to be where they are?

This is not just figuring out if you are going to open a store lease in the local mall. It is deciding the optimum place for you to make the most profit. If your customers are other businesses & you are selling business to business (B2B) then the optimum place for you may be in a car visiting other businesses in the area.

You need to decide if you should be on the Internet or not? Good effective web pages cost real money, what about twitter? or facebook? are your customers there? Will it be an effective use of your resources pursue your customers at these locations?

Are you going to advertise? If so where? Are the yellow pages a good use of your advertising money? What about billboards? Newspapers? TV? Will it reach your customers & will it drive them to your business?

Step 9:

Is your new business going to to employ staff? If so you will need to familiarise yourself with local employment law. It is critical for you, your business and your staff that you know what you are doing here. I have seen more than a few startups fail due to one disgruntled employee. Just protect yourself.

Come up with a great employment package, one that will make people want to come and work for you. Try and think outside monetary remuneration, think of ideas like social club, 'work from home' days, paid training, bonus schemes.

You will need to identify the best avenues for you to find good staff. Sometimes the local newspaper is not the best choice. Consider advertising your job offer online you will expose yourself to a larger market and potentially better candidates.

Once you are considering staff in interviews try using methods like psychometric testing to ensure that you have the right person in the right position, it can save a lot of time, effort and expense trying to replace staff at a later date.

Step 10:

Open for business! Well the big day, (I'm so proud). you want to ensure that your opening day goes off without a hitch. Make the biggest splash you can in your market, make sure the big boys in the game know you are there & make sure your customers know you are too. Make sure you advertise your big day to your customers, family and friends. Market your launch day directly to your customers to get them in spending their hard earned cash in your hard earned business.

Today is the day you start to fill all those preorders you took in step 5 and get your cash flow going. Because you have all those preorders you don't have to offer specials on opening day, but if you are in retail you may want to to drive the word of mouth about your business and get unknown customers through your door.


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