How to Start a Small Business
Starting a business is an involved, often times complex process. This process includes an incredible amount of planning and financial decisions. However, if you follow these 5 basic steps, your idea of running your own business will become a reality. If you are wondering how to start a small business, follow the steps and examples below.
1. Create a business plan – includes choosing a location, getting proper certification and training, and coming up with a plan to finance the business
2. Determine the legal structure of your business
3. Get tax identification number and register for state and local taxes
4. Obtain business license and permits
5. Understand employer responsibilities
Although these tasks seem daunting, there are set up programs that can assist you in beginning your business. From booklets to downloadable forms, deciding how to start a small business is not as difficult as it may seem. Resources in the U.S. Small Business Administration can help you.
Examples of Small Business Start-ups
There are many examples of small businesses that have been successful. One important element to a successful business is being able to learn about your customers, your competitors, and your industry. For example, Nature’s Sunshine Products is a business that has been excelling for the past 40 years because it has been able to identify a population and sell great product effectively.
Nature’s Sunshine Products was started by Gene Hughes who experienced relief from stomach problems after taking cayenne pepper; however, taking the pepper in its typical form was unpleasant. As a result, the Hughes family capitalized on this idea and created a business dedicated to natural supplements.
According to the company’s website, “The Hughes had a desire to touch more lives, which led them to turn to direct marketing, so they could get their products to more people. This allowed them to educate their customers about their products and give their sales force the opportunity to share in the success of the company – a company that can now be found in 30 countries and has nearly 600,000 distributors.”
If you are wondering how to start a small business after reading about this success story, it is important to pay attention to their business plan. Nature’s Sunshine Products created a plan founded on three principles: quality, service, and integrity. With a firm hand in tackling step one of the five step checklist presented above, Nature’s Sunshine Products outlined a plan that was customer-orientated. As a result, the dramatic growth of the company within the past 40 years is indicative of mastering the steps needed to be a success, and this business grew quickly. Offering competitive prices and a large variety of products, the company’s growth is the result of careful planning and strategic financial decisions.