Posted on March 16th, 2023
Starting a small business can be an exciting and rewarding venture, but it can also be a daunting one. From developing a business plan to securing financing, there are many steps that need to be taken to turn your vision into a successful business. In this blog post, we will cover the basics of starting a small business, and how Battleground Business Loans can help you make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
The 9 steps below may seem daunting. However, you are not alone and there are a number of FREE RESOURCES available to you!
Here is the link https://www.score.org/houston/local-workshops. This is a 3-part series entitled “Starting and Running your own Business.” They are generally scheduled on 3 consecutive Fridays from 10:00am to 12:00pm. You do not have to take them consecutively. If the next course is the 3rd of the series you can always attend 1 and 2 the next month.
Score is the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. Most of their volunteers are retired executives from a multitude of backgrounds, industries and experiences. Regardless of the business you are thinking about be it a transportation company, restaurant, or anything in between there is a volunteer at SCORE with years of experience in YOUR business.
At this stage of your planning its best not to deploy your much needed capital on this process. There are hundreds of useful and FREE resources for you. Use them and save your capital to grow your business.
The first step in starting any business is developing a solid business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines your business idea, target market, competition, and financial projections. It will help you stay focused on your goals and give you a roadmap to follow as you start and grow your business.
When developing your business plan, consider the following questions:
Battleground Business Loans can help you develop a business plan that will impress lenders and investors. Our team of experienced consultants can provide guidance and support as you navigate the complex world of small business financing.
I would suggest starting out with a simple 1 page business plan called “paint the canvas.” Here is a link for further research https://vista.today/2020/09/score-lean-business-model-canvas-lets-you-map-out-your-business-plan-on-a-single-page/. You can scroll down a bit and download the PDF. Read the article though, its short and informative.
Please do not spend your money on this step. It's not as difficult as you may think. I would be very happy to help you along the way.
Once you have a solid business plan in place, it's time to choose a legal structure for your business. There are several options to choose from, including sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, and corporation. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the one that best fits your needs.
I highly recommend taking the SCORE courses and seeking out a SCORE mentor first before taking this step. You can go here to find a SCORE mentor https://www.score.org/find-mentor/how-it-works
You can also read Mark Kohler’s book “What your CPA Isn’t Telling You.”
Unfortunately, you will have to seek out a competent CPA and attorney at some point in time. It's in your best interest to get this step done correctly. If not, it could mean double or triple the cost later when you find out you need to change the structure of your business. You also want to make sure you choose a structure that will offer your business the best tax advantages.
I would suggest reading Mark Kohler’s book before talking to a CPA or attorney. Knowledge is power and you need to equip yourself. You also need to make sure anyone you seek consultation from is COMPETENT to handle your individual situation.
One of the biggest challenges of starting a small business is securing financing. You may need money to cover startup costs, purchase inventory, hire employees, or lease a space. Many entrepreneurs turn to banks for loans, but not all banks are willing to lend to small businesses.
Check all THREE of your credit scores. https://www.experian.com/ offers a very easy to use and FREE service to get you going. Knowing your credit score is vital in this step. Find what your scores are and take action if there are items negatively impacting your score.
A typical SBA new business loan will require a solid credit score and a 20% down payment of the loan. As of the writing of this post the SBA’s stated minimum credit score is 640.
Give us a call, we would love to discuss your business! We usually can not offer many options for a business less than 6 months in existence. However, we do have a large network and can definitely get a new business started down the right path.
If your business requires a physical location, it's important to choose a spot that will attract customers and meet your needs. Factors to consider include foot traffic, visibility, accessibility, and affordability. You'll also need to consider zoning laws and regulations in your area.
All businesses are required to register for federal and state taxes. The process can be complex and time-consuming, but it's important to get it right. Failure to register for taxes can result in penalties and fines.
This step is easier than it sounds. Texas is very small business friendly and spells everything out here: https://gov.texas.gov/business/page/start-a-business
As your business grows, you may need to hire employees to help you manage the workload. Hiring employees involves more than just finding people to fill open positions. You'll need to comply with employment laws, provide benefits, and establish a culture that fosters productivity and job satisfaction.
Building a strong brand is crucial to the success of any business. Your brand is more than just a logo and a tagline – it's the way you communicate with your customers and the values you stand for. Building a strong brand takes time and effort, but it's worth it in the long run.
Once you've completed all the steps above, it's time to launch your business. This can be a nerve-wracking time, but it's also an exciting one. You'll need to create a launch plan that includes marketing strategies, social media campaigns, and grand opening events.
You can also consider buying an existing business instead. A successful and profitable existing business has all the infrastructure startups are trying to build. They also have an existing customer base, brand and presence. There are numerous ways to finance an acquisition as well. For further research on this topic you can read “Buy Then Build” by Walker Deibel. Give me a call or shoot me an email, I am always happy to discuss.
Starting a small business can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can set yourself up for success. And, if you need help along the way, Battleground Business Loans is here to assist you. From developing a business plan to securing financing, we can help you turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your small business thrive.