Guide to Starting Your Business

Read a helpful & informative guide to starting your new business today.

When you start a new business you need a plan & plenty of useful resources. Starting your new business involves a comprehensive process full of many legal and other complicated details. The process of starting your business is also fun, exciting and fulfilling when done effectively and you achieve the results you seek. Do you have a proper and official business plan? Have you assessed your finances and are fully aware of where you stand on starting capital and projected expenses? 

When you start a new business structure it is vital to analyze your competition for positive trends, adverse market conditions, competing marketing campaigns and more. What are some useful resources to use for information and strategies when starting your own business in 2021? Read ahead for a helpful and informative guide to starting your new business today.

What to Think About First When Starting Your Business

Before starting you own business it is both advisable and necessary to think about numerous scenarios and situations. Situations and scenarios to consider need to be general and/or specific, detailed and big-picture oriented. Perhaps the most important first thing to consider is the validity and value of your idea. Does your idea meet the needs of a large consumer demographic or a niche portion of the population? Is your idea unique? Does your idea need testing prior to releasing it on the open market, and prior to spending money production?

Determine your business mission statement. What is your business about? What are the primary and secondary goals behind opening your business? Do you have short-term long-term goals mapped out? Once you establish your idea is unique, has value and is ready to launch in business form it is time to conduct additional research into

  • Deciding on your business structure.

  • Assessing your finances.

  • Creating a business plan.

  • Analyzing your competition.

  • Taking advantage of additional resources.

Choosing a Business Structure

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lists five business structures from which to choose. While more sub-categories of business structures also exist, focusing on the ones the IRS lists helps you also understand your potential and actual tax liabilities. It is highly improbable to create an effective business plan, assess your required (and current) finances and analyze your competition prior to choosing a business structure. Are you running the business and working alone? Are you starting small company or a larger corporation? The five main types of business structures (with links to follow) as listed by the IRS are:

Starting a non-profit or charitable business involves similar initial/foundational steps to starting any for-profit business. Different tax laws and exemptions do apply, however. If starting a non-profit or charitable business please also consult the IRS website for more information and proper forms HERE

Assessing Your Finances

The important of assessing your finances prior to launching your business cannot be understated. Once you choose your business structure it is possible to then assess the amount of working capital you need to launch your business and compare it to what you have available. How much money do you need to effectively launch your business? What are your projected expenses for the first year or more? It is highly advisable to have all the money you need in advance to cover expenses for at least the first year your business is in operation. Do you need investors to accomplish this? What types of returns does your business offer to potential investors? Business insurance, maintenance & upkeep (for physical buildings) and a large variety of other potential expenses need to be analyzed and assessed in great detail. Always estimate high when planning for business-related expenses as well. Doing so helps avoid a financial crisis within your first year or more in operation. 

Creating a Business Plan

The next important step is to create a detailed business plan. A good business plan helps outline everything you need to have and do to launch a successful business. Business plans focus in on details you might miss if you do not otherwise organize your thoughts, needs and ideas. Business plans help attract investors and C-level professional employees (high-quality management staff). An effective business plan therefore also helps you generate working startup and expense capital as well. What items/lists/information are necessary to include in your business plan?

  • Lead with the business mission statement.

  • Describe the nature and function of your business.

  • List all products to be sold and/or services to be provided.

  • Market analysis of current competition & growth opportunities.

  • List all employees - include yourself and management staff (including bios).

  • Transparently & clearly display your financial plans/needs.

Analyzing the Competition

To analyze your competition you must first identify who and what it is. Research direct, secondary/indirect and potential substitute competition. Collect and analyze information about your competitions’ strengths & weaknesses, its pros and cons. Analyze competitor products, services, pricing, position, branding, market reputation and more. Finally, compare your competitive advantage tot that of all competing businesses? What do/can you offer that they do/cannot? This information helps your plan an appropriate and effective marketing and advertising strategy when you launch your business.

Useful Resources

Many useful resources exist to help you start your business in 2021. Do you need a fast and powerful website on a budget? Companies such as Squarespace, and GoDaddy offer numerous affordable options. Additional useful resources for starting your own business include: