Steps in Starting a Business


Whether you are starting your business from scratch or buying an existing business, there are a multitude of decisions to make and things to do. This section is to help you organize and plan the steps needed. (By the time you are reading this you are probably past the first several steps.)

  1. Choose an enterprise that is of personal interest to you. Determine if there is a market for your product or service.
  2. Look for any businesses for sale. Visit a business broker even if you are going to start from "scratch". Develop your business plan with your accountant's assistance. Schedule the events needed to get the doors open
  3. Study your market. Target your particular market and profile your target customer. Develop a sales projection.
  4. Analyze potential locations. Discuss leasing/buying specifics with property owner. Review potential lease/purchase opportunities with attorney.
  5. List personal assets and sources of capital. Prepare list of capital needs for new business. Discuss financing with banker. Discuss form of business with attorney and accountant.
  6. Design the interior layout and floor plan to meet your business needs. Draw up a list of initial furniture, fixture, and equipment needs. Have your accountant assist in developing a budget.
  7. Plan first year advertising and promotion calendar. Draw up advertising copy. Contact media choices for rate schedules and special programs that are of interest to your target customer.
  8. Research any sales training programs. Develop a sales philosophy. Develop customer relations policies. Develop a compensation and evaluation for salespeople.
  9. Research your industry for pricing strategies and choose the one most suitable for you.
  10. Develop an organizational chart. Write out job descriptions. Determine pay scales, benefits and training requirements.
  11. Develop Cash Flow Chart. Discuss with banker short term line of credit. Decide if you will need the use of bank cards or an accounts receivable system.
  12. If your business involves inventory, plan initial purchase and first buying season after your initial opening. Go to industry trade shows. Develop a strategy to use if too little or too much inventory.
  13. Meet with your accountant to set up bookkeeping system. List all registrations, forms, and procedures need that to be completed before opening.
  14. Investigate computer capabilities for now or future.
  15. Obtain necessary insurance coverage.
  16. Design a timetable for business expansion.