Starting a new business can be tricky to say the least. At the outset, your new business will face a number of complex documentation requirements, scrutiny from government officials, and in some cases, a hostile business climate that can be discouraging. Regardless of the initial difficulties starting a new business may pose, you can find solace in the fact you are not alone. Countless individuals all over the United States start new businesses every year, many of which go on to become successful staples in their community, and even national or international entities.
Unfortunately, with great opportunity comes great risk, and the reality is that some business do fail. In order to set your new business venture apart from the pack, it is essential to start out on a solid footing from which to build. Success comes to those who plan well, and by consulting with the new business experts at Geddes & Company, P.C. you can be confident your new business will start will a rock solid foundation.
Steps to Starting a New Business
As you consider starting your new business it may first be best to develop a basic understanding of what you can expect in terms of the new business formation process. By beginning with a pragmatic knowledge of what forming a new business involves, paired with expert consultation and planning, you will be able to make sound decisions from day one. Here is a basic outline of the steps to starting a new business.
Nail Down Your Big Idea
For many business owners, the key to success when starting a new business is passion and expertise. Consider business prospects that excite you, or skills you already have. Business ideas you are passionate about pursuing are ideal because, inevitably you will be spending a lot of time with them. Initially, it may be best to focus on doing one thing, and doing it well. Try to avoid overly lofty propositions that may stretch your startup capital thin. Potential business opportunities can also found in gaps in the marketplace. Look to develop ideas that fill a consumer need that is not currently met by existing companies, or focus on providing a familiar service in an area that is underserved.
Do Your Homework
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential new businesses to one or two great ideas, it is now time to dig into the current business climate. A small business professional can help you research your potential competition, find the ideal location to do business, and lay the groundwork of a financially sound business plan to get you started. The best small business owners are always prepared. Doing your research early will be vital to achieving success later on.
Develop a Business Plan
Now that you have completed the initial research for your new business it is time to get specific. Work with a professional who has experience developing and planning new businesses, such as those at Geddes & Company to create a long-term business plan. Your business plan will be the blueprint for your startup, and should contain detailed information on your business’ goals, client base and consumers, company financing and startup costs, and organizational structure.
A well-written and robust business plan will help attract potential sources of financing and revenue and can serve as a resource for your company for years to come. However, it is important to remember that regardless of how intricate your initial business plan is, circumstance do change, so don’t be afraid to consult the experts and adjust your plan as needed.
Registration and Documentation
With a strong business plan in place, startup capital at the ready, and an organizational structure determined, you are now ready to register your business with the government. What is required for your business to become officially registered will depend on the organizational structure you have chosen. Business’ organized as corporations have a slightly larger burden when it comes to registering with the government, as you will be required to submit an “articles of incorporation” document which will contain detailed information about your company’s structure, stock, and purpose.
Simpler business typologies, such as a sole proprietorship, only require that you register your business’ name with the government. At this point, you may also look to trademark your business’ name in order to provide additional security to your business’ identity.
After you have registered your business with the government, you can then go about obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes. An EIN is not required for sole proprietorships, however will enable you to keep your business finances and personal finances separate for tax purposes. Obtaining an EIN can be done online. Once your company has received its EIN, you must then fill out the proper state and federal income tax forms. The professionals at Geddes & Company can help walk you through this process, and assure that all forms are completed correctly to satisfy government requirements. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also need to obtain certain operating licenses or permits from the federal, state, or local government before opening your doors.
Get the Word Out
Now that the legal requirements for starting your business have been satisfied, it is time to build your brand and cultivate buzz around your new business. A sleek advertising and branding campaign can help your business build its market share before it even opens its doors. While advertising and marketing are essential tools to starting your business, don’t over think it. Word of mouth and customer referrals are time-tested means to attracting new customers and often work better than more expensive options. Keep a close eye on your finances to be sure that you engage consumers with strategies that are within your means, and don’t over-extend your finances on catchy commercials or billboards.
Manage and Grow
Congratulations. Your business is up and running and your doors are open. After months of preparation you now get to remember why you wanted to start a business in the first place. Be sure to take a moment to appreciate what you’ve created, but now is not the time to sit back and relax. Like a well-cultivated garden, a new business will require constant attention and care. As your business grows over its first several years, you will see all of the planning you put in pay off many times over. The expertise of Geddes & Company, P.C. helped you get started, now it’s time for us to help keep you there. By maintaining an ongoing relationship with our team of advisors, you can be sure that your new business will continue to grow into your family legacy. For more information on the continued services Geddes & Company, P.C. can provide your established business, visit our Small Business Services page
Considering becoming your own boss? Curious about the process of creating a new business in the DC Metro area? Geddes & Company, P.C. has the know-how to take you from big idea, to big business with ease. Contact us online or by phone today to get the ball rolling on your next business venture.