"5 Steps to Starting A Small Business in the US in 2009"
1. Business Plan
In your business plan you are going to determine everything from who is going to be involved in running the business, how to find suppliers/salespeople, financing, marketing, locations, product resources. It is basically a blueprint about what systems you are going to put in place and what differentiates your business from others. A good resource for learning how to create a small business plan can be found on the sba.gov website.
It is important to register your business name with the US government, requirements will vary by state. An important resource online that provides name registration requirements is below. Check out the business.gov website and search for registration guidelines.
3. Marketing Plan
Once you have a decided business in place and have analyzed the industry and determined what services/products you are going to provide and how you are going to develop those services/product and what resources you are needed you should devise a marketing plan. How are you going to sell those needed product/services? Who is going to buy them? Where are they going to buy them? How are you going to distribute them? Why are people going to buy them from you?
Once you have a solid business plan and marketing plan in place it is a good time to look at financing options. Determine your cash flow needs on a monthly, annual and 2-5 year plan if possible. How many products/services are you going to have to sell to make a profit. Are you going to finance the business yourself, through alternative lending sources or through your local bank or credit union. Determine the different financing options that are available for your specific business model and which one is best suited for your business. It may require upfront capital or ongoing capital or very little capital but may need capital when ready to expand. There are a variety of sites to find information on small business financing. One good one is businessfinance.com that identifies needs if you are already in business, starting or business or plan on buying a business. Check out the businessfianance website.
5. Finding your 1st customer
This is the most important thing you will need to do. Having your first customer and contract will do many things for you. It will determine how much current demand their is for your product/service. It will also determine what price the market is willing to offer for your product/service. You will also learn why people decide to choose your product over others or not.
For help from experts with financing, marketing, SEO, small business service and products check out our website. It will help get you started.