Become an Entrepreneur Today: 5 Essential Steps to Start Your Own Business

 

Have you always thought about owning a business but don’t know where to begin? The road to becoming an entrepreneur can seem long and daunting, but it’s easier than you might think — especially with all the helpful resources available to entrepreneurs today. And the payoff is invaluable: You get to be your own boss, create value for others, and follow your passion.

 

In this article, we outline five simple yet essential steps to help get your business idea off the ground.

 

1) Create your business plan

Putting together a solid business plan is vital to your survival as an entrepreneur. In your plan, you want to tell a story to give an illustration of your business, goals, what makes you unique, and who your business serves. This takes time and research. We suggest starting with looking at the industry you are launching in and what other competitors are out there.

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a comprehensive business plan template, and Microsoft Office provides many templates in both document and powerpoint forms.

 

2) Get your finances in order

Before you start your business, you’ll need to get your finances straight. You can begin by budgeting your resources: Think about whether or not you’ll need to hire people, if you need an office, and the associated costs. This will give you an idea of your startup expenses and what you’ll need from loans and investors. If you require funding, consider including an “ask” and the financial projections in your business plan. Additionally, there are many assistance programs available from your local, state, and federal governments to help launch your business.

 

3) Focus your marketing strategy

Having a clear marketing strategy will make everything more efficient. Figure out what approach you want to use — and then use it to your advantage. In today’s technologically focused economy, you’ll need a heavy dose of digital marketing to thrive. Create a website, and make sure to load it with keywords specific to your business to help increase your SEO and, ultimately, sales. You should also figure out what social media best fits your type of business. As you create these social pages, ensure branding is consistent in order to streamline and legitimize your online presence.

 

For more advice on how to focus your marketing efforts, take a look at this handy Entrepreneur service piece.

 

4) Set goals

Goal setting: You either love it or you hate it, and probably don’t do enough of it. Whatever your position, there’s no way around it as an entrepreneur. Set aside time each day to think about the different aspects of your business, allowing space for innovative ideas to surface, and incorporating those into your company’s goals. You’ll also want to take a hard look at the issues within your business for your goal setting so that you can continue to grow. Joe’s Goals is a great and easy — and free — place to start if you are new to the world of goal setting.

 

5) Register your business

There are a few different steps to take in registering your business. First, you’ll want to register your business name with your state government. You’ll also need to register as a legal entity, unless you plan to operate as a sole proprietorship. Next, you can register with the IRS and your state revenue office to obtain your tax identification number. Finally, you’ll want to look into getting the correct licenses and permits so that you don’t run into any legal trouble down the road.

 

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