Sunday, May 5, 2013

8 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

Becoming a "boomerpreneur" isn't as hard as it may seem.  All you need is a plan to get there.  Follow these steps to get started.

1.  What is your business?  Step 1 is all about finding the business model that is right for you.  There is a step-by-step approach that I teach (see my post Explore Your Business Options).  Before you do anything else you need a clear concept of what your business is all about.

2.  Do your research.  By the time you are finished with this step, you should know who your target market is, who your competitors are, and what makes you different from them.  You should also learn as much as possible about your industry in general.  This is when you also research the legal aspects of your business.  Will you need special licensing or certification?  Insurance?  Should you be bonded?  Will you need a business permit if you are operating out of your home?  Is your neighborhood zoned for business?

3.  Take care of the legalities.  Based on your previous research, obtain any licenses, permits or certification you may need.  This is also when you should decide on the structure of your business.  Sole proprietorship?  LLC?  Partnership?  Make an appointment with a knowledgeable attorney or small business counselor for guidance.

4.  Write your business plan.  If you aren't sure how, read my post Planning a New Business Venture for guidance.  Or contact a SBDC counselor for assistance.

5.  Based on your business plan, obtain any financing necessary.  There are many options for financing a small business.  As boomers, many of us are fortunate to already have the assets necessary to fund our business ventures.  If not, bank loans, investors, or even borrowing from family and friends are all possible.  Do your research and choose the option best for you.

6.  Once you have the funding necessary, purchase any equipment or supplies that you need to get started. 

7.  Start promoting your business.  Order your business cards, set up your website, and begin your marketing/PR campaign.

8.  Launch!

Of course, this is a very basic outline of the steps necessary to start your own business.  Each of these contains additional steps of their own.  But these steps will provide the basic guidance you need to make becoming a Boomer Business Owner a reality.