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Small Business 101

Small Business Basics and Helpful Information

Franchise Buster

January 22, 2009

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Starting a small business is the dream of many individuals throughout the United States. In addition to this dream, however, it is extremely important that certain steps are taken to increase the business' chances at success.

Use this guide as you research business ideas and decide what steps to take before beginning your new small business

Decide What Type of Business You Want to Run

Your chances at a successful business venture increase exponentially if you select something that you are familiar with, enjoy doing, and can build a business around. Do you like cooking? Consider starting a restaurant. Do you enjoy selling products or services? Think about starting a retail establishment. The possibilities for potential business ideas are almost limitless. Think about your strengths, weaknesses, personality type, and desires. You're sure to find something worth pursuing.

Choose a Business Name

These days it has become trendy to select a business name having very little to do with what your company actually sells or produces. If you didn't already know the companies “Yahoo” or “Google” could you actually guess what they do? Try to select a business name that is descriptive, without limiting yourself to a particular area or product. For instance, using “Joe's Southwest-Missouri Copper Pipes” might be an excellent name if you never desire to expand beyond selling copper pipes to a small section of Missouri. However, “Joe's Premier Plumbing” allows your business to expand its products and services without making a name change. Use common sense – never use names that are confusing or potentially offensive. And remember, the less your name has to do with the products and services you are selling, the more you will have to spend to advertise your business.

Select a Business Structure

There are many resources available to help you select the most appropriate business structure for your new venture. Many people find that a sole proprietorship or partnership are appropriate. If you feel that you will need further legal protection, you may want to investigate an LLC or corporation structure.

Create a Business Plan:

One of the most critical steps in the new business process is the business plan. This formal or informal document allows you to begin forming the basic financial and marketing plans for your business. You will be able to gain a better understanding of your business environment, your competitors, and your goals for the present and long-term. Another important goal of the business plan is to make a financial plan for the future. Estimating your long and short-term costs is essential to maintaining a profitable business.


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