The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)

Five tips to consider before starting a business


Building a small business from scratch can be an exciting endeavor that poses some significan­t challenges.

With the right resources and support, entreprene­urs can turn their dreams into successful businesses.

There are roughly 33 million small businesses in the United States, so it’s clear to see how small businesses dominate the economic landscape.

The Small Business Administra­tion identifies small businesses as those having fewer than 500 employees.

The process of starting a small business varies depending on the industry, location and other factors, but here’s a generalize­d look at the steps to be expected early on.

1. Figure out your idea and research it

Coming up with a successful idea is one of the first steps to take when starting a business.

It’s possible to take an existing type of business and customize it for a given community, or to create something new and innovative.

After the idea is put on paper, it’s important to research the potential competitio­n and decide if the business will have a competitiv­e advantage to survive.

Market research is crucial.

2. Write a business plan

A business plan helps formalize the ideas of the business and lists the necessary steps to take.

By thinking through the process methodical­ly, a potential business owner can figure out where problems may turn up and where to devote the most attention to help make the business profitable.

It also helps if one thinks through how he or she will secure the capital for starting the company.

3. Choose the right time

Prospectiv­e business owners need to assess whether the time is right for starting a business.

While there may never be a perfect time, it’s best to engage when there are fewer obstacles in the way. You want to devote full attention to the business.

If that’s not possible, then it’s likely best to delay.

Times when starting a business may not be ideal include when battling an illness, during a family move or right after the death of a loved one.

Economic factors beyond your control, such as a downturn or recession, also may affect the potential success of a business venture.

4. Pick a business structure

Involving a business attorney in this process would be in a person’s best interests.

A business can be legally structured in certain ways, and how it is structured will affect registrati­on requiremen­ts as well has how much a business owner pays in taxes.

The structure also can affect personal liability.

Speaking with a lawyer will highlight the pros and cons of structurin­g and help a person make the best decision possible.

5. Speak to other business owners

A potential entreprene­ur

can pick the brains of small business owners to figure out what worked and what didn’t when they were first starting out.

This can help entreprene­urs avoid certain pitfalls and uncover proven paths to success.

 ?? METRO CREATIVE ?? Starting a business can be a worthwhile undertakin­g, especially when entreprene­urs consider a variety of factors before getting started.
METRO CREATIVE Starting a business can be a worthwhile undertakin­g, especially when entreprene­urs consider a variety of factors before getting started.

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