×
"Come in we're open" sign on glass door

How to Start a Small Business in 10 Easy Steps

Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Small Business

Small businesses are a very important part of every local economy, and if you’re one of the millions of people who hear the call of business ownership, you need to take the time to learn how to start a small business.

Fortunately, it’s possible to summarize how to start a small business in a few steps, but while it may seem like a simple process, don’t be fooled. Even with the perfect small business opportunity, you’re going to have to do a lot of hard work to create a successful enterprise.

Steps to Starting a Small Business

You may already have a good small business idea, or you may not. If not, your first step will be to specify the kind of business you want to run. Investigating franchising opportunities is recommended if you’re in this situation.

From there, follow these steps to launching your new business, keeping in mind that the process of how to start an Internet business is very similar:

  1. Research the industry in which you want to work and write a small business plan. In this step, you will need to identify your competitors and come up with a strategy for outperforming them.
  2. Get formal business training, if you don’t already have a background in a related field. You need to understand at least the basics of accounting, financing, managing a supply chain and dealing with human resources.
  3. Identify a location for your small business. Location, location, location — it’s considered extremely important for a good reason.
  4. Explore financing options. These may include your own capital as well as small business loans from banks or credit unions as well as small business grants from local, state/provincial or federal governments.
  5. Incorporate, register your business name and get a federal tax ID number from the government.
  6. Apply for and obtain all necessary permits for running a business, from zoning requirements to any industry-specific licenses you may need. For example, if you want to open a liquor store, you will need a special license from the government that permits you to sell alcohol.
  7. Purchase or lease any necessary equipment that you will need to get your new business up and running. If you are going to operate a retail business, research various suppliers of merchandise and order the stock you’ll need to get started.
  8. Understand your legal requirements and obligations in terms of hiring employees, and get your staff in place.
  9. Promote your new business. It is a common technique for small businesses to have a “grand opening” event, during which you will offer discounted prices on merchandise or introductory offers designed to lure customers into returning later.
  10. Open your doors! It’s an exciting and momentous occasion to start a new business, and you deserve congratulations for all the hard work you’ve put into getting started.