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Starting a Business: Where to Start?

Starting your own business is an exciting thing, which can also be terrifying and overwhelming. It starts with a great idea, which turns into a vision, which usually leads to a few questions that lead to a few more questions and pretty soon all you have are a bunch of questions that you don’t even know how to start answering. The world of the free market is a complicated and ruthless place, and if you go in unprepared, you won’t come out in good condition.

Financial Assessment

The most critical component of starting a business resides in determining your budgetary needs before you open for business. Of course, you most likely won’t be able to estimate your exact budget to the dollar before you spend some time doing business, but creating a detailed hypothetical budget will help get you as close as possible to the real thing before it’s time to do real business.

The first thing you need to determine are your start-up costs. Estimating your costs for the first three months of business and ensuring that you have the funds for at least this amount of time should get you off to a stable start that can be sustained thereafter. Getting started is always the most expensive part of doing business. There will be a combination of one-time expenses that are unique to the first beginnings of your business and on-going expenses that will need to begin before you open up but will be continuously a part of your working budget.

One-time start-up costs might include equipment, furniture, renovations, and smaller details like printing logos, signs, menus, etc. There will also be fees for any and all licences and registrations you need to obtain to legally run your business. You will also need to purchase all of the stock and inventory of any products you plan to sell. Once you start doing business, you will start producing revenue which will allow you to keep your inventory up, but at the beginning you need to spend that money before you earn it back.

On-going costs will be things like rent, utilities, inventory, and paying employees. These are costs that you will have the entire time you are in business, but of course, they start as soon as you open. Therefore, you must make sure you start out with enough money in-hand to pay for all of this for at least the first three months.

Creating an effective budget, especially one including start-up costs, will require that you do lots of research before opening for business. Determine all materials and supplies you will need, how much, and what it will cost. Round-up your estimates to be on the safe side, and leave yourself some extra room in the budget for unforeseen expenses.

Market Research

Once you have your start-up money secured, you can start researching what licences and registrations you will need to legally run your business. These may vary depending on your city, country and state. You also need to find a suitable location if your business is not going to be solely online. Starting a business mostly consists of forethought and preparation. There are online resources to help those thinking of starting a business, and consulting services out there to help you start out on the right foot if you find it too overwhelming to do on your own. If you put your heart behind your work and dedicate your focus and attention on sustainable business, you can grow a lasting and successful business out of what was once just a “start-up”.

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