Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Steps for Starting a Business

Recently, I've been searching online for potential web resources that outline the steps for starting a business. This would be helpful for someone that wants to start their own business, but isn't sure where exactly to start or what to do. Most people, in my experience, are especially anxious about the paperwork and legality side of a business -- as they usually have the business idea down pretty well.

One of the better "steps" that I found was by, which included the following:

  1. Create a Life Plan
  2. Choosing a Business Modelimage
  3. Create a Business Plan
  4. Select a Business Structure
  5. Create Key Business Assets
  6. Find the Funding
  7. Organize Logistics
  8. Find Great People
  9. Establish the Brand
  10. Market and Sell

I liked these steps because it starts out with creating a life plan, which I firmly believe in. You don't start a business just for the heck of it, it needs to fit into your life strategy. I think it is also pretty realistic in the sequence of starting a business. They offer much more detail after every step -- providing the wanna-be entrepreneur with the guidance he/she needs.

The Small Business Planner put out by the SBA is also pretty good as they focus on what is needed not only to start up the business, but also grow and eventually exit the business. They offer a specific set of steps within each of the four categories below.

  1. Plan your business
  2. Start your business
  3. Manage your business
  4. Getting out

Building on my previous post about looking for local websites when doing market research, a last source for identifying the steps for starting a business should be a local government website -- depending upon whatever state you live in. As a whole, these websites are not (in my opinion) that great for offering an overall sense of what it takes to get your business started, but they are especially useful in providing you with the paperwork and bureaucracy that needs to be taken care of. As an example, the State of Illinois offers a step-by-step process with links embedded to all the necessary government forms.

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