Starting/Expanding a Business?

Starting a business?

First thing first.  There are enormous stuff on the US Small Business Administration website, free to access. From our own experience in life, we can “share” our experience with you. In addition, we are sharing with you a website we found very useful, CLICK HERE, for those who want to take a first step, meaning there by just thinking, but afraid of taking the first “step.”

That first step is to scribble down (even a hand written note will do), limit it to “one page” only, your thoughts on what you really want to start a business for. You may, if you want to, follow the guidelines given below. What you share with us today will because your Lean Business Plan. This should be:

  • Fast: You’ll be able to build this first Lean Plan in less than 20 minutes. Compared to writing a detailed business plan, that’s a huge time savings. Of course if you want to be assisted by SBA it has to expanded using their instructions. If you want, you may ask for our assistance as little or as much as you want.
  • Simple: Anyone can create a Lean Business Plan. Unlike the Business Model Canvas and other tools, you won’t need any special training or business knowledge to build your Lean Plan.
  • Shareable: Because your Lean Plan fits on a single page, it’s easy to share and get feedback from business partners, friends, family, or us.
  • Impressive: At some point now or later you may need extra resources to help your business. Specially if you need “Investors,” they don’t have time to read detailed plans. The one pager can grab their attention.

US Small Business Administration (SBA) specifies a Ten Step process to follow for a sustainable business. Not that you do not know the steps, but the business world needs you (not necessarily your employees), the business owner and your business development folks, should learn the business “lingo” to survive and continue.  These Ten Steps are:

  1. Conduct market research – Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. Scroll down to learn about each step.
  2. Fund your business – Your business plan will help you figure out how much money you’ll need to start your business. If you don’t have that amount on hand, you’ll need to either raise or borrow the capital. Fortunately, there are more ways than ever to find the capital you need.

  3. Write your business plan – Your business plan is the foundation of your business. (reference: you already have prepared a one page business plan in the “first step” ). The full blown business plan is a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. You’ll use it to convince people that working with you — or investing in your company — is a smart choice.

  4. Pick your business location – Your business location is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business or launching an online store, the choices you make could affect your taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Your cost and sales will be different and dependent on the location. (NOTE: Remember that most of us, including the multi-B$ companies started from their garage/basement).

  5. Choose a business structure – The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes, and your personal liability etc.

  6. Choose your business name – It’s not easy to pick the perfect name. You’ll want one that reflects your brand and captures your spirit. You’ll also want to make sure your business name isn’t already being used by esomeone else. (Recomendation: Two things here, got to make out a name that will outlast the company life, and should be somewhat a bridge from your current offer).

  7. Register your business – Once you’ve picked the perfect business name, it’s time to make it legal and protect your brand. If you’re doing business under a name different than your own, you’ll need to register with the federal government, and maybe your state government, too.

  8. Get federal and state tax IDs – You’ll use your Employer Identification Number (EIN) for important steps to start and grow your business, like opening a bank account and paying taxes. It’s like a social security number for your business. Some — but not all — states require you to get a tax ID as well.

  9. Apply for licenses and permits – Keep your business running smoothly by staying legally compliant. The licenses and permits you need for your business will vary by industry, state, location, and other factors.

  10. Open a business bank account – A small/large business checking account can help you handle legal, tax, and day-to-day issues. The good news is it’s easy to set one up if you have the right registrations and paperwork ready.

 

Expanding a business?

We will be on your side for that too.  We have alliances with other small/large company resources in US and abroad, to assist you share their technology/infrastructure for mutual growth.

Some References:

If you want to see an SBA required Business Plan Sample CLICK HERE.

An encouraging FY 2017 note on record number of Prime contracts for 8(a).

 

 

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