There are nearly 40 million small businesses in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration. If you’re hoping to launch one of your own, it’s a dream that can become a workable reality with the right approach to planning and preparation. We offer some tips and suggestions below to help you achieve the goal of starting and running your own small business.
Fine-Tune Your Great Idea
You probably already have a general idea of what you want to offer, sell, or provide if you’ve made the decision to start your own business. Next, work through the finer points of your great idea. This is when you determine such things as:
• How your business will operate (e.g., online, in a physical location, or both)
• Whether you’ll be running things yourself or hiring employees
• What kind of competition you might face locally or online
Know Your Target Market
Market research doesn’t have to be a major investment. It’s often possible to send out email surveys or post questions on social media to gather enough information you can use to define your target audience and market. This process should also include figuring out the location(s) you’ll be primarily focusing on and how competitive those markets are for the type of business you’ll be starting.
Officially Define Your Business
You’ll need to officially define your business for legal and tax purposes. Most small businesses are considered sole proprietorships by default. A limited liability company, or LLC, is another popular option to consider if your business will have more than one owner. Becoming an LLC also keeps what you own personally separate from your business’s assets.
Know Your Financial Needs
Figure out what you’ll need financially to launch your business. This may involve tapping into your savings or securing a small business loan. As you determine what your startup costs will be, also consider:
• Any software or equipment you may need
• What kinds of products or materials you might need
• Any expenses for building space or inventory storage
Set Short-Term & Long-Term Goals
You’ll be more likely to succeed with your small business if you have clearly defined goals. This is when you determine what you hope to achieve initially and the vision you have for your business once you’re established. With your business-related goals, also pay attention to:
• Relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll need to track for your business
- Your marketing and promotion goals
• The goals you have for revenue and profits
• How you want your business to be perceived by your target customers
Don’t Forget Business Insurance
Small businesses in particular can be financially wiped out fairly quickly in the event of significant property or inventory damage or unexpected lawsuits. For this reason, it’s important to work with an insurance agent to get a policy put together that covers all your essential business insurance needs. For a typical small business, this list includes:
• General liability coverage
• Business income coverage for times when there may be disruptions to your operations
• Commercial property insurance for any equipment or building space
• Workers’ compensation insurance if you’ll have employees
Depending on the nature of your business, you may also benefit from data breach insurance or a commercial umbrella policy. Commercial auto insurance is also worth considering if you’ll be using one or more vehicles for business purposes.
The current culture celebrates the startup mentality, and many people are ready to start their own businesses. While fresh thinking is always welcome in the marketplace, it’s also a good idea to learn from people who have done it before. Look to the professionals at Altra Insurance Services for sound advice based on years of experience in the insurance industry. In addition to business insurance, we offer reliable homeowners, renters, and auto & car insurance National City. Call one of our expert agents today at (619) 404-6311 to discuss all your insurance needs.