• How To Start a Business

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    August 23, 2022

    You may be thinking of starting your own company. Perhaps you lost your job or decided to switch careers; whatever your reasons for becoming an entrepreneur, there are several key aspects to starting a successful business. Here is a guide to help you take all of the necessary steps.

    Planning

    Devising a sound business idea is the first step toward creating a prosperous company. Here are some tips to get you started:

    • Consider your skills and interests

    • Think of services you can provide that your community needs

    • Do market research to determine if people are willing to pay for your product or service and if they are willing to pay enough for you to make a profit

    • Ask what marketing strategies they find most helpful

    Write a thorough business plan to determine if your idea is feasible. This document should include descriptions of what you are selling and to whom. Detail marketing and financial strategies, and provide an overview of the company’s employees and managers. A good plan will ensure you have a workable proposition and help you secure funding such as loans and grants.

    Determine the organizational structure that is best for your company. Common types include:

    • Limited Liability Company

    • Sole proprietorship

    • Partnership

    • C corporation

    • S corporation

    Research the benefits and drawbacks of each option. For example, an LLC protects the owner’s personal assets and may have a favorable tax rate, while an S corp provides savings on self-employment taxes and the option to claim deductions on business losses. It can be helpful to research how to start an LLC in Florida or starting an S corp in Florida since the rules for organization differ among states. A formation service can complete all the paperwork quickly and correctly while allowing you to avoid lawyer expenses. 

    Last but not least (on the planning front), if you intend to do at least some work from home, make sure you set aside a home office where you can work and focus. Try to make it as comfortable and distraction-free as possible, preferably with natural light. If you need to make some renovations to create the necessary workspace, the good news is that these kinds of renovations also improve your home’s appraisal value. Just be sure to document any changes you make with receipts.

    Marketing

    Once you have a feasible plan and adequate funding, you need to let others know about your business. Marketing and networking are both important here. Networking involves talking to your professional contacts, even those you haven’t been in touch with for years, about your new venture. You can find new customers, connect with vendors and learn about the business world through networking. There are many apps that help you develop these relationships.

    Marketing, on the other hand, is a more straightforward way to spread the word about your business. Although digital advertising on websites and social media platforms helps you reach a wide audience, there is still room for paper marketing materials such as flyers and business cards. Use the information collected during your market research to choose the best strategies for your organization. 

    The thought of marketing is overwhelming for many entrepreneurs. Fortunately, there are many tools available to help. For example, try a free custom logo maker to help generate logo designs and ideas. This can save you a lot of money over hiring a designer. You’ll be able to try various colors, text, and images until you find something that works for your business.

    Succeeding

    Data show that the vast majority of business failures are the result of cash flow problems. Although there are many facets to running a successful company, minding your finances may be the most important. Send out invoices in a timely fashion and encourage customers to pay on time. Monitor your inventory to ensure you are not losing money on items that are not selling. Use accounting software to keep up with your income and expenditures. Keeping an eye on cash flow helps you catch small drains on your bottom line before they become ruinous.

    Whether you are looking for a fresh start or are simply trying to make more money from your side hustle, starting a business can be a great project. However, it is important to have a thoughtful plan, strong marketing and networking strategies, and control over your company’s financial health.

    Join the Port Orange South Daytona Chamber of Commerce to meet local entrepreneurs and access great resources that will help you take your business to the next level.

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