What is a Small Business
A small business is a privately owned company that has at least one employee. How to start a small business is started by highly advised that new entrepreneurs consult a tax accountant to help decide what business model to pick and help navigate what taxes you are accountable for.
Perks of a Small Business
There are many benefits of owning and operating a small business.
Benefits to the Owner
1. Better Hours
The obvious benefit for staring your own business is you pick the hours you work; just make sure those hours work for your customers as well. But if you don’t get customers until noon, you choose to not open until then.
2. Lower Overhead Costs
Small businesses have:
- Smaller facilities, which means less rent and utilities,
- Fewer computers or other machinery,
- Less wages,
- Less insurance,
- Less office supplies,
- Less supplies and resources.
They still need marketing and pay taxes, but overall overhead costs are a lot lower.
3. Nimble and Flexible
You make the decisions for which brands/types of machinery, supplies, apps/software, insurance plans, and other necessary stuff. A small business also pivots easier to changes in the market or field than a large company.
4. Work more Closely with Customers
Ever wanted to tell a customer “You’re absolutely right! Let’s fix that right now.” Being the owner of a small business, you talk directly with customers and see what they are going through, and you have the authority to make brand-wide changes when something isn’t working or when there is opportunity (for both better user experience and profit) to be had. You also have the chance to see pain-points and potential opportunities in person to better refine and expand your business.
5. Job Security
You are your own boss; you don’t have to worry about being fired or inspected by a boss again!
6. Getting New Skills and Honing Old Ones
By doing new things, find new abilities and use old ones in new ways: always been analytical and organized? You are now your own accountant. Are you extraverted and great at communication? Now you are actually meeting your clients in person (or online) and trying to wow them. Put those skills to work!
Benefits for the customers
Faster Response Time
There is something intimidating about a large, faceless skyscraper and the hundreds and thousands of offices within, and an automated voice over the phone is not much better. Even worse if the person doesn’t even know what questions to ask or what department they need to ask to find out. Small businesses have a friendly face that can answer their questions quickly and
Personal Ongoing Service
Small businesses can personalize orders to a customer’s specifications; sometimes even give them a discount when they need to tighten their belts in tough months. They are more human and understanding: “No, you see, I love her, but I can only afford one rose. Can you please make it extra pretty?”
Experts for a Lesser Cost
People know they need professional help, but they don’t want to fork over thousands (or in some cases tens of thousands) of dollars to get it from large, scary corporations. Small businesses let them get help at an affordable price.
How to Start a Small Business
There are 12 steps in how to start a small business.
Pick a Business Structure
The first step in how to start a small business is that there are five main business structures:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company (LLC)
- Corporation (This comes in two types: L-Corp and S-Corp)
Check to see which one works best for your business.
Market Research Niches and Competition
Research the market by looking into your main audience demographic (a customer persona helps here), checking what they already use (your competition), check keywords for your industry’s niches on Google to see how many people search for them (Google Trends is helpful here), and check if the niche is growing or not by checking ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon.
Pick a Business Model Based on Market Research
This is where how to start a small business really starts. What do you like to do that is a needed skill in a booming market? If you can find the answer and execute it, you will be far more happy and fortunate than most of the workforce.
Choose a Name and Location
In how to start a small business, the name is the fun part, but pick one that is unique and memorable. Check to see if it is trademarked before you finalize on a name. Also, naming the business after yourself will help the branding and make the business more personal; just be aware that it makes it awkward to change if your name changes.
Location is key for determining how many and what kind of customers you will get; try to get a location that is optimal for your main audience (customers you want). If you work from home, this isn’t a worry, but I still recommend knowing where the local cafes and restaurants are to meet potential clients or employees. Also, decide how far you are going to go in actual distance for customers. If someone from Canada called and wanted your services, would you be prepared and willing to say ‘yes’? How about Florida or Kentucky; do you know their laws, particularly for taxes?
Find Out if You Need to Register Your Business with State or the Federal Government
If the business is a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or nonprofit corporation needs to register in any state that it has have:
- A physical presence (like an office),
- Meetings with clients or suppliers,
- A significant portion of your profit,
- Employee(s) working in the state.
- Apply for Permits and Licenses
Not all businesses require permits or licenses, but those that sell or make food or drink, have to do with construction or vehicles, or are in the health industry (hair and nail salons count here) do need a permit/license. Check in your state to see if you need one for your business.
Unless you are going to run a sole proprietorship, you need a federal tax ID number. If you Plan to have employees, you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for federal and a State Employer Tax Number for state taxes.
Get Business Insurance
In how to start a small business, if you are running any type of business other than a sole proprietorship, anyone who sues your company sues only the company and can’t take away your personal computer and car if they win the suit. If only for peace of mind, get business insurance unless you don’t see any chance of being sued by a customer, vendor, employee/coworker, or anyone just looking to sue someone.
Open a Business Account Using the Federal Tax ID
This is for paying for the business expenses. Having a special business account provides liability protection, a sense of professionalism to your customers, the ability to accept payment and buy resources, and makes taxes easier to figure out (critical if you are filing quarterly).
Make a Business Plan:
This can be as simple or as complicated as you want. A business plan should have an executive summary, business concept and description, market analysis and strategy, financials, plans for the brand, and income goals and projections. There are free templates available online to help with this.
Calculate Startup Costs:
This should include costs for communication, office supplies and equipment, work space, out-of-house sourcing, marketing/promotion, travel, petty cash, emergency fund and how to fund starting of the business. The good news is that most of these are tax deductible for small businesses, so don’t just look at them as costs!
Get a Domain and Website for the Business
For how to start a small business, there is one thing that half of new business owners don’t realize. Most users don’t trust any company or business that doesn’t have a website. This is with reason since that can be a sign of a scam or an MLM. You want it to look nice as well since 25% of users judge a brand by the design of the website.
That said, putting one together is not as easy as those ads online make it seem. Do you have the right plug-ins that you know won’t break down or crash your site? Do you know that your site is SEO optimized so that someone actually sees it? Is the website secure from hackers and their bots?
SJ Usability Services can help! We will build your site for you and your customers in mind. We will build you a website that you can be proud of. We will make your website is made for Google’s Analytics by:
- Making it Optimized for mobile users
- Ensuring it is HTTPS secure
- Following Intrusive interstitial guidelines
- Making it Optimized under Core Web Vitals
- Low Largest Contentful Paint
- Short First Input Delay
- Few Cumulative Layout Shifts
It will be build especially for you:
- Designed for your customers and your goals in mind
- Engaging for you and your users to use
- A professional aesthetic that will keep your style and tone
Just contact us, and we can start making your small business better!
A small business is a privately owned company that has at least one employee. It has better hours, lower overhead costs, is more nimble and flexible, works more closely with its customers, has better job security, more practice with new and old skills, and just is better for your mental health than large businesses.
How to start a small business is done by picking a business structure, conducting market research, pick a business model, choosing a name and location, checking if you need to register your business, apply for any permits and licenses, getting business insurance, opening a business account, making a business plan, calculating startup costs, and getting a special website for your business. Over 40% of the workforce are freelancers, so join the force today.