by Atim Annette Oton, May 2006
For those thinking of opening a store…check out how we create our brand, Calabar-Imports-Prototype
So, you finally have come up with a great idea for a business? Congratulations and welcome to the “biz mind” field called business ownership. My first step is to ask you this questionFirst, ask yourself this question:: How can you I make your my dream work? Not sure? Well, my response is simple: begin with the most essential basics…Plan, Organize and Act responsibly.
There are seven simple steps and rules to follow:
- Develop a business plan
- Register the name of your business
- Select a business structure
- Open a Business Checking account
- Apply for sales and tax licenses
- Hire a bookkeeper or accountant
- Network by joining organizations and associations.
In this issue, I will discuss in some detail only the first four steps here:
- Business Plan: A business plan is your roadmap to doing anything and everything for your business. It’s a major requirement and most successful businesses rely on it. My best advice: to keep it simple. This plan outline is simple and not complicated. It lets you define the goals of your business and how to accomplish your goal. It is the basic: “who, what, when, where, why and how” portion of your business.
Another place to look for help is the Small Business Administration: http://www.sba.gov/starting/indexbusplans.html. Most essential, if you are like me and procrastinate, then manage yourself better and get business plan software. I use Palo Alto Business Plan Premier by Palo Alto Software, Inc. It helps me navigate the plan me prompting to answer questions and providing examples. Remember, your business plan can help you get money or loans, so it’s necessary, not just for you as it is the first thing any serious investor or loan officer will like to look at.
- Register your business name: Your name is your identity…it has memory and describes your business. I suggest you make it simple and straightforward, and make sure you check with the Department of State or local authority to see if your name is unique and that it has not already been taken. Then, register your business and name at the county office or with the Department of State; but before you do so, you must decide on the next step.
- Set up a business structure: A business structure determines how income is reported and how taxes are assessed on your business. There are five types of businesses: a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (an LLC), corporations, and s-corporations. In my next issue, I will discuss each type and outline the benefits.
- Open a Business Checking account: Three banks in the New York:, WAMU, Commerce and ING, have made a business checking competitive business. For you, this is a bonus…simply, they have checking no-fee accounts…so, take advantage of it…and place $500 in the account…but while you are it, also open a Money Market Savings so you can begin to save money as soon as you make it. This is a step most businesses forget to do, as you have to plan for the dry months or periods.
The last three steps are self explanatory, and I suggest before you consider spending more on great ideas – I recommend reading:
- 7 Steps to Starting a Business (Plastic Comb) by Nanette Miner
Still searching for more help? then read either of these books:
- Your First Business Plan: A Simple Question And Answer Format Designed To Help You Write Your Own Plan (Your First Business Plan) by Joseph A. Covello and Brian Hazelgren (Paperback – Jun 2005)
- Business Plans For Dummies by Paul Tiffany and Steven D. Peterson (Paperback – Dec 31, 2004
- Both books can be found at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com.