Ready to start your own dream business? Starting a business requires determination and passion, and with the right resources, tools, and support, you’ll be on your way to entrepreneurial success before you know it.
Read our simple, step-by-step guide below to help you start a business today.
Want to learn more about how to start a business in your state? Read our state-specific business formation guides.
How to Use Our Guide
Starting a business is easy! Simply scroll through our quick guide to learn how to launch your dream venture. Or, use our jump-to links to find a specific step in the business formation process.
You can also read our review of the top business formation services once you're ready to start a business.
Wondering How to Start a Business? Follow These 6 Steps:
Step 1: Pick a Business Idea
Choosing the right business idea is essential to success. Be sure to invest in an idea that you are enthusiastic about; running a business takes perseverance and it’s much easier to maintain work ethic if you are passionate about what you’re doing.
It’s helpful to ask yourself the following questions when deciding on business idea:
- Do I have the necessary skills and passion to succeed in a business like this?
- Is there enough demand/customer need for this business idea?
- Does this business idea have a strong potential for success?
- What are some of the risks of running a business like this?
- What are some of the advantages of running a business like this?
These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself when evaluating business ideas. It’s important to conduct thorough research and analyze each idea you consider.
If you’re still struggling to find the perfect business idea, you can explore hundreds of detailed business idea guides and utilize the business ideas generator. Once you decide on an idea, you can use our business name generator to find the best name for your new startup.
Step 2: Write Your Business Plan
Once you’ve decided on an idea, it’s time to write a business plan. Creating a business plan is an essential part of starting a business and there are plenty of benefits. Business plans help you to:
- Establish a more solid sense of direction.
- Set your business priorities.
- Further identify your target market.
- Outline your future business goals.
- Develop an effective marketing strategy.
- Better manage and plan your business finances.
If writing a business plan sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! There are helpful options out there that will guide you along the process, such as our free business plan tool or business plan software. In fact, if you’d like to try one of the best business planning software, we offer a 25% off LivePlan promo code to our readers.
Step 3: Structure Your Business
We highly recommend formally structuring your business. A few examples of business structures include:
- Limited liability companies (LLCs)
- Sole proprietorships
- Corporations (S corp, C corp)
If you decide to start an LLC, check out our state-specific LLC formation guides. You can also read our business formation services review if you wish to hire a professional service to form your LLC. We highly recommend ZenBusiness for their transparent and affordable LLC packages and excellent customer service.
Step 4: Organize Your Business Finances
Managing your business finances is essential to professional success. Not only will it provide you with peace of mind and more opportunity for growth, but it will also help to mitigate any legal risk.
Next, analyze your business and determine its financial requirements. Funding a business may seem daunting at first, but there are several resources out there that can support you, such as the following:
Finally, setting up business accounting or hiring a professional accountant allows you to better organize and track your earnings, comply with the law, and make smarter decisions for your company overall.
You can read our guide to learn more about the importance of business accounting.
Step 5: Build Your Brand
Establishing a brand and strengthening brand recognition will set your business apart from competitors and build a solid foundation of trust with your customers.
Naming your business is one of the very first steps you can take when creating your unique brand.
Next, design a creative logo, secure a web domain, and consider opening social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). To learn more about building your brand, follow our branding guide.
Step 6: Scale Your Business
As an entrepreneur, it’s vital to never stop learning and improving. The possibilities are truly endless if you continuously research and discover creative ways to grow your company.
There are plenty of ways to take your business to the next level. Here are a few ideas:
- Expand your professional network and learn from industry experts by attending entrepreneurial events.
- Invest in employees to support you.
- Establish further credibility and gain access to more resources by becoming a certified woman-owned business.