Write a business plan. If you are building a business from scratch, you definitely need one of these. Not only will it keep you focused and organized, but it will also help with funding. Banks and private investors want to see that their money is going to be well spent and that your plan is solid enough that they’re likely to get their money back.
Location, location, location. I know you’ve heard this one before. If your business is not home or internet based, you will need a physical commercial space. Do research and figure out what area would be best for the type of services or products you offer. You will have to balance that with things like commute, likelihood of disaster (I.e., robbery, flood, etc), and surrounding commercial buildings. Once you’ve got a general area in mind, it is time to shop around a bit and compare prices. Be prepared for steep prices for small space in comparison to residential property.
Get some funding. Once you have a business plan ready, you can present it to banks and try to get a loan. Alternatively, you can try and find an investor or two to give you some funding in exchange for a percentage of your profits. Either way, prepare for a lot of negotiating and a bit of a wait. Getting a loan approved, no matter the source, takes time.
Take care of the legalities. Before you can legally open, you will need to register your business, apply for a tax I.D. number, and make sure any and all permits and/or licenses needed are at hand and up to date. This sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it is better than getting financially crippling fines, or even getting shut down. In addition, if you’re not a sole proprietor, you’ll need to learn the ins and out of hiring employees and related things like worker’s comp, unemployment, and things like that.
Promote. Once you have everything set up, get the word out about your business so you can start making a profit. Hopefully you covered methods for doing this in your business plan. Even so, there are always new ways to let people know about your business so it’s a good idea to continually revise your marketing plan.