Starting a small business (Part 1)

by Washington Federal Team on October 25, 2012

It takes an entrepreneurial mind and spirit to take the major step of starting your own business. Congratulations! As you well know, starting your own company is a decision that takes careful consideration.

At Washington Federal, we’re here to help walk you through the steps to making your vision of business ownership a reality.

Some things to think about before you get started…
Before you pursue opening or purchasing a business, you might want to start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Why am I starting a business?
  • How much money do I need to get started?
  • Is this a feasible business model?
  • Will I need to get a loan?
  • There are a lot of small businesses out there, so what makes my idea stand out?

This general understanding will help guide your concept into an initial business plan.

Drafting a Business Plan
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, one of the first steps to planning a business is determining who your target market is and why they would want to buy from you.

A thorough business plan will answer the following rudimentary questions, plus much more:

  • What purpose does my business serve?
  • Who is my competition?
  • What is my strategy to capitalize on existing market opportunity?
  • What are my operating procedures?
  • What types of capital equipment will I need?
  • How much profit/loss should I expect?

The goal of a business plan is not simply to identify needs and projections, but also establish a market niche. Finding a niche is important for capitalizing on your competitors’ oversight and identifying opportunities for growth within your own business.

Counseling and training
Many new business owners choose to hit the ground running, but without the proper training, your business may fail. Take the time to learn more about what comprises a thriving business and you’ll be more apt to succeed. Having trouble crafting a business plan? Help is available.

In fact, there are countless business resources available for budding entrepreneurs. A good place to start is at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website. The SBA’s site provides excellent resources at no cost.

Take a few moments and look through these tools. Everything you’ve wanted to know about owning a business is likely available within a few clicks. When you’re ready, it’s time to take a look at part 2!

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