Business is the activity of creating and capturing value in a market. This is achieved through a process of making prudent business decisions that will allow your company to develop, deliver and market products and services in a manner that maximizes profit in a competitive environment. Business growth is the result of several factors including an increase in demand for your product or service, diversification into new markets or even expansion into a new facility. However, a major contributor to business growth is the ability of your company to increase productivity, which is accomplished through a variety of methods.
The first step in starting a business is solidifying your idea and doing your research. This will help you determine whether or not there is a market for your product or service, and give you the confidence to proceed with launching your business. You may also want to consult with an accountant or lawyer in the early stages of forming your business, as they will be able to provide you with valuable information that will save you time and money down the road.
Once you have a clear picture of what your business is, you will need to decide what kind of business structure you will form. Options include a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or C corporation. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate from its owners and offers stronger protections against liability. However, it requires more paperwork and operational responsibilities than other business structures.
Finally, you will need to register your business with your local and state authorities. This will involve obtaining a tax ID number, which is also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number will allow your business to open bank accounts and receive credit cards in its name. Additionally, you will need a variety of licenses and permits depending on the industry in which you are working. The Small Business Administration website has links to helpful resources for determining what your specific state and city requirements are.
In the beginning, you will likely need to reinvest most of your business revenue back into its operations and growth. This will require a significant amount of time and energy, but is essential if you want your business to succeed. However, if your business is not yet profitable, it is a good idea to have personal savings in reserve to fall back on, and to keep this money completely separate from your business accounts.
Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when running a business is that it must bring you satisfaction above and beyond any monetary success. If you love what you do and believe that it will benefit both your customers and the community, then you will have everything you need to fight through the tough times. After all, all businesses struggle at some point, and those that survive are the ones that remain passionate about their work, even during difficult times.