What are some basic tips for starting a small business?


Quick Answer

Basic tips for starting a small business include creating a comprehensive business plan, defining the target customer in advance and testing the viability of the business idea before investing fully. Small business owners should also identify specific market segments, budget carefully and find investors who believe in the business.

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Full Answer

Many helpful tips for starting a small business pertain to the early stages. The U.S. Small Business Administration suggests that first-time entrepreneurs seek business training and assistance at the SBA website, sba.gov, or from local small business incubators. The SBA also advises owners to set up the right legal structure early in the startup process. Other early-stage tips include registering the business name, securing the necessary permits and buying insurance.

During the first few months of operation, "Entrepreneur" magazine advises small business owners not to worry about an office. The magazine also suggests putting off patents and getting feedback from family and friends.

Small business owners can establish a strong reputation by over-delivering for the first customers. The owner's focus should be on delivering excellent work before the deadline. Concurrently, they must dedicate time to finding new customers by building a social media presence, developing marketing materials and building a mailing list. Unless the owner is a marketing and writing specialist, it is often worth the expense to outsource both tasks.

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