Steps to Starting Your Own Business

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Thinking of starting a business? My hat is off to you, and I hope that this blog can
provide resources for you to get started. Since my retirement from industry six years
ago, I have been a SCORE volunteer (Service Corps of Retired Executives). Over
these years I have met many clients who dream of starting their own business. Their
motivation to start a usiness may vary, but their common goal is a desire to be
successful and to be their own boss. My experience has imparted to me a good sense
of those who will be successful and those who will not be successful. It is those
people who are prepared and have a strong urge that are successful. From my training
and experiences I have prepared a suggested road map to start your own business. Do
take advantage of your local SCORE volunteer while planning for your business. The
service is free and the volunteer can be found through your local Chamber of

The Business Idea

The idea to start your own business can come from many sources: your hobby, your
work experience, your desire or a situation you found where a service was not being
met. To confirm that you have a sound plan you have to: - Describe the business in a
paragraph or less. - Decide if the product or service is unique... cheaper or faster, etc.?
- Decide whether this business meets your personal goals? - Commit to investing
many hours to make your business successful? There are many other questions that
you will need to answer truthfully to yourself and then discuss them with your spouse
and close friends. Once you are comfortable with the answers then you are ready to
proceed to the next steps. The Small Business Administration has a full list of
questions to help fulfill this part of the journey.

Start Preparing for Your Business Plan:

You need to do some basic work before you prepare your business plan.

Finding a Business Name: You need to derive a business name that represents your
dream of a business yet does not infringe on another business. Your State's Secretary
of State can readily tell you if you have a unique name. You will find that this is
important as you get deeper into your business plan. Try to derive the most attractive
name you can identify.

Finding a Potential Location: Is your business going to be a storefront, web site, home
or perhaps out of a van business? Inputs to your business plan will require lease or
rental expenses, insurance and other facility expenses. Just as importantly, you will
have to determine the traffic past your selected location and how many potential
customers your business will attract. The more attractive locations will attract more
business but will be more expensive. A local commercial real estate agent is of great
value to help you with this decision.

You need a Logo: I believe that all businesses should have a logo. It will be added to
checks, business cards, literature and other materials. In my opinion, it brings the
business together. The logo will be used on business cards, letter heads, web sites and
all other forms of advertisement. Take a look at /index.html for a very reasonable logo

Business Structure: You need to decide on your legal business structure. The options
are: Sole Proprietorship C Corporation S Corporation Partnership Limited Liability
Corporation (LLC) For the majority of my clients, the Limited Liability Corporation
is the best fit. For a reasonable fee you can have a business entity that has limited
liability for business debts, which protects your personal properties. You can form the
LLC with your State's Secretary of State. A good Web Site to review the four business
structures is: /law/org/

Employer ID Numbers (EINs): You should get an Employer ID Number (EIN) from
the Federal Government. The number is issued by the IRS and it is free. /. This site
shows examples of successful business plans and also has good information for
starting a business. Again, I must emphasis that you need to keep the overall objective
of "What Problem am I solving for the Client" in front of you. If you fulfill this
objective the rest will fill in.

Financing: You have finished the business plan and now will decide if you need
financing to start your business. How much do you need? Most of the clients that I see
can actually finance their business with a credit card. They need a financial record of
650 or better to get a card and probably can use the card for up to $10, 000.00
financing. Perhaps you can provide money from your savings or take in a financial

If you require more money to finance your business, prepare for battle. The banks are
tough and you are competing for time with people who will be doing much larger
business with the bank. This is what you will need: A polished business plan A list of
start-up costs Past three year personal tax returns. A statement of personal histories
Credit reports from Equifax (1-800-658-1111), Experian (1-800-682-7654) and Tran

Be prepared to answer all questions on your finances and needs. Be prepared to show
that you are conservative in your plan. Seek out used or rental equipment or other
innovative techniques to save money. You should remember that the banker is usually
interested in helping start a small business if they have a stong plan and collateral.
You have to be prepared because his or her time is limited.

Further Steps for Success: Hopefully, you will make it through these hurdles and be
ready to open your business. You are to be congratulated because this is a great
accomplishment. You are your own boss and in charge of your future. Do not
celebrate too much for now, though, as you still have to hire employees, choose the
technology you require for running your business and wade through many other
details. May it be rewarding and profitable.


I have a BS and MS in Metallurgical Engineering. Thirty six years spent in the
development of semiconductors. Business experience in start up business plan.
Currently, an oyster farmer and interested in helping the environment by deploying
solar energy. Visit my Blog, for continued information on renewable
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