By Allen Gutierrez,
Is 2020 the year to make your dream of owning a small business a reality?
With the start of a new year and a new decade, there’s optimism in the air – and you may be thinking it’s the year you’ll get your small business off the ground. Perhaps you’re considering turning your hobby or side hustle into a full-time job, or maybe you’ve simply always aspired to be an entrepreneur.
Whatever your inspiration, with small business optimism on the rise, this year may be the time to act and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) stands ready to help you get started.
As you’re starting up your small business, consider these key initial steps:
Conduct market research. Do your due diligence to make sure that your business idea is viable in the market you’re planning to target. Some considerations include whether similar businesses are already rooted in the community where you’ll be based and whether enough demand exists. Conducting a competitive analysis will help you get a better sense of whether your business idea is likely to take off in a given market.
Write your business plan. A well-executed business plan will help you set and track goals while convincing investors and lenders that your business is destined for success. Whether you thrive on detail or just want to get the basics down on paper, multiple business planning formats and templates exist. Learn more in the SBA’s online, self-paced How to Write a Business Plan course.
Find funding. Once you know how much funding you’ll need to get your business off the ground, consider what funding type makes most sense for your business based on terms, rates and risks. There are a wide range of options including self-funding, venture capital, crowdfunding, small business loans and more. Do you need an SBA-backed loan? Use the SBA’s Lender Match tool to connect with approved lenders.
Pick your business location. When contemplating a location for your business, take into account the costs, benefits and restrictions associated with different states, counties and jurisdictions. Standard salaries, minimum wage laws, property values, rental rates, business insurance rates, utilities, and government licenses and fees are just a few costs that vary by location.
Choose a business structure. Your business’s legal structure will impact your business registration requirements, tax rates and personal liability. Read up on common business structures, from sole proprietorships to LLCs and more.
Now that you’ve reviewed these initial steps, check out our comprehensive 10-step guide to starting your own business. For help implementing these steps, and for expert guidance throughout your journey, turn to local SBA Resource Partners, including SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers.
If you’ve been dreaming of becoming your own boss, 2020 is a good year to start. Let the SBA help guide you on your path to entrepreneurship. Learn more about how we can help at every business stage at sba.gov.