Starting a business is a risky undertaking physically and mentally as well as financially. About half of new small business owners close up shop within the first five years. These odds can seem overwhelming, but it shouldn’t turn a determined entrepreneur off their path. Before planning the menu for a restaurant or scheduling gas station construction, several steps should be laid out first. The most effective way to ensure a business can have both launching and staying power is to have a solid, long-term business plan.
1. Relevant Research
A crucial first step to launching any business, research and the conclusions drawn from it can and should greatly affect how a business plan is drawn up. This is the time to review possible locations and its benefits or drawbacks, marketing strategies, financial obligations, insurance options, and anything else that will play a part in the business from the start, while also planning five to ten years down the line.
2. Legal Legwork
Once the research is concluded, a solid business plan in place, and financial needs secured, a business owner will need to carefully and thoroughly secure all necessary legal forms. Some businesses will need both state and local licenses for certain operations. If a company works across state lines, both state and federal regulations may come into play.
3. Orderly Operations
This is the time when managing the day-to-day work and organizing the employees into a functioning team becomes a priority. With all the groundwork in place, a new business will have a better chance at a smooth start and the daily operations can be more easily executed. There will always be challenges, but with a solid plan, a new business owner will know how to meet those challenges directly.
Following these steps, a business is more likely to thrive long term. Passion will get a business started, but a clearly researched strategy will keep things running into the future.