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4 Key Lessons For Starting a Small Business Step-by-Step

The pull to become an entrepreneur and take your future into your own hands is strong for a large percentage of the population currently struggling to find fulfillment in a 9-to-5 job. Many want to learn how to start a small business and succeed with it so they can do what they really want with their life. It is important to know the steps to take to make sure the business is a profitable and manageable one once you decide what business to start. The first step is, however, deciding what type of work best suits you.

Start a small business by choosing one that suits your personality, capabilities and also offers the potential for real earnings and growth. The general rule of thumb, whether you want a brick and mortar establishment or an online company, is to find some products or services to sell that are in demand and do not have tons of competition already. If there is a lot of competition, you must be able to offer something truly unique, such as extra options, cheaper price or the best customer service anywhere. Popular options include retail or e-commerce of everything from clothing to craft supplies, service industries from auto detailing to freelance web design and businesses that provide help to people who need it.

Once you figure out what type of company to start, you need to know how to start a small business step by step.

One: Set Up Your Business Entity

Start a small business by registering for a fictitious name at your local government offices if you are doing business under another name. Get any applicable licenses and resellers permits that coincide with your state's sales tax laws if you are selling tangible goods or services. Decide on an accounting method and get business bank accounts.

Two: Get a Location: Real or Virtual

Whether it's office space, a retail shop or only internet space, every company needs a location. In fact, even real world locations should have a website as well, since most people shop and search online these days. Pick a location with good traffic and without too many competing businesses nearby. Have a website professionally designed.

Three: Acquire Products or Determine Services That Will Sell

You should already have some idea of the products or services you will offer before you get to this point. Make relationships with wholesalers or distributors of the product lines you wish to use, or get involved with affiliate programs for existing shops online. Affiliate marketing remains one of the most lucrative online businesses around.

Four: Marketing & Advertising

Up to this point, you've learned how to start a small business, but this is the main step in building a business that is profitable long term. Marketing, both online and offline, is the long term practice that will determine if you will still be around years from now or if your company will fail. 

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