The following tips are courtesy of lendingtree.com.
Write A Business Plan
A strong business plan is the first step in starting a business because it outlines the good or service you plan to sell and the customers you want to serve. A business plan also provides market analysis, financial projections and staffing needs.
Decide on A Business Entity
A business entity is your company’s legal structure. Depending on which form you select, the decision will affect how you file taxes, the degree to which you’re personally liable for your business debts and whether you can sell stock in the company.
Keep Clear Records
Once your business is in operation and legally incorporated, you’ll need to be diligent about keeping clear and consistent records. This will include a balance sheet tracking assets and liabilities, cash flow analysis and reports of accounts payable and accounts receivable. Not only will these reports help you monitor your business’s profitability, but they may also be requirements to apply for a small business loan.
Build Strong Business Credit
When you start a business, lenders will pay more attention to your personal credit score, but you’ll also want to build a strong business credit score over time. Similar to a personal credit score, a business credit score is a number that represents a business’s creditworthiness. To build yours, use your business’ employer identification number (EIN) or Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to open a credit account with a vendor and pay your invoices in full when due.
Qualify as a minority-owned business with the Small Business Administration (SBA)
Qualifying or certification as a minority-owned business opens opportunities to participate in the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, which offers training, mentorship and the ability to compete for federal contracts. To qualify, you’ll need to be a for-profit business, meet the SBA’s size standards and income standards and be at least 51% owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged U.S. citizens. You’ll apply at certify.sba.gov.