A lot of us dream of one day owning a successful business. Inspiration is simply what drives us to dream big. However only a few become motivated enough to actually take the first steps to start a business.
Even thinking about owning a business with massive loans can be nail-biting scary, especially after seeing media reports of countless failed startups and lost investments. But this is why it's important to do your research before starting any process.
For some business owners, a home or a van is where it all began.
For example, I remember my uncle -- owner of an art gallery -- started out selling frames out the back of his rusty white van. With patience, his clientele grew tremendously, which led him to open up his own store.
Just a few weeks ago, I decided to pay my uncle's art gallery a visit. Keep in mind, I hadn't seen him in over half a decade. Walking in there, it looked more like a Best Buy on Black Friday rather than an ordinary gallery. There were so many customers that people were literally getting pushed left and right.
I was stunned to see how much his business grew. At the moment, he makes a good amount of money. Good enough to buy a three story house and pay off several cars.
My uncle's gallery is just one example of many successful business stories. But of course, not all businesses can succeed by starting at home or in a van.
Reading Entrepreneur articles, forum posts, YouTube videos, media reports, anything that can further your knowledge of how businesses fail and succeed, can help you avoid dangerous obstacles.
First off, it would be beneficial to begin by creating a business plan. It also wouldn't hurt to seek advice from others or attend counseling services. Lucky for you, free counseling exists -- so take advantage of it while you still can.
If your business is online: Let me start off by saying: creating an online business is simple. I've personally launched several small businesses -- and most went great. However, the tricky part is buying the right domain name and performing the right Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
GoDaddy is perhaps the most popular hosting service available. Domain names can go for as low as $2.
When it's time to register a domain name, it's also time to get creative. Your domain name should be short, easy to remember and catchy. Long domain names -- as well as dashes -- should be avoided.
Once your domain name has been purchased, it's time to get a good hosting plan with privacy protection. It's important to keep your information private and away from snoopy people.
Your nice and clean website design should dazzle visitors upon first contact. Wordpress, a free Content Management System (CMS), is considered the best by many. Website designs for WordPress, also known as "themes", are free -- unless you want a very creative looking one.
With this in mind, your Wordpress website should have a catchy home page, along with the following pages.
After your website is fully functional, it's time for SEO, PR and marketing.
If you need to find a location for your business: Choosing the right location for your business can make a critical difference in terms of revenue. This requires lots of planning and researching on topics such as demographics and local competition.
Budgets, state laws and taxes, should also be taken into consideration during the planning stage. This might sound a bit obvious, but deciding on a location with the most exposure should be the most important part of your planning.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), you should be paying close attention to the following six factors.
Federal tax obligations should be your next target. There are several types of business tax forms.
All in all, starting a business is time consuming and takes a ton of dedication. You don't necessarily need to quit your day job to start one, as TIME points out. You just need a good plan, financial funding, staff group and a whole lot of determination.
If you have these four factors, then you might just pull it off.
(Photo via 1CRM)