Starting a New Business
There are two major areas that are critical to the success of a business. The first is planning. You need to carefully evaluate start-up costs, markets, distribution strategies, and financing options. The second area is knowing where to get help. You don’t need to be an expert on every aspect of business operation, but you do need to know how to find the answers. We hope this section will help you determine what help you need in what areas of your business. You can then go to the Local Business Resources section to find the help you need.
Some Basic Questions to Consider:
- Have you worked in a business similar to this one?
- Have you any special training in this field?
- Do you want to own your own business seriously enough to dedicate long hours without knowing how much money you will earn?
- Does your family go along with the idea?
- Have you found out whether your type of business is already in Ukiah and are they successful?
- Is it a competitive area or a unique niche?
- Is there a demand for this service or product?
- Is your business location sensitive?
- Have you found a good location for your business?
- Can you lease a space or do you have to build ?
- Do you know how much money you will need to start this business?
- How much of your own money can you put into the business?
- How long will that money carry the new business?
- What do you do for income while starting the new business?
- Will your suppliers allow you credit? Or even help finance the business?
- Have you estimated a net income you’ll expect per year? What gross revenues will that require?
- Can you live on less than your current salary so you can help your business grow?
- Have you discussed the idea with your banker, accountant, potential investors?
- Have you checked with the city or county planning & zoning?
- Do you know what licenses or permits you will need?
- What laws govern this type of business?
- Have you determined a record keeping system that will track your income & expenses?
- Have you figured out how to keep your payroll records and take care of tax reports and payments?
- Have you determined the appropriate legal structure for your business?
Tips for Small Business Success
- Make an accurate assessment of your professional and personal skills
- Consult professionals to fill in the gaps in your skills
- Get your business plan on paper
- Have adequate funding
- Develop an effective marketing strategy
- Select an appropriate location
- Practice good management practices
- Keep complete records
- Hire the right people
- Provide superior customer service
A Basic Checklist for Starting a New Business
- Develop a business plan on paper.
- Consult with appropriate professionals.
- Determine the best a legal structure for your business.
- Check the zoning and land use ordinances that may apply.
- File a Fictitious Business Name Statement and the affidavit of publication with the County Clerk.
- Obtain business license.
- Obtain other required permits or licenses from city, state and federal governments.
- Obtain necessary insurance coverage.
- Apply for a State Employer Tax I.D. Number.
- Apply for a Federal Identification Number if necessary.
Note: These may not be all the requirements necessary to start your business. For a more comprehensive checklist visit the “Starting a Business” Checklist on the Secretary of State’s website at: http://www.ss.ca.gov/business/resources.htm