Starting a large business may seem overwhelming, but a small-scale business can provide a suitable income and allow you to be your own boss. Small-scale businesses reinforce independence while eliminating much of the overhead expense and extensive planning required in larger business ventures. Choose a business that suits your needs and talents, and research the best ways to attract customers to make your small business a success. Meet with a tax advisor before choosing your business structure; a sole proprietorship, with you as the only employee, is the simplest type.
1. Write a business plan. Although your small-scale business may not require extensive planning, a written business plan creates a road map to follow. Include the items you will sell or service you will provide, as well as the type of customers your business will attract. Consider inexpensive ideas, such as operating a small kiosk in a mall, running an online retail business or consulting for in-home sales parties. Add a detailed financial plan that provides the resources for obtaining your inventory and any necessary materials, including advertising costs and operating expenses.
2. Contact your bank to apply for a loan to start your small-scale business. Provide the lender with a copy of your completed business plan. Be prepared to answer questions regarding market research and the profitability of your planned business. Discuss your ability to repay your loan, selecting a loan term and payment plan to meet anticipated needs. Depending on your credit history and credit scores, you may require a cosigner to obtain funding.
3. Purchase the inventory, tools and supplies your business requires. If needed, sign a rental agreement with a property owner to provide a location for your small business.
4. Talk to your local government to determine what type of license or certification you must obtain for your small business. Apply for your business’s tax identification number through the Internal Revenue Service.
5. Advertise your services or goods. Contact your local newspaper. Run small line ads in the classified advertising section or discuss the costs of display ads that catch the readers’ attention. Contact other media outlets, such as nearby radio and television stations. Let the listeners and viewers know what you sell, why they need it and how to find you. Don't neglect social media marketing within your niche; set up a web page promoting your goods or services.
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