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  • Entrepreneur outlines: what every new business owner should know

    As the modern economic landscape becomes more interconnected and telecommuting shifts from the exception toward the norm, the realization of starting one's own business from scratch is more attainable than ever.

    For entrepreneurs and new business owners there remains an element of reliance on financial institutions, but with the proper outline, more can be done with less.Connections, favors and tangible resources are no longer as essential as having considerable gumption and a well-conceived plan.

    For entrepreneurs and new business owners, there remains an element of reliance on financial institutions, but with the proper outline, more can be done with less. Some of the primary guidelines worth adhering to include the following.

    • Write a detailed yet concise business plan.
      A viable business plan includes not only goals during a company's infancy, but foresight and preparedness for growth. It should outline projections for the first five years and include a company profile, description and elements of a marketing strategy, in addition to displaying an understanding or analysis of the current market state. It should also include, but not be limited to, initial products or services, information regarding how the new company will seek and acquire funding and, perhaps most importantly, projections to back up funding requests.
    • Have a plan within that plan for growth.
      No matter how small it starts, any new business should at least account, if not plan, for expansion. A system for hiring and training future employees should be in place, even if it's unlikely to be utilized within the first couple months. Training and counseling services, many of which are free, can be integral to a new company's ability to secure financing and ultimately expand its influence. In addition to more traditional business loans and investments, government loans, venture capital and research grants are all available for application, but winning their approval often relies on demonstrated designs for the future.
    • Make legal determinations.
      These typically come down to ownership preference, but deciding what type of business entity best suits a new venture is a key step. Different tax laws apply to limited liability corporations (LLCs) than to sole proprietorships, and understanding which form makes most sense comes down to research.
    • Leave no paperwork unturned.
      Once the legal structure of a business has been determined, a litany of bureaucratic to-dos follow. New companies must register a business name with their state government, obtain a tax identification number and register for state and local taxes. Depending on the manner of business, and to some extent, its location, certain licenses and permits will need to be applied for and acquired, as well. It amounts to a lot of clerical work, but it's a necessary investment for any venture that strives for credibility.
    • Get things rolling.
      There will be more paperwork once the first employee is hired and the books open on a new business (i.e. obtaining workers' compensation insurance, setting up tax withholdings), but the grind is mostly over. At this stage, the focus is on the day-to-day operations and working out the kinks in a new business's machinations. Once they've made it this far, new businesses should be focused solely on their growth and progress.