While many might associate America with some of the more well-known companies such as Ford, General Motors, Microsoft and Apple, the truth is, small businesses are just as important to the country's economy.
In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are approximately 28 million smaller companies across the country. Combined, they make up 54 percent of sales in the U.S.
Additionally, small businesses are responsible for approximately 55 percent of jobs and, since the 1970s, over 60 percent of new job growth.
Needless to say, without small companies and independent shops, the U.S. business sector would look much different. Not only can local customers benefit from a nearby local business, but so too can the owners.
Starting your own business is easier than you might think, but you'll still need to follow some important steps to ensure you succeed in the short term and down the line.
What are your goals?
To kick things off, ask yourself what your business goals are. Specific questions you should ask yourself include:
- What products or services do you plan to sell?
- How will you secure financing?
All of this information, plus much more, will have to be thoroughly outlined in a business plan.
Experts are your friends
Discussing your business plans with experts will always help, whether this is your first business venture or your fifth.
By having detailed discussions with other small business owners, you'll understand the ins and outs of starting and running your own company, and what it takes to have long-term success.
Money is a major key
No small business can be successful without first having the funds necessary to get off the ground.
First, explore the option of obtaining a small business loan from the SBA. You can receive loans ranging from $5,000 to as much as $5 million.
If an SBA loan won't work, you can also secure financing from friends, family and investors. Additionally, you'll need to look into opening a business checking account.
The marketing strategy
Without a strong marketing strategy, your products and services will have a difficult time gaining traction. You'll want highlight how your business will attract new customers while also providing revenue forecasting.
Your attitude matters
Maintaining a positive mindset matters much more than you might realize. Set achievable goals and benchmarks that will help your small business maintain a path toward success.