You’ve got this incredible idea of starting a new business that you’re itching to make a reality. You’re ready to take the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship, but you might be wondering, “Where do I even begin?” It’s true that launching a startup can be overwhelming at times. But here’s the good news: with a solid plan and mentorship, you can navigate the challenges and create a thriving company from the ground up.

Ready to turn your new business idea into a thriving reality? We’ve broken down the process into 9 key steps that’ll guide you from starting a new business concept to its launch. From testing your idea’s potential to finding the right funding, we’ll support you at every milestone. Let’s embark on this exciting entrepreneurial adventure together!

Table of Contents:

Starting a New Business: Choose a Business Idea

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and for aspiring entrepreneurs, that first step is choosing the right business idea. But with endless possibilities, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin building a successful business.

To stay motivated, starting a new business should revolve around what you’re good at and what you love doing. Take stock of your abilities and interests; they’ll serve as the guiding light for your entrepreneurial journey.

Starting a New Business: Identify your skills and passions

Take a moment to think about what you love doing and what comes naturally to you. Are you a math whiz who can balance budgets in your sleep? A creative problem-solver who thinks outside the box? Or maybe you’re a social butterfly who builds relationships like a pro. These talents can be the foundation of a thriving business.

Starting a New Business: Research Market Demand

Now that you’ve got some percolating ideas, it’s time to put on your detective hat and do some market sleuthing. Are people actually looking for what you’ve got to offer? Who are these potential customers, anyway? Dig deep into their wants, needs, and frustrations. Trust us, the better you understand your target market, the more likely you are to create a business idea that hits the bullseye.

Starting a New Business: Evaluate Competition

Don’t launch without scoping out the competition first. Who else is playing in your space? Figure out what makes your offerings unique. Dive deep into competitor analysis to spot market gaps you can capitalize on and make your mark.

Starting a New Business: Consider Startup Costs

Before diving headfirst into your new venture, take a moment to consider the startup costs. Will you need to purchase equipment or inventory? How about marketing expenses? It’s okay to begin with a modest budget and expand as your business gains traction. Just be sure to have a realistic understanding of the financial obligations and a strategy to meet them.

Here’s the thing about startup ideas: they don’t need to be revolutionary to work. The most successful businesses often start with a simple concept that solves a common problem. The key ingredients? Passion, demand, and profitability. Mix those together, and you’ve got a recipe for a thriving business that stands the test of time.

Starting a New Business: Develop a Business Plan

You’ve got a killer business idea; congrats! Now it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and create a roadmap for your new venture. That’s right, I’m talking about a business plan.

Before you start writing, take a deep breath. Creating a business plan can be overwhelming, but trust me, it’s worth it. A well-crafted business plan will help you clarify your goals, identify potential challenges, and attract investors or lenders.

Starting a New Business: Executive Summary

Start with an executive summary that provides a high-level overview of your business. This should include your mission statement, target market, competitive advantage, and financial projections. Keep it concise and compelling; you want to immediately grab the reader’s attention.

Starting a New Business: Market Analysis

Next, dive into your market analysis. Who are your potential customers? What are their needs and preferences? How big is the market opportunity? Use data and research to support your claims and show that you deeply understand your target audience.

Starting a New Business: Financial Projections

Now, let’s talk numbers. Your financial projections should include a detailed business budget, income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Be realistic and conservative in your estimates; it’s better to underpromise and overdeliver than vice versa.

Starting a New Business: Marketing and Sales Strategy

You’ve got a product ready for prime time; now it’s time to let the world know. Build a marketing and sales strategy that targets your ideal customers through the channels they use most. What sets you apart from the rest? Highlight those differences and create a detailed and doable plan.

Remember, your business plan is a living document. As your business grows and evolves, so should your plan. Don’t be afraid to revisit and revise it regularly.

Creating a business plan may seem daunting, but it’s an essential step in starting a successful business. So grab a coffee, put on your thinking cap, and get to work.

Starting a New Business: Choose a Business Structure

Now that you have a solid business plan, it’s time to choose a business structure. The legal structure may not be the sexiest part of starting a business, but trust me, it’s important.

Your business structure will determine how you operate, how you’re taxed, and your level of personal liability. So, let’s break down the options.

Starting a New Business: Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship might be the way to go if you’re flying solo. It’s the simplest and most common business structure and easy to set up. You’ll have complete control over your business but also be personally responsible for any debts or liabilities.

Starting a New Business: Partnership

Got a business buddy? Consider forming a partnership. You’ll share ownership, profits, and losses with your partner(s). Just ensure you have a clear partnership agreement to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.

Starting a New Business: Corporation

A corporation might be the right choice if you’re looking for more protection and credibility. Corporations are separate legal entities from their owners, which means your personal assets are protected. But they also come with more paperwork and regulations.

Starting a New Business: Limited liability company (LLC)

An LLC combines a sole proprietorship/partnership with a corporation. You’ll have limited liability for business debts and obligations but also the flexibility to choose how you’re taxed. Plus, LLCs are relatively easy to set up and maintain.

Ultimately, the right business structure for you will depend on your specific circumstances and goals. It’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer or accountant to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

I know, I know, legal mumbo-jumbo can be a total buzzkill. But picking the right business structure is like laying the foundation for a skyscraper—you want it to be rock-solid. So, do your homework, chat with some experts, and make a choice that’ll have you sitting pretty down the road. Your future self will be sending you a thank-you note.

Starting a New Business: Register Your Business

You picked your business structure—way to go. The next step is making it legit by getting registered.

I know paperwork isn’t exactly thrilling. But trust me, getting your business registered is a crucial step in protecting your brand and staying compliant with the law. So, let’s dive in.

Starting a New Business: Choose a Business Name

First things first, you need a business name. This is your chance to get creative and develop a name that reflects your brand and mission. Just ensure it’s not already taken and complies with any state or local naming rules.

Starting a New Business: Register with state and local governments

Once your name is locked down, it’s time to register with your state and local governments. This typically involves filing articles of incorporation or organization, obtaining any necessary business licenses or permits, and registering for state and local taxes.

Starting a New Business: Obtaining necessary licenses and permits

Depending on your industry and location, you may need to obtain additional licenses or permits to operate legally. This could include things like a health permit for a restaurant or a professional license for a service-based business. Do your research and make sure you have all your bases covered.

Starting a New Business: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If you plan on hiring employees or opening a business bank account, you’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is essentially a Social Security number for your business, and it’s used for tax purposes. You can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website.

I get it; registering your business can feel like jumping through hoops. But here’s the thing: it’s absolutely essential for managing federal taxes. It will keep you on the right side of the law and show the world that you mean business (pun intended). Your customers will see you as a legitimate, professional operation, and that’s worth its weight in gold.

So take a deep breath, gather your documents, and tackle the registration process one step at a time. And if you get stuck, don’t be afraid to seek out the help of a lawyer or business advisor. They can guide you through the process and ensure you’re dotting all your i’s and crossing all your t’s when you pay taxes.

Starting a New Business: Secure Startup Financing

You’ve got your business plan, chosen your structure, and registered your business. Now it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room: money.

Starting a business isn’t cheap, and unless you’re independently wealthy, you’ll likely need some startup financing to get your venture off the ground. But don’t panic; there are plenty of options beyond startup business loans.

Starting a New Business: Personal Savings

If you’ve been saving up for a rainy day (or an entrepreneurial day), tapping into your personal savings can be a great way to finance your startup. It’s low-risk, and you won’t have to worry about paying back loans or giving up equity. Just ensure you have a solid budget and that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Starting a New Business: Friends and Family

Asking friends and family for financial support can be awkward, but it’s a common way to secure startup financing. Just ensure you approach it professionally and have a clear agreement. You don’t want to strain any relationships over money.

Starting a New Business: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become increasingly popular for startups looking to raise money. You can create a campaign, set a funding goal, and reward backers. It’s a great way to test the market and build buzz around your product or service.

Starting a New Business: Small Business Grants

Attention small business owners: grants are a fantastic way to secure funding without the burden of repayment. Government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations are all potential sources of these coveted funds. But here’s the thing: you must be prepared to put in the work. Researching the right opportunities and crafting a winning application takes time and effort, but the payoff could be well worth it.

Starting a New Business: Angel Investors

Wealthy individuals known as angel investors often invest in startups, providing the capital needed to get off the ground. But their support goes beyond just money; many angels also offer mentorship and access to their network of contacts. The trade-off? You’ll probably have to give them a piece of your company in return.

Starting a New Business: Venture capital

Want to take your startup to the next level? Venture capital firms are always on the lookout for high-growth companies with serious potential. They’re ready to invest big bucks, but be prepared to give up a chunk of equity in return. If you think you’ve got what it takes, make sure your pitch is on point, and your business plan is rock solid. It’s a competitive world out there, but you could be the next big thing with the right strategy.

No matter which financing option you choose, make sure you have a clear plan for using the funds and paying them back (if necessary). And don’t be afraid to get creative – sometimes, the best startup financing options are the ones you least expect.

Getting financing is only the first step on your journey. What matters most is how you use that money. Aim high, put in the effort, and turn your vision into reality.

Key Takeaway: Start by matching your skills and passions with a market need, then craft a solid business plan. Don’t forget to choose the right structure for legal protection and tax benefits. Finally, get creative with financing options to turn your dream into reality.

Starting a New Business: Setting Up Business Banking and Accounting

You’ve crafted a killer business plan and are itching to turn your entrepreneurial vision into a reality. But hold up. Before you start counting your profits, there’s one essential step you can’t skip: getting your business banking and accounting ducks in a row.

I know—it sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry. But trust me, getting your financial ducks in a row from the get-go will save you a world of headaches.

Starting a New Business: Open a business bank account

Listen up: if you’re starting a business, you need a dedicated business bank account. Trying to juggle your personal and professional finances in the same business bank account is a surefire way to make tax season a nightmare. Not to mention, having a separate business account makes you look like the real deal to customers and vendors alike.

When choosing a business bank account, don’t just go with the one closest to your house. Shop around for bank accounts with the best perks, like low fees, online banking, and maybe even a free toaster (hey, a girl can dream). And make sure they have experience working with small businesses like yours.

Starting a New Business: Choose an accounting system

Next up: choosing an accounting system. This is where you’ll track all your income and expenses, generate invoices, and keep tabs on your company’s financial health. You’ve got a few options here, from basic spreadsheets to fancy cloud-based accounting software.

You might geek out over the latest and greatest accounting technology if you’re a numbers nerd like me. But if the mere thought of bookkeeping makes you break out in hives, there’s no shame in outsourcing to a pro. Ensure you still have a basic understanding of your finances; after all, it’s your business on the line.

Starting a New Business: Obtain a business credit card

Now, let’s talk plastic. Getting a small business credit card can be smart for a few reasons. For one, it helps you keep your small business expenses separate from your personal ones (sensing a theme here?). It also lets you rack up rewards points or cash back on all those office supply runs and client lunches.

Just be sure to use your card responsibly; paying off your small business credit card balance in full each month and not treating it like free money. Trust me, those interest charges add up fast.

Starting a New Business: Set up a payment processing system

Finally, you’ll need a way to actually get paid. That’s where payment processing comes in. Whether selling products online, invoicing clients for services, or accepting good old-fashioned cash, you need a reliable payment system to handle transactions.

Credit card processing companies and mobile payment apps—the choices are vast. Research thoroughly to discover the perfect match for your business structure and financial capacity. Ensure seamless integration with your accounting software, too—manually recording every transaction? No thanks.

So there you have it—the thrilling world of small business banking and accounting. It may not be the sexiest part of entrepreneurship, but getting these systems in place early on will set you up for financial success in the long run. And that, my friend, is worth its weight in gold.

Starting a New Business: Obtaining Business Insurance

Picture this: you’re chugging along, building your business empire, when suddenly, BAM., disaster strikes. Maybe it’s a freak accident, a lawsuit, or a natural disaster. Whatever the case, you’re left picking up the pieces and wondering how you’ll recover.

Think of business insurance as your company’s secret weapon. It’s the shield that protects you from the unexpected, the safety net that catches you when things go wrong. Don’t take the chance of operating without it; the consequences could be devastating.

Starting a New Business: General liability insurance

As a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. The last thing you need is to worry about a lawsuit because of an accident or oversight. Enter general liability insurance—your knight in shining armor. This coverage protects you from bodily injury claims, like if a customer slips and falls in your store. It also covers property damage, so if you accidentally break something while on a job site, you’re covered. And if you make a mistake in your advertising, like using a copyrighted image without permission? Yep, general liability insurance handles that too.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I first started out. I thought I could skimp on insurance to save a few bucks. Big mistake. One customer accident later, I was drowning in legal fees and wishing I had that safety net.

Starting a New Business: Professional liability insurance

Next, let’s talk about professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) coverage. If you provide any kind of professional service—think consulting, design, or even dog-walking—this one’s for you. It protects you if a client claims you made a mistake or didn’t deliver what you promised.

Trust me, even the most meticulous professionals can slip up sometimes. And in today’s lawsuit-happy world, it only takes one disgruntled client to land you in hot water. Don’t take the risk; get covered.

Starting a New Business: Property insurance

Now, what about all that fancy equipment and inventory you’ve invested in? That’s where property insurance comes in. Whether renting an office space or working from home, this type of coverage protects your physical assets from things like fire, theft, or natural disasters.

I once had a colleague who lost everything in a freak flood. She hadn’t bothered with property insurance, thinking her landlord’s policy would cover her. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. Don’t make the same mistake – insure your stuff.

Starting a New Business: Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Finally, if you have employees, you absolutely need workers’ compensation insurance. This covers medical expenses and lost wages if an employee gets injured on the job. In most states, it’s not just a good idea—it’s the law.

I know—no one likes to think about workplace accidents. But they happen, even in the most safety-conscious businesses. And without workers’ comp, you could be on the hook for a whole lot of money and legal trouble.

So there you have it – the wild and wacky world of business insurance. It may seem like just another expense, but trust me – it’s an investment in your company’s future. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get covered. Your business (and your peace of mind) will thank you.

Starting a New Business: Hire Employees and Set Up Payroll

Ah, the joys of hiring your first employees. It’s like adding a new member to your dysfunctional little work family. But before you start planning the welcome party, you need to take a few important steps to ensure everything is on board.

Starting a New Business: Write job descriptions

First things first: you need to know what the heck you’re hiring for. That’s where job descriptions come in. And no, “person who will do all the things I don’t want to do” is not a valid job title.

Take some time to really think about the roles you need to fill and what skills and experience your ideal candidates should have. Be specific, but don’t go overboard – you don’t want to scare off potential applicants with a novel-length list of requirements.

Starting a New Business: Recruit and interview candidates

With your job descriptions polished and ready, it’s time to cast a wide net. Utilize job boards, leverage social media, and target industry-specific platforms to reach potential candidates. Remember, networking is still a powerful tool; the ideal fit for your team might come from a colleague’s referral.

When it comes time to interview, don’t just wing it. Prepare a list of questions, and take notes on each candidate’s responses. And please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t ask for anything illegal or inappropriate. No one wants to end up on the wrong side of a discrimination lawsuit.

Starting a New Business: Comply with employment laws

Alright, business owners, listen up. Employment laws aren’t just suggestions; they’re the real deal. You must pay your employees fairly, at least the minimum wage. Working extra hours? That’s where overtime pay comes in. And don’t even think about discriminating against anyone. These policies are in place for a reason, and following them to the letter is your job.

I know, it’s not exactly thrilling stuff. But trust me, you don’t want to mess around with this. Violating employment laws can lead to hefty fines, legal battles, and a whole lot of headaches. If you’re unsure where to start, consider consulting with an employment law attorney or HR professional.

Starting a New Business: Set up payroll and benefits

Now for the fun part: paying your people. Just kidding, payroll is actually a giant pain in the you-know-what. But it’s also non-negotiable if you want to keep your employees happy and your business running smoothly.

First, you must decide how often you’ll pay your team (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) and whether you’ll do it yourself or outsource to a payroll service. You’ll also need to withhold taxes and other deductions from each paycheck and ensure you’re remitting them to the appropriate agencies on time.

And don’t forget about benefits. Offering health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off can help you attract and retain top talent. Just make sure you’re budgeting for these expenses and following all the relevant laws and regulations.

Phew, that was a lot. But don’t worry—managing your team will become second nature once you get these systems in place. And who knows, You might even start to enjoy those awkward office birthday parties and team-building exercises. Stranger things have happened.

Starting a New Business: Launch and Market Your Business

You’ve got your business plan, your finances in order, and your team in place. Now it’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for: the big launch. Cue the confetti cannons and champagne toasts.

But wait, before you get too carried away, there’s one more crucial step you can’t afford to skip: marketing. Because, let’s face it, even the most amazing product or service won’t sell itself. You need to get the word out there and convince people to give your business a shot.

Starting a New Business: Build a website

In this digital era, your website is your virtual storefront. It’s the first thing potential customers see when searching for your business online, so it must be impressive. You want to ensure it represents your brand in the best possible light.

Invest in a sleek, professional website design that embodies your brand and guides visitors effortlessly to their desired content. In this mobile-dominated era, prioritizing a responsive, mobile-friendly layout is non-negotiable to cater to the growing ranks of on-the-go users.

And don’t forget about the power of search engine optimization (SEO). By optimizing your site for relevant keywords, you can make it easier for potential customers to find you online. Trust me, it’s worth the effort.

Starting a New Business: Develop a marketing Plan

It’s time to craft a killer marketing plan to get your business noticed. Mix it up with some social media magic, email blasts that’ll have ’em hooked, blog posts that’ll knock their socks off, and maybe even throw in a print ad or two if it fits your vibe and budget.

Spend your advertising dollars where they count—if your target audience is a 70-year-old retiree, TikTok probably isn’t the best bet. Focus on the channels where your ideal customers will most likely engage with your brand.

And don’t be afraid to get creative. Some of the most successful marketing campaigns are those that think outside the box and do something unexpected. Just make sure it aligns with your brand and resonates with your audience.

Starting a New Business: Leverage Social Media

Here’s the deal: if you’re not using social media to connect with your customers, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity. People spend their time on these platforms, and if you want to build brand recognition and loyalty, you need to be there, too.

Choose the platforms that make the most sense for your business (hint: you don’t need to be on all of them) and start posting engaging relevant content. Respond to comments and messages promptly, and don’t be afraid to show a little personality.

And if you really want to kick things up a notch, consider running some targeted social media ads. Just be sure to track your results and adjust your strategy as needed.

Starting a New Business: Attend networking events

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of good, old-fashioned networking. Attending industry events, trade shows, and local business gatherings can be a great way to make connections, learn from others in your field, and maybe even score new customers or partners.

I know that the thought of schmoozing with strangers might make you want to hide under your desk. But trust me, it gets easier with practice. And you never know who you might meet or what opportunities might come your way.

Offer promotions and Discounts.

One last tip: don’t hesitate to sweeten the deal for your early adopters. Offering promotions, discounts, or even freebies can be a great way to get people in the door and generate some buzz around your launch.

Be sure to set clear terms and conditions (no one likes a bait-and-switch) and plan how to keep customers coming back even after the initial hype dies down.

And there you have it—your crash course in launching and marketing your business. It may seem overwhelming initially, but just take it one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be basking in the glow of entrepreneurial success—or at least enjoying a well-deserved nap after all that hard work.

Key Takeaway: Get your financial and legal ducks in a row before diving into the fun stuff. Open a business bank account, choose an accounting system, get insurance, and set up payroll to save headaches later. Launching requires more than just a good idea; it also demands smart planning and marketing.


Starting a new business is an exciting and challenging journey. By following these 9 essential steps, you’ll be well on turning your entrepreneurial dreams into a successful reality.

Remember, building a thriving business takes time, effort, and perseverance. Don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it, whether from mentors, advisors, or fellow entrepreneurs.

Stay focused on your goals, adapt to challenges, and never stop learning. With dedication and hard work, you can create a business that supports you financially and makes a positive impact on the world.

So, what are you waiting for? Take that first step today and start bringing your business idea to life. The world is waiting for what you have to offer!

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Lomit is a marketing and growth leader with experience scaling hyper-growth startups like Tynker, Roku, TrustedID, Texture, and IMVU. He is also a renowned public speaker, advisor, Forbes and HackerNoon contributor, and author of "Lean AI," part of the bestselling "The Lean Startup" series by Eric Ries.