Starting a small business can be intimidating, but with a clear vision and some discipline, you can make it happen.
First you need to outline your business vision, goals, and tactics in a document commonly referred to as a business plan. When I started an LLC with two other owners/members, we spent a lot of time on this document to make sure we were all on the same page and could understand our business objectives. Working through the writing of a business plan gets you thinking about nitty-gritty topics like choosing a business name, operations, budgets, financing, legal structures, and where your business will ultimately be located. The U.S. Small Business Administration has some helpful information about completing business plans.
If you are going into business with other people as an LLC, rather than being a sole proprietor on your own, I suggest you consider creating an LLC operating agreement. Once complete, an operating agreement can help guide you and others involved in your business through good times, and bad. In my case, it helped us as business owners and members know what to expect monetarily through distributions, and when we ultimately closed the business it guided us through that process, as well. Again, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers some help in this area.
Building A Team
One of the most important lessons I learned as a business owner was that it is impossible to run a business effectively all by yourself. I found it extremely helpful to have a good accountant to set up effective financial systems, a good lawyer to assist with business registrations and licensing, and access to other advisers for advice about hiring and general business operations. Some communities offer small business start-up classes, often through an Extension Service or economic development agency, often at no charge. Take advantage of these opportunities, as they can help you become better at what you do and lessen the risk involved in opening and running a small business.
As a small business owner it was tempting to allow the work to take over. Try to maintain perspective by making time for yourself and for your family and friends, as hard as it may seem. A little time away from the business on a weekend can mean the difference between early burn out and long-run success! Best of business luck to you!