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HOW TO START A SMALL BUSINESS
Going into business especially for first-timers can be overwhelming. I have listed below some of the things which must be considered when starting a small business.
Business Name Registration
I think the very first step in doing business is to have a business name. To do this, visit the Department of Trade and Industry (Philippines). You can also inquire online whether your Business Name is available.
A business plan is a detailed blue print of your business. Three important elements that must be present in your business plan. These include your business concept, market, and financial details. Detailed business plans will further discuss these elements as follows: description of the business, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, operations management and general management and financial information.
Let’s face it, many don’t like to go into the process of writing a business pla. However, you must understand that it is not easy to run a business freestyle all the time. You should know what you are doing and know where you are heading. I suggest availing some help from professionals or friends. A written business plan is often required especially if you want to go to the bank or any other financial or government institutions for loans or help.
Business Assistance and Training
Of course, you will not engage in something which you don’t know. While I’m sure you already have in mind on what to do in your business, it would still be wise to get as many help as you can.
You can avail of the free services offered by Government Organizations. In the Philippines, we have the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). They offer free training and seminar for new and start-ups entrepreneurs. From time to time DTI offers training on the preparation of business plans, they also offer some loans to Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs). Another government agency which offers technical and financial assistance is the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Visit the nearest DTI and DOST offices in your locality.
Another government agency which offers technical and financial assistance is the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Visit the nearest DTI and DOST offices in your locality for more.
Selecting a location for your enterprise would depend on the nature of your business.If your business is online, then it doesn’t really matter where you are located. Of course, getting an office or shop in prominent places requires a huge investment and will surely impact on your cost. This is very important to consider especially if the your’s is a small business.
If your business includes retail or anything which requires a good traffic for some daily sales, then getting the best location is a must. When choosing a business location you should always consider putting yourself in the shoe of your customer. It must be a place convenient for them.
Since prime locations are really expensive, a thorough planning is really required. If you are not good with numbers, I suggest hiring a financial expert to help you analyze of the financial feasibility of your business.
Another thing, be mindful of the zoning laws. Is your business allowed in the place? Of course, you don’t want to invest on your building and later on get to stop operating because you are not allowed to operate in certain areas.
Finance Your Business
For startups, I suggest starting small. Unless you have more money to gamble then you can start big right away. This is again another purpose of having a good business plan. Let’s face it, even with the presence of a good business plan, there are still chances of failing.
If you see your business and ideas are working, then you can avail of any financial loans from some entities like banks. Government agencies like DTI and DOST offer loans at a low interest and sometimes no interest at all.
Legal Structure of Your Business
Decide what kind of ownership best fit you. One can choose between being: single proprietorship, partnership, corporation, cooperative. We will be posting the details of these soon.
Register with your city or municipality for your business permit; Bureau of Internal revenue (BIR) to get a tax identification number and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the workers’ compensation. Other permits needed will be given to you the moment you inquire for a business permit in your locality.
Know Your Responsibilities As Employer
If you are a small business or just starting small and doesn’t have the budget to hire a Human Resources Specialist, then you should start learning the legalities of managing people. Common things you should learn in advance include The minimum wage, overtime pay, premium pay, holiday, etc.