Starting a Business

Starting a business is one of the most important decisions a person will ever make. Because of the many benefits of starting a business — flexible schedules, being your own boss, and financial independence, to name a few — entrepreneurship growth continues to rise throughout the country. It’s estimated that 540,000 entrepreneurs start a business every month in the United States — that’s roughly 310 out of every 100,000 adults.

Launching a company can be a rewarding and fruitful experience, but it also takes commitment, grit and sacrifice.

To increase the chances of starting a successful business, entrepreneurs must practice due diligence in a number key of areas. The resources on this page are aimed at inspiring your startup journey and helping you nail the basics of starting a business:

  1. Becoming an entrepreneur.

  2. Entrepreneur stories.

  3. Exploring unique business opportunities.

  4. Startup planning.

  5. Legal and tax stuff.

  6. Startup costs and funding.

  7. Naming a business.

  8. Branding basics.

  9. Building a website.

  10. Starting a blog.

  11. Online tools.

The first consideration you should make before starting a business is whether you have a viable market within which to succeed. One study found that 42 percent of failed businesses said their failure was caused by a lack of focus on serving the need of the market — they focused on their business idea and product instead of their customer.

Assessing unique business opportunities requires an inordinate amount of market research. By investing time to research target customers, entrepreneurs can determine if demand for their business offering exists.

Before starting a business, you will also need to invest resources creating a business plan. Startup planning requires entrepreneurs to make important strategic decisions that affect a business’s short- and long-term trajectory.

Some key considerations within the business planning stage include choosing a business model, creating a sales plan, writing a mission statement, defining a target audience, and projecting sales forecasts. Most importantly, a business plan is not static — it’s a living document that should continue to guide your business beyond the initial launch.

Startup expenses and funding options are two other important areas to think about before starting a business. The costs for launching a startup can be overwhelming for one person, so it’s usually wise to consider funding options such as small business grants and loans.

Fortunately, there are several ways for entrepreneurs to fund their business idea — including less traditional methods like crowdfunding, trade equity, and incubators or accelerators. Raising capital to start a business is just one of the financial hurdles. Entrepreneurs also need to prioritize budgeting, bookkeeping and taxes.

Starting a business with a fiscally-responsible mindset can provide the foundation needed to grow.

Finances, market research, and creating a business plan are three important areas to consider before starting a business — but, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Other critical business decisions include deciding on a business name, setting up a legal business entity, establishing a cohesive brand, creating a website, and developing an online presence through digital marketing.

While there will always be risks associated with starting a business, you can mitigate some of those concerns and gain more confidence by conducting thorough research before moving forward. The resources below provide additional knowledge and information for go-getters interested in starting a business.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Stories

Exploring Unique Business Opportunities

Startup Planning

Legal & Tax Stuff

Startup Costs & Funding

Naming a Business

Branding Basics

Building a Website

Starting a Blog

Online Tools