Tips for New Businesses 7

One of the most amazing things is that regardless of the economic climate someone is always starting a new business. The entrepreneurial spirit and drive is unquenchable. Still, even in the best of times it takes more than spirit and vision to get your new business started and keep it alive and thriving.

Sometimes the idea for a new business is like a bolt from the blue. The idea for the product or service is unique, innovative, and exciting, and may be the first of its kind to enter the market, such as self-braiding shower mats made from recycled plastic grocery bags. And then again, for many people, opening that new business is an iteration of an already existing product or service. Another coffee shop or another convenience store or party supply/equipment rental outlet. Either way, the best way to protect your ideas is to get started.

Regardless of the business idea, a whole lot of work will have to be done before you can hang out that new shingle or flashing-neon OPEN sign. Before anything else, you need to find out if there is anyone out there who will want to pay hard earned cash for your product or service.  You need to do market research to determine if there is a large enough pool of customers to open, build and sustain your business.

Every new business has to have a name, should determine its structure, and needs to be registered with a variety of governing agencies. Your business name could simply be your own name. Many businesses also describe the type of business they are in their name. Jack Smoothbore can name his business after himself, but if he names his business Jack Smoothbore’s Black Powder Emporium, all the historical re-enactors and antique firearms aficionados will visit the shop, making Jack more than a flash in the pan.

There are many types of business structures, from the sole proprietorship to publicly traded corporations. Getting some legal advice to help determine the best structure for your business’ needs is always a wise investment. Setting partnership details to paper can save time, money, friendships and possibly the business. If you will be seeking loans, investment or almost any type of financing you will need to have your business structure legally established.

Establishing your new business will entail registering within the local jurisdiction where you plan to do business. Probably the state as well. And of course, with the IRS.

And of course, there are the financials. At the bare minimum, you will need to determine your start-up costs, develop a sales forecast, make an estimate of your monthly expenses, and then look at your cash flow. Your start-up costs will show you how much money you need to put into your business to get up and running. Your expense estimate should include all those costs you will need to cover every month, whether you open your doors or not. The sales forecast needs to be realistic, show the affects of season, or calendar trends, or other fluctuations. If the sales aren’t covering your expenses, you need to know why and what you can do about it. And lastly, the cash flow shows you what your cash balance is every month. You could be profitable, and still be broke – especially if you’re selling to other businesses. Managing your cash is crucially important.

Write all of this down, everything you’ve done so far. Keep it in your computer files, both as written text and financial spreadsheets. You will use it to develop your business planning tool which you’ll use to manage your business all year long.

There are many resources here on Bplans to help you get your new business started and keep it healthy.

Get new business ideas and resources at our help section dedicated to new business development and planning.

We have a section on Starting a business including articles about new business basics, incorporating a business, market research, and much more.

There are over 500 FREE sample business plans available for you to read online.

To help with planning your new business financials, Bplans offers FREE online, real-time business calculators for Start-up Costs, Cash Flow, and Investment Offering among others.

We offer hundreds of FREE How-To Articles addressing the myriad facets of starting and running a business.

With LivePlan, the best-selling business-planning software, you can quickly and easily build a plan for your new business, and then follow up regularly on that planning with ongoing management and implementation.

About the Author Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry. Follow Tim on Google+ Read more »

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  • Pingback: Protect Your Ideas - Business Plan Help & Small Business Articles -

  • ben

    I really appreciated you articles about writing the business plans. I will often surf in your website and ask you questions.

  • Seh

    I think the economic climate is what motivates a lot of people to start a business, because they see they cant depend on anyone else for security. I started a business online and Im doing okay. I promote online using video and posting to multiple video uploading sites.

  • http://bplan Crissy

    I have an idea, however I don’t want to spend a lot of time micro-managing it, I would like to propose my idea to someone and let them do the graphics and selling the idea to investors. Can you help me?

  • Denise


    The “micro-managing” you’re referring to is called creating and running your business.

    An idea will 99% of the time never make you money. Someone will most likely have the same idea at some point. Completely without your input. Your idea is worth zero money.

    If you want to make money off your idea, create the business. Get involved and do the work.

  • Casey


    I you believe in your idea you should be incharge. I pattented an Idea and I spent close to $10k and I never did anything with it, now I saw the same idea in the sport stores.
    if you have any questions I will try to help. “Shere your idea only with the people you trust”

    Good luck

  • Amuthan

    Following the advice on starting a business above will make starting a business both a smoother, less stressful process and go a long way towards ensuring the busines you start lasts and thrives.

  • Tier 2 Visa

    If you wish for go out of business rapidly, then run out of cash. Make smart decision so that you aren’t left with no any cash. Again, no cash income no business.