Starting a Business
Thinking about starting your own business? Being your own boss is an exciting challenge to undertake. To make it a little easier, here are a few ideas to help you get up and running.
Are You a New Business Owner Looking for Financial Advice?
Taking your first steps toward opening your own business can be an exciting — and sometimes stressful. Here are a few ways you can work toward your business goals — and make it on your own.
Take advantage of business courses and training offered at nearby schools and professional associations. Learn as much as you can about opening a business. Better yet, try and build your network to find a mentor who can offer advice and lend support as you begin your journey to business ownership.
Create a Business Plan
Planning is the key to opening a successful business. Your business plan should project about five years ahead, and outline how you intend to grow into a solvent company. You'll want to include market analysis of your industry, a note about your business's organization and structure, information about your products and services, ideas for marketing and sales, and financial projections for the future.
Finance Your Business
Find the right loan or grant to get your business off the ground. Bank of Arkansas offers different types of business loans and credit to help get you started. And, don't be afraid to look at alternate sources, like venture capital or business grants, if they're right for your business.
Take Care of Your Paperwork
Before you make your first sale, you'll want to be sure you're secure and legal. Determine which structure works best for your business, whether that's a sole proprietorship, a Limited Liability Company, a corporation, or something else. Then, go ahead and register your business name with your state and apply for a tax identification number from the IRS.
With all those steps in place, you're almost ready to open your doors and get started. From here, follow your business plan to find a location for your business, hire employees, and start making sales. You can be sure you'll face challenges, but running a successful business can a source of remarkable pride and well worth the time you'll need to invest up front.
Top 5 Things You Should Know About Starting a Business
Creating a Business Plan?
A business plan is a written summary and a guide to starting and running a business. The following are some of the key sections of a well-crafted business plan:
- Executive Summary
- Products and/or Services
- Market Opportunities
- Sales and Marketing
What are my new business startup costs?Before you launch a new venture, you should take the time to estimate the total capital that will be needed. Startup costs are divided into two main categories: one-time startup costs and recurring monthly expenses. Depending on when you expect to receive payments for your goods and services, it may be wise to begin with several months of working capital. Use this calculator to help discover and estimate your total business startup costs. Be sure to only include those items that are essential to start the business.
What is the Small Business Administration?
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides capital, contracts, and counseling to small business owners. The agency offers in-depth guidance on business planning and management. It is also a source of financing and counseling for new businesses.
Online Banking for Businesses
Are you ready to take the next step in online banking for your business? While online banking may offer most everything a small business needs, the additional features of business online banking may further simplify routine business activity for your company.
Should I lease or buy equipment?Leasing is a popular method of acquiring new equipment for your business. Although the payments may seem attractive, it may not always be the best financial decision versus purchasing the equipment outright and financing it with a low interest loan. Use the following calculator to analyze the total financial impact of up-front fees, interest rates and residual value on the lease versus buy decision.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Learn more about our accounts and services for businesses, and then when you're ready, meet with us in person at a Banking Center or contact us online. We're here to help.Let's Talk