How to Start a Business

Ready to start your business? Don’t know where to start? With this guide, you’ll go from a simple idea to a growing business in 12 easy steps.

Vector image of a male entrepreneur putting together puzzle pieces. Represents putting the necessary pieces together to start a successful business.

Resources and templates for starting a business

Starting a business FAQ

To start a business, you’ll need to—identify and validate your business idea, conduct market research, select a business model and pricing strategy, write a business plan and financial plan, select your business structure, register your business and obtain licenses and permits, select an online or physical location, start building your team if necessary, and promote your business through marketing and advertising.

The amount of money needed to start a business varies greatly depending on the type and scale of the business. It could range from a few hundred dollars for a home-based service business to several thousand or even millions for a manufacturing or tech startup. You must carefully consider and forecast your startup costs and cash flow to fully understand how much money you need to start.

The first step in starting a business is identifying a viable business idea and conducting market research to understand the demand, competition, and potential challenges. Additionally, it’s worth self-reflection to determine if you want to jump into entrepreneurship.

At a minimum, you’ll need a business idea, a business plan, capital, a legal structure, a registered business name, necessary licenses and permits, a business bank account, and an accounting system.

Starting a business with no money can be challenging but not impossible. You can consider service-based businesses that require minimal upfront costs. You can also minimize your upfront investment by starting your business as a side hustle while retaining a full or part-time job.

A clear and compelling value proposition, a strong understanding of the market and customers, and effective management and operations are three key elements that contribute to business success.

Starting a simple business often involves offering a service based on your skills or interests. This could be anything from pet sitting to graphic design. The key steps include identifying your service, understanding your market, setting prices, and promoting your business.

As a beginner, start with a business idea that aligns with your skills and passions. Conduct market research, write a one-page business plan, and test if your idea resonates with your target customers. Start small, learn from the experience, and gradually grow your business.

With only $100, consider a service-based or online business that requires minimal startup costs. This could be a consulting service, online tutoring, freelance writing, or selling handmade products. Use social media and free online tools for marketing and management to keep costs low.