Step 4: CHOOSE A BUSINESS STRUCTURE
Your business could either be a Corporation, a Limited Liability Company or a Sole proprietorship, or
even a partnership. The business structure/entity you choose will impact your Company in many ways,
i.e. business name, liabilities, taxation, auditing etc.
It may be worth investing in the service of an attorney to ensure you make the right choice for your
business structure depending on the complexity of the business.
If you choose an initial business structure and then the business grows and needs change you may have
to reevaluate and consequently change your business structure as well either from sole proprietorship
to Limited Liability or as the case may be.
Step 5: REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS NAME
Since your business name plays an important role in almost every aspect of your business life you need
to make sure it’s a good one, also be sure to think through all of the potential implications as you
explore your options.
Once you have settled for a business name you will need to check if its currently in use or have been
trademarked before you get it registered. A sole proprietor must register their business name with the
appropriate Government office. Corporations, Limited Liability Company’s or Limited Partnerships
usually register their businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission when their paperwork is filed.
Step 6: GET LICENSES AND PERMITS
Paperwork is part of the process when you start you own business. There are variety of business licenses
and permits under law that may apply to your business depending on your location and type of
business. You will need to know what License and Permit apply to your situation during startup process.
Step 7: CHOOSE AN ACCOUNTING SYSTEM
Your accounting system is necessary in order to create and manage your budget, to set your rates and
prices, to conduct business with others, and to file your taxes. If you know much about accounting you
can easily set up your accounting system yourself, else you hire an accountant to take away the guess
It has been proven that businesses run most effectively when there are systems in place, and one of the
most important systems for a small business is a proper accounting system. So you may have to consider
choosing your accounting system as a lifeline for your business.
Step 8: SET UP YOUR BUSINESS
In setting up your place of business, you will need to think about your location, equipment and overall
setup and make sure your business location works for the type of business you intend doing because
setting up your place of business is important for the operation of your business whether you will have a
home office, a shared or private office space or a retail outlet, you also will need to consider if it makes
more sense to buy or lease your commercial space.
Step 9: GET YOUR TEAM READY
Its now time to start the process of hiring employees. Make sure you take the time to outline the
positions you need to fill and the job responsibilities that are part of each position.
If you need to outsource employment work to independent contractors, now is the time to work with an
attorney to get your Independent Contractor Agreement in place.
Moreover if you are a one-man business outfit hitting the small business road alone, you may not be
needing employees or contractors, but you will still need your own support team such as a mentor, a
business coach or even your family that will serve as your Go-To resource for advice, motivation and
reassurance when the business road gets bumpy.
Step 10: PROMOTE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Once your business is up and running you need to start attracting clients and customers. You want to
start with the basics by writing a unique selling proposition and create a marketing plan. Then, explore
as many small business marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business
Once you have completed these business start-up activities, you will have all of the most important
bases covered. Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight. Use the plan you’ve created to
consistently work on your business, and you will increase your chances of success.
Step 11: GET FEEDBACK
One of easiest ways to utilize feedback is to focus on “THE LEAN STARTUP” approach. Let people interact
with your product or service and see what their take is on it. A fresh set of eyes can help point out a
problem you might have missed. Plus, these people will become your first brand advocates, especially if
you listen to their input and them like your product or service.
By pushing out a product, getting feedback and then adapting before you push out the next product,
you can constantly improve and make sure you stay relevant.
Just realize that some of those advice solicited or not, will be good and some will be bad, so you should
have a plan on how to receive feedback.
HERE ARE SIX TIPS FOR HANDLING FEEDBACK
- STOP AND THINK OVER EVERY HINT YOU GET
Your brain will probably be in an excited state when receiving feedback from clients or customers,
and it may start racing to bad conclusions. Slow down and take the time to consider carefully what
you’ve just heard.
ii.APPRECIATE THOSE COMMENTS WHETHER GOOD OR BAD
Start by saying ‘Thank You’. People who give you negative feedback wont expect you to thank them
for it, but doing so will probably make them respect you and encourage them to continue to be
honest in the future.
iii. LOOK FOR THE GRAIN OF TRUTH IN EVERY HINT
If someone doesn’t like one idea, it doesn’t mean they hate everything you’ve done. Remember that
these people are trying to help, and they might just be pointing out a smaller problem or solution
that you should look into further.
iv CHECK OUT THE PATTERNS OF THOSE FEEDBACK
If you keep hearing the same comments, then it’s time to start sitting up and taking notice.
v. LISTEN WITH CURIOSITY
Be willing to enter into a conversation where the client or customer is in control
vi. ASK QUESTIONS
Figure out why someone liked or didn’t like something about your product or service. Think how you
could make it better? Or what would be a better solution?
BEST OF LUCK . Let’s have your feed back.
By Babatunde Sogbetun