Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business | 2018 Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business - Page 3

Table of Contents Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 2 1 Personal Assessment .......................................................................................................... 3 2 Steps to Starting a Small Business ...................................................................................... 4 1. Select a Business Idea ................................................................................................. 4 2. Market Research (Feasibility) ....................................................................................... 4 3. Startup Cost/Financial Resources Analysis (Feasibility) ............................................... 8 Sources of Financing/Startup Resources.................................................................... 10 Decision Point—Is it Feasible?.................................................................................... 11 4. Write a Business Plan................................................................................................. 12 Business Plan Outline................................................................................................. 13 5. Complete the Startup Checklist................................................................................... 18 6. Obtain Financing......................................................................................................... 19 7. Start Your Business!. .................................................................................................. 19 3 Registering a Business Name and Ways to Legally Structure a Business .........................20 4 Licenses, Permits and Other Regulations..........................................................................25 Patents, Trade, Service Marks, and Copyrights..........................................................26 5 Business Taxes.................................................................................................................. 28 6 Being Self Employed.......................................................................................................... 31 7 Hiring Employees............................................................................................................... 33 8 Financing a Business ......................................................................................................... 39 9 Marketing Your Business ................................................................................................... 43 Sample Marketing Action Plan and Budget.................................................................. 51 10 Managing a Business......................................................................................................... 52 Technology & Cyber Security....................................................................................... 53 11 Financials........................................................................................................................... 54 12 Insurance ........................................................................................................................... 60 13 Selling to Government, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC’s).................. 62 14 Business Plan …………………………………………………………………………………….. 65 Appendix A – Employee or Independent Contractor? .............................................................. 72 Appendix B – Required Workplace Posters ............................................................................. 74 Appendix C – Small Business Development Centers (MI-SBDCs) .......................................... 76 Appendix D – Business Resource Centers (BRCs) ................................................................. 78 Appendix E – MI-SBDC Business Education ........................................................................... 79 Appendix F -- Index of State and Federal Government Websites ............................................ 80 Appendix G – About the Small Business Administration (SBA)................................................ 82 Appendix H – Ransomware Dos and Don’ts………………………………………………………...85 Appendix I – Cyber Security Canvas Document…………………………………………………….86 Revised March 2018 Copyright © MI-SBDC™. All Rights Reserved. 1