How do I start my own company?
I would like to open a water purification company. I have my own capital but need to know where to start. What are some of the obstacles most of you missed when opening your own company and only learned later on?
Have you gotten in touch with an organization called SCORE? Go to www.score.org, and you will be connected to a mentor in your area that can provide you with personal insight into the type of company that you want to start. They have a network of retired business men and women who are willing to share their knowledge for FREE!
You need to apply knowledge of growing tree from the seed. First Seed you have with the CAPEX. Initiatlly you should target small region and distribute your product FREE of charge for the 30 days. Next you can target 2nd region with Free supply but the first region with the throwaway Price of 1$. This is your awareness to the community...
Check out state and federal regulations, especially OSHA rules! Are you going to have employees? Get with an HR provider like www.BNR.com or a Professional Employer Organization. Watch the PEO's though, most are in the business to sell insurance and I have had some bad experiences. A third party payroll company is a MUST in my opinion. Did you know that you have to fill out an I9 form for every employee and that if you file it in their employee file that you will ultimately maintain for each employee, that you could get fined up to $1,000 for each instance. I9's must be kept in a separate file! That's just one example. Are you going to have to pay transaction privilege (sales) taxes? Depending on the state that can get real tedious. Here in Arizona until this year we had to file up to 13 returns each month. Are there licensing requirements, like a state contractors license or service license, to do what you want to do? Boy, I could go on...check out state and federal regulations! BNR has a service where you can find these state by state and READ them if you are not going to hire a professional.
Start with a clear, prioritized plan of action. Spend some time on this so you're confident it's solid, then stick to it. There will be some very attractive distractions along the way, and your plan will help you maintain focus.
Take advice from people you trust, but follow your heart. When all is said and done, you know what's best for you. Good luck!
Richard Stern=Suggest research the industry in the area you would like to see your product. Check out the competition. Make sure there is enough space fo you to compete. Nect do a
Do a bit of market research. Who are the buyers? Can they pay what you need to charge? Is there a great demand? I think I read that you are in South Africa and they have water issues there. If this is a general environmental issue, is the government subsidizing the water purification efforts?
Contact your Small Business Development Association; they can give you the help you need in terms of the best structure for your business, various laws and regulations governing the type of business you what to open, and can refer you to the appropriate legal resources. You have to do your homework about the business, best location, etc. You should also talk to owners of water purification companies in other areas/states to find out their experiences in this type of start up. The main thing I learned (I actually knew this already but came to accept it), you really need a strong team working with you to make the business work. The team members should have strengths in areas you lack and have diverse ideas and be creative independent thinkers who are not afraid to tell you when you are going down the wrong path..
There are lots of ways to approach this. Try checking out my step by step evaluation: http://free-agent-services.com/
Congratulations for thinking of starting your own business...that totally rocks! If I were you, I would start by looking at this great resource designed exclusively for solopreneurs and small business owners. It's called Build To Rock - Position it right. Deliver it right. Get paid right. It's a step-by-step business building program and it will walk you through everything you need to know and do, to build a business that rocks from business architecture, brand foundation, strategic planning, ideal client, sales process design, marketing and everything in between. Have a look at: www.buildtorock.com
I wish you an amazing journey!
Entrepreneur magazine just launched a terrific new platform called Entrepreneur Coaching. They can help guide you through this process and ensure your success. If you want to know more shoot me an email at Pete.Canalichio@brandlicensingexpert.com.
You have not mentioned if you going to use a proven, off the shelf technology or develop something on your own? In the first case, you need to make sure it is properly tested and certified and your IPR is properly secured (and hence bear considerable and increasing costs of patenting). In both cases, you must make sure your premises and your equipment have all the required health, safety, and hygiene certificates and permits that are valid. They are country specific, but some of them are international, such as eg. NSF, but local authorities may and do impose their own standards. Providing water supplies to the public is probably the most regulated business in the world - quite justly so.
Anyway, good luck in your venture!
Dr. John's advice is quite sound. You may also find many business models to estimate the costs by researching related fields like water softening services etc.
The ABCs are as follows; Contact the IRS an get a employer ID tax number. Contact your local business licensing agencies (town, county, state). Write up a Business plan, (you can use free templates). Contact an attorney to see what the local laws say about indemnity Insurance requirements. In your case I would contact "Score" and get a local mentor to help you. Pick a name, contact your state, for licensing as well. Decide on the type of business you want, PPL, LLC, sole proprietorship, partners, S Corporation, C Corporation, etc. The rest is pretty much a breeze..Good Luck
A link I recently came across: http://startupclass.samaltman.com/
Hi Carike. I started my company two years ago in a niche I did not have much knowledge in. My advice is: start small, test the market, get in touch with potential customers, listen to what they say. Get a mentor or partner with experience. It is also a lot more fun to work with a team than alone. Now, after two years, I still learn every day but I have a better view of the business and customer segments and this year I will finally be able to start earning some money. Prepare for the fact that you need to finance growth and that the first years will not generate that much income. Good luck!
I'd start by researching the crap out of water purification and that whole industry. I would also start attending networking events and conferences that deal with that topic. Educate yourself in that vertical with the help of those that are in the trenches and you will develop the ability to start asking the hard questions you need to to actually determine if there's an opportunity here and if you have the chops to take it on.
I started my coffee import business through Legal Zoom as an LLC. Since I have no employees it is taxed like personal income, as opposed to a corporation. I registered in the state of Wyoming which has no state corporate tax. Hope this helps! Legal Zoom was easy to work with in setting it up and has continued to be a reliable business partner in helping with any issues that might come up over time.
Great comments by others. Just adding few lines if it makes sense to consider.
1)When would you consider to exit your new concept company? What is your exit strategy & associated costs of winding up? :-) Though it may sound crazy. Just be sure about it.As you mentioned it is your own capital.
2)Make yourself clear "STARTING IS EASY & EXCITING" - MILESTONE ACCOMPLISHED. Running a "MARATHON" needs "PREPARATION COMBINED WITH PASSION & PERSEVERANCE"."JOURNEY IS DIFFICULT". Prepare your mind first if you haven't yet. Most people miss this part.:-)
3)Start with LEAN START-UP. Prepare your mind "CAN YOU SEE YOUR OWN CAPITAL BURNING INFRONT OF YOUR OWN EYES & STILL can remain calm,cool,with a smiling face. If you have it then you prepared well for it CALCULATED RISKS & METICULOUSLY PLANNING in MIND if not in papers or templates or forecasts of sales / cash flows.
4.Be ready to PUMP-IN CASH intermittently during your planned journey of exit (1yr,2yr,3yr,5yr,...till your company becomes perpetual value generating engine).
5.Of course make sure you map your value stream value both for LEAN STARTUP ...till your plans of global expansion...is it flexible enough. Don't make any rigid long contracts. Be Flexible.Short and sweet is recommended initially keeping in mind the EXIT STRATEGY :-)
6.Identify MUST HAVE ...NICE TO HAVE items clearly...Hiring a consultant like us is a NICE TO HAVE ITEM FOR YOUR LEAN STARTUP.As everything looks tempting & value adding to complement your experience. Just beware your own capital every 1$ THAT YOU SPEND REMEMBER YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR NEIGHBOUR/BANK/VC/PUBLIC :-)
7.Most importantly "Have fun" by taking "Calculated Risks" as mentioned above.
8.Finally Contact us if you want to burn your capital on NICE TO HAVE ITEM.
Contact us : http://www.mercuriorioncs.com/contact-us.html for your LEAN STARTUP related queries for "FREE." :-)
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Hope this helps.