Before reading this article, check out How to start a business – part 1, which discusses the process of researching what it means to run a small business. Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months by Melinda F. Emerson is a great resources for more information.
Step 2: Conduct market analysis, choose a niche, and define products and services
The next step in starting a business is to dive into market research. In order to be successful, an entrepreneur needs to be able to define the size and characteristics of his target audience and understand pricing and gross market targets, competitive analysis, and regulatory restrictions.
Understanding market size, trends and competitors will help the business owner to choose a niche an decide which products and/or services to offer. Here is where the entrepreneur can really begin to define his company’s competitive edge and distinctive marketplace advantages.
Step 3: Choose a business name and register a website
Definitely one of the most important steps in establishing a business, choosing a business name is, in many ways, choosing the brand identity of the business itself. Business naming is a science; a business name can be completely innovative and original. An entrepreneur might also choose to name a company after its geographic location, for example, Queen City Pie Company.
Owners of sole proprietorships and partnerships sometimes choose to name their businesses after themselves, although this approach could make it difficult to present a professional image and build brand awareness.
Most states place restrictions on including professional designations, such as “Engineering” or “Architecture,” in a business name unless the owner and sometimes the business itself possesses certain licenses and certifications.
One final constraint in choosing a business name is to make sure the name and possibly even the domain name are available. A great place to register a domain name and get inexpensive web hosting is Hostmonster.com.
More on how to start a business
This article is the second in a series on how to start a business. The following steps include: Writing a business plan, Registering for State and Local taxes, and more.