7 Simple Steps to Opening a Small Business

Radhika Sivadi

6 min read ·


Are you planning to start a business this year? These 7 steps to opening a small business will take you from idea to launch day in no time. Soon, you’ll know how to open your small business like a seasoned entrepreneur. 


You have a great business idea that you’re itching to unleash. The only problem is that you’re not sure how to piece it all together. There are so many questions that need answers!

Starting a new company can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the risk of failure and amplify your shot at success. 

These 7 simple steps to opening a small business will help you last longer, grow faster and make a real impact in your market. It’s the step-by-step blueprint you’ve been waiting for.


Woman writing on post-it's at a large table


Step 1: Create a Business Plan

The first of the steps to opening a small business is with a business plan. Companies that don’t draft a plan have trouble navigating their way to consistent profit. And that’s what you want!

It’s time to take your winning idea and put it down on paper. As you write, add details that will help it become something tangible and viable for the real world. 

These details can be as brief as a one page summary, or they can include deep and insightful market analysis. Consider that 17% of businesses fail because they didn’t have a model to begin with. 

Skipping step 1 is a dangerous decision, so it’s better to scale your plan to suit your needs. If you’re pursuing investors then spend more time working on an impressive document. If it’s only for direction, one page will do.

Your plan will tell you what is and isn’t possible. Sometimes it will even tell you that your business idea won’t work, and that’s okay. Success is about constant change – so stay the course.

The first step to creating your business is to have a plan in place.


A woman registering a corporation


Step 2: Make Your Business a Corporation

The second step tackles the legal side of setting up your company. Choosing the right business entity is a complex process. But there are many benefits that make it worth the challenge.

Incorporating your business before you earn a single dollar is a common plan for a lot of businesses.

Corporations are separate legal entities altogether. This means that it will protect your personal finances if any customers ever get litigious. You will want to keep your business bank account apart from your personal bank accounts, and you may also need a business license.

These 3 things can become the legal infrastructure of your business.  

If you want to incorporate, the easiest way is to use a service that assesses your needs and helps you select a business entity that will work for your business model. 

Yahoo Small Business Legal Package is an example of one.

Step 2 tells you how you can incorporate your business before you start trading.


Woman putting a sweater in a box with a letter that says Thank You


Step 3: Build an Online Business Presence

You have your business idea, your plan and your legal documents are in order. What’s next? The third of the steps to opening a small business requires you to build a functional online presence for your company.

That means buying a domain name, and setting up your business website. It also includes little details like a professional company logo, a company address, and an email signature. 

Being online today is critical to small business sales success. That’s why two-thirds of SMBs have a website. Not only does it make you visible, it helps you reach and convert customers on the internet.

Best of all, there are plenty of services that allow you to build your own website. These drag-and-drop builders don’t need any code, training or expensive upfront costs to run. 

Step 3 means you need to get online with a serious business presence.


person doing their accounting


Step 4: Choose the Right Accounting Software

You’ve reached step 4, which deals with how you handle your money. Choose the right accounting software now – and things, like invoicing and paying bills, won’t be a chore.

Some 82% of small businesses fail because of cash flow problems, and this relates to the way that they manage their money, invoice their customers, and keep track of their income. 

Anyone can start a business, but few people get their finances right from day 1. You will need to file taxes, understand your expenses, and track your progress as your business grows. 

Examples are:

Give yourself an immediate competitive edge by introducing reliable accounting software that integrates with your point-of-sale system.

Step 4 says pick the right accounting software for better money management. 


An accountant in a meeting


Step 5: Hire an Accountant to Do Your Taxes

At step 5, you need to find yourself an accountant. Let’s be real – you’re going to be running your business and you don’t have the time or the skills necessary to manage your own taxes.

Too many small business owners end up violating tax laws and this often closes company doors. Find a good tax accountant and adviser, and you’ll never look back. 

With a strong business plan, decent accounting software and a competent accountant on your side, the sky’s the limit for your small business. 

Step 5 insists that you hire an accountant to do your taxes.


A person getting funding


Step 6: Get Funding from Multiple Sources

The sixth step is to find funding for your business. Most SMB’s focus on self-funding, or they get friends and family to invest in their venture. But there are other ways to realize your dream. 

Business funding using many sources allows you to get the money you need to start strong, with the added benefit of business advice from your investors. 

Consider peer-to-peer lending, drumming up venture capital for your big idea, or finding angel investors who can see the value in your product. 

However you look at it, investment capital helps you cut start-up risk, maximize profit potential and gives you more avenues for growth in the future.

Step 6 prompts you to find capital investment for your small business. 


Networking party


Step 7: Promote Your Business by Marketing It

The final step takes your small business all the way to the top. The last thing you have to do is promote your company far and wide. Get out there and tell the world that you exist!

Marketing your business is one of the biggest challenges new entrepreneurs face. A recent survey suggests that 15.3% of owners do all their own business marketing. Will that be you?

If so, you need to make use of smart tools to maximize your time investment. Listing your company on directories is that much easier when you have a central dashboard for updates and changes. 

Take advantage of technology to simplify your marketing processes.


Young creative business people meeting at office.



Step 7 urges you to use marketing software for easier online promotions. 

With these 7 essential steps, you will take that business idea and transform it into something special. Make sure that you have your legal paperwork, business license and accounting setup in place – and don’t be afraid to pursue investors. 

If you need a suite of tools that makes it easy to write a business plan, incorporate your company, build an online presence, accept customer payments and market your business – Yahoo Business Maker is for you. It’s an all-in-one suite that helps you launch a business, right away. 

Now you can start a business that becomes an enormous success this year. 

Be fearless and take the risk. In entrepreneurship, learning happens on the job. You will fail, and you will succeed. Before you know it, you’ll be an established entrepreneur with a thriving small business. 

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Radhika Sivadi