Business Assessment Before you begin any business, the first thing to do is assess the need for the business or its profit potential. Ask yourself if you have a product or service that people need. Ask yourself who your target market is and how you can reach them. The more information you have going in, the better your chance of getting your business off the ground. These are also things you will need to know to create the business plan you'll use to help secure financing if you don't have funds in place. Business Financing You need money to open and operate your business. Consider where these funds will come from. You can approach a bank for a small business loan. This will require a detailed business plan you can present, which should be created in the initial phase of your business venture. Research your market potential thoroughly, as well as your product or service's potential for success. A bank is more likely to back you if you present a plan they believe will be successful. Other avenues for financing include friends or people who invest in business ventures for a living. Always have papers drawn up with a lawyer when investors are involved. Startup Size Be cautious of starting too large. A business that has no history is at risk. Throwing too much money in too many directions can be a sure way to lose control. Start small and gradually build, using money from the business to expand. Narrow your focus in the beginning to help you better manage your products and services. Startup Business Advertising Advertising is an important element for any business. For a startup business, getting the word out about your venture is essential. Advertising should consume a good percentage of your startup funds. If you are limited in funds, advertise any way you can afford. Advertising possibilities range from simple fliers to radio and TV. In between, you have magazines and local newspapers. There's also the Internet, which opens the door to a world of potential customers. Get a company website and take advantage of free social networking sites to spread the word.