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How to become an independent business owner
Are you tired of being a "small fish in a big pond" and want to take control of your career? Many people dream of becoming an independent business owner. In the US, there are nearly 34 million small businesses. Around 27 million of these are run independently.
Being a business owner comes with many benefits. These include financial independence to the ability to set your own schedule. But starting and running a successful business requires hard work. It requires dedication and planning. Fear not. We’re here to guide you on how to become an independent business owner. Let’s dive in!
Interested in becoming a business owner?
As a budding entrepreneur, being an independent business owner is a dream come true. You can be your own boss. Plus, you can set your own hours. But success in this field requires discipline. It requires perseverance and a solid plan.
What is independent business ownership?
As an independent business owner, you create and operate a business that you fully own and control. This is unlike working for a corporation. By being an independent business owner, you get to determine your business size. You’re responsible for determining its structure and direction. Starting a business can be challenging. But it's also a fulfilling venture that can lead to personal and financial growth.
Why people want to become independent business owners
There are various reasons why people want to start their own business. Some desire the sense of autonomy that comes with being self-employed, while others pursue financial rewards and potential success. Becoming a business owner also allows individuals to pursue their passions. It lets them utilize their strengths in a way that might not be feasible in their previous jobs.
Importance of starting small
It's tempting to dream big when starting a business. But remember to start small and grow gradually. Starting small minimizes risks and allows you to test your business ideas before investing heavily in them. Learn the ropes first. You need to develop your skills and strategies before scaling up. Even successful companies like Amazon and Apple started small before becoming the behemoths they are today.
Identifying potential business ideas
So how to become a successful independent business owner? By first identifying the kind of business you want to own. Below are some potential business ideas that are easy to start, suit your skills and interests, and offer high-profit margins.
Ideas with low start-up cost
Starting a business can be expensive. However, many business ideas require minimal investment and can still be profitable. Some of these include bookkeeping, freelance writing, virtual assistance, personal shopping, and cleaning services. When starting a business, make sure to do your research. And estimate the initial expenses to avoid unexpected costs.
Independent businesses that suit your skills and interests
Owning a business aligned with your skills and interests often leads to more success. Plus, it can lead to more satisfaction. For instance, if you enjoy cooking and baking, you can open a catering or bakery business. If you have a knack for photography, you can start a wedding or event photography business. Identifying your skills and interests can help you find a business idea that suits your passion and talents.
Assessment tools for strengths and weaknesses
To identify your strengths and weaknesses as a business owner, consider using assessment tools. There are many tools available that provide insight into your personality, character traits, and skills. One popular tool is StrengthsFinder, which helps you identify your top five strengths. Other tools include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the DISC assessment, which examine personality traits and communication styles respectively. Utilizing these tools can help you understand yourself better. Consequently, this can help you find a business opportunity that aligns with your strengths.
Conduct market research
Market research allows you to gain insights into the target market and the competition. It lets you know the demand for the product or service.
What is market research?
Market research involves collecting and analyzing data on the market, consumer behavior, and competition. This data collection and analysis helps you make informed business decisions. The data can help with identifying market trends, competitors' strengths, and weaknesses, and the pricing strategy.
Gather relevant data
There are several ways to gather relevant data, including primary and secondary research. Primary research involves collecting information from potential customers through surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Secondary research involves collecting data that is already available through market reports, government publications, and industry associations.
Several resources can assist with conducting market research. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) provides free resources. These resources can help new business owners with market research, including the Market Analysis Guide. The Census Bureau also provides valuable data on the target market and local demographics. Additionally, consider online tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Moz. These can also provide insights into search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising.
Analyze the data
Once the data is collected, analyze it to make informed business decisions. Look for trends and patterns that can inform the marketing strategy and the business plan. Use the data to adjust the product or service offering to meet the target market's needs. Analyzing the data can also help with predicting future sales and identifying potential threats or opportunities.
Build the business plan
After identifying potential business ideas and conducting market research, the next crucial step in becoming an independent business owner is to build a business plan. A business plan serves as a roadmap and helps set goals, determine target customers, and identify financial needs.
How to create a business plan
A business plan outlines the vision and mission of the business and its unique selling proposition. It discusses the business’s short-term and long-term goals and strategies to achieve them. To create a business plan, one needs to answer important questions and gather data about the industry, competition, and target market.
Key components of a business plan
A business plan consists of several key components. These include an executive summary, company description, market analysis, and company structure. It also includes products and services, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and management team. Each section provides critical information and helps investors and lenders understand the business's potential.
Tools that can assist in building a business plan
Several tools are available online that can help in building a business plan, including free templates and software. These tools can help structure the plan and ensure that critical components are included. But you must personalize the plan based on the business's unique needs and goals.
To further refine the business plan, it is essential to seek feedback from experts, mentors, and trusted advisors. They can offer valuable insights and help identify areas that need improvement. Feedback can also assist in identifying blind spots and providing a fresh perspective on the business plan.
Building a business plan provides clarity and direction. It gives you a roadmap to success. By answering important questions, identifying goals, and structuring the plan, future business owners can identify market opportunities, attract potential investors, and set themselves up for success.
Through the use of tools and feedback, they can refine the plan. And they can ensure that it aligns with their vision and mission. With a well-structured business plan, independent business owners can confidently pursue their goals. Ultimately, these help them bring their dreams to reality.
Starting a small service-based business requires a considerable amount of money. Many business owners set up their businesses with personal savings, but obtaining external funding can offer more support. Here, we have listed some funding resources that small business owners can leverage.
Funding options for small businesses
There are various funding options a small business owner can explore. The most commonly used funding options include loans, grants, crowdfunding, and investors. You must understand the cost of each option before choosing one.
Difference between loans and grants
Loans are financial aids that require repayment with interest. Small business owners can opt for different loans, including bank loans, SBA loans, and microloans. On the other hand, grants are awarded to businesses without the requirement of repayment. Grants are usually given for specific causes, research and development, or business expansion purposes.
Funding resources for small businesses
There are many funding resources that small business owners can use, such as grants from foundations, angel investors, and SBA loans. Small Business Administration is an independent agency that supports small business owners. It provides the tools and resources that entrepreneurs need to start up and grow their businesses. You can also consider the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). This association offers small business loans and credit with various payment terms.
Small business owners must plan ahead and consider multiple funding resources before selecting one. It is essential to research different options and assess funding risks to avoid financial challenges. Additionally, small business owners should be aware of their financial standing. They should determine the amount of money they will require to start or expand their business. Proper funding can assist small business owners in achieving success and growth.
Starting a small business comes with legal requirements that business owners must follow. Entrepreneurs must comply with all regulations and laws governing businesses. Why? To avoid legal issues that may arise. Below are legal requirements that entrepreneurs must comply with when starting a small business.
Legal requirements for starting a small business
Entrepreneurs must comply with legal requirements when starting a small business. The legal requirements vary by industry and location. To ensure that they operate legally and avoid disputes, entrepreneurs can seek legal advice to follow all necessary regulations.
Some legal requirements that entrepreneurs must consider include business registration, obtaining business licenses and permits, and ensuring compliance with zoning laws. Additionally, an entrepreneur must register their business for taxes and obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate in their locality.
Tax obligations for small business owners
One of the legal requirements that entrepreneurs must comply with is to pay taxes. Small business owners must register their businesses for federal and state taxes. Some taxes that an entrepreneur may need to pay include income, sales, and self-employment tax.
Small business owners must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is so they can file their taxes correctly. Small business owners can apply for an EIN from the IRS website and include it when filing their tax returns.
Resources to assist small business owners with legal requirements
Entrepreneurs can obtain assistance with the legal requirements they must comply with when starting a small business. Consider resources such as the Small Business Administration, SCORE, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. These provide guidance and legal support to small business owners.
The Small Business Administration, for instance, offers free legal guidance on tax and legal requirements. Entrepreneurs can also access free legal templates, business structure guides, and compliance checklists from the SBA website.
Starting a business requires entrepreneurs to comply with legal requirements to operate legally. Entrepreneurs must seek legal advice to ensure compliance with all regulations of starting a small business. Adhering to legal requirements helps you avoid disputes. It also helps you avoid legal issues that may arise with operating a business.
Kick off your own business by increasing your online presence
Becoming an independent business owner requires you to go over several steps. From identifying potential business ideas to handling legal requirements, setting up your own business can be a daunting task. But running your business independently doesn’t stop at just launching it. It’s also vital that you promote it on effective channels to get the widest possible reach.
Need a professional online presence for your business? At B12, we can help you launch a solid online presence through a beautifully designed professional website. The B12 website editor makes it easy for you to generate a site that aligns with your branding. Easily customize templates for a look specific to your industry and make changes to your website anytime.
Try B12 today to get a website built by AI and refined by expert designers, copywriters, and SEO specialists. Make DIY changes any time you want. Launch in 30 days or less with client-engaging tools like scheduling and payments.
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