A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living, breathing document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route your company intends to take to reach, maintain and grow revenues. A well thought out plan also helps you to step-back and think objectively about the key elements of your business venture and informs your decision-making.
For a start-up business, it is crucial to have a business plan as financing sources won’t take you seriously without one. A written plan demonstrates that you have carefully defined your market, studied your competition, and understand your financial obligations for at least your first three years in business.
While there are many online sources for writing a business plan, the US Small Business Administration provides guidance. More info. Locally, the Connecticut Small Business Development Center provides at Business Plan Template.
Choose a Business Legal Structure
Several factors should be considered when choosing the best form of business ownership when starting your retail business. The type of business structure you choose can have an impact on multiple aspects of your business, including taxes, liability, and your exit strategy along with your personal assets.
Basically, there are eight ways to set up a business: sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, and corporation - "S" corporation, "C" corporation, and non-profit corporation. More info.
It is highly recommended that you consult a qualified business counselor, attorney or accountant as to the best form for your business.