Building Your Business Becoming an Owner 10 Tips on How To Start a Business Successfully Business Tips & Advice on Starting a Business To Ensure Success By Susan Ward Susan Ward Twitter Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses. learn about our editorial policies Updated on September 13, 2022 Fact checked by David Rubin In This Article View All In This Article 1) Be Passionate 2) Start While You Are Still Employed 3) Don't Do It Alone 4) Get Clients or Customers Lined Up 5) Write a Business Plan 6) Do Your Research 7) Get Professional Help 8) Make Sure the Money Is Lined Up 9) Be Professional 10) Get the Legal and Tax Issues Correct the First Time Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Photo: Jupiterimages / Getty Images If you're starting a new business for the first time, you should take every opportunity to give your new enterprise the best chance of success. Use these top business tips and advice to help your business succeed. Key Takeaways The best way to start a business is to have passion for your project, friends and clients lined up for your business, and start while you still have another job.You'll need to write a business plan backed by strong research to clarify your vision and attract investors.Putting extra effort into the legal and tax issues upfront can save you headaches down the road. 1) Be Passionate You don't have to love whatever your business is about (and probably shouldn't), but you do have to be fired up about it. You're going to devote a lot of time and energy to starting a business and building it into a successful enterprise, so it's really important that you truly deeply enjoy what you do, whether it be running fishing charters, creating pottery, or providing financial advice. 2) Start While You Are Still Employed How long can most people live without money? Not long. And it may be a long time before your new business actually makes any profits. Being employed while you're starting a business means money in your pocket while you're going through the start-up process. 3) Don't Do It Alone You need a support system while you're starting a business (and afterward). A family member or friend that you can bounce ideas off and who will listen sympathetically to the latest business start-up crisis is invaluable. Even better, find a mentor or, if you qualify, apply for a business start-up program. For example, Futurpreneur Canada offers financing, mentoring, and support tools to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39. Note When you're starting a business, experienced guidance is the best support system of all. 4) Get Clients or Customers Lined Up Don't wait until you've officially started your business to line these up, because your business can't survive without them. Do the networking. Make the contacts. Sell or even give away your products or services. You can't start marketing too soon. 5) Write a Business Plan The main reason for doing a business plan first when you're thinking of starting a business is that it can help you avoid sinking your time and money into starting a business that will not succeed. 6) Do Your Research You'll do a lot of research writing a business plan, but that's just a start. When you're starting a business, you need to become an expert on your industry, products, and services. Joining related industry or professional associations before you start your business is a great idea. 7) Get Professional Help On the other hand, just because you're starting a business, doesn't mean you have to be an expert on everything. If you're not an accountant or bookkeeper, hire one (or both). If you need to write up a contract, and you're not a lawyer, hire one. You will waste more time and possibly money, in the long run, trying to do things yourself that you are not qualified to do. 8) Make Sure the Money Is Lined Up Save up if you have to. Approach potential investors and lenders. Figure out your financial fall-back plan. Don't expect to start a business and then walk into a bank and get money. Traditional lenders don't like new ideas and don't like businesses without proven track records. 9) Be Professional Everything about you and the way you do business needs to let people know that you are a professional running a serious business. That means getting all the accoutrements such as professional business cards, a business phone, and a business email address, and treating people in a professional, courteous manner. 10) Get the Legal and Tax Issues Correct the First Time It's much more difficult and expensive to unsnarl a mess afterward. Does your business need to be registered? Will you have to charge GST or PST? Will you have to have Workers' Compensation Insurance or deal with payroll taxes? How will the form of business ownership you choose affect your income tax situation? Learn what your legal and tax responsibilities are before you start your business and operate accordingly. Note Following the business tips above will make starting your new business both a smoother and less stressful process. It'll go a long way towards ensuring the business you start lasts and thrives. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) How do you start a small business? The key initial steps in starting a business involve conducting market research, writing your business plan, funding your business, picking a business location, and choosing a business structure. After that, choose a name, register your business, and get any tax IDs, licenses, or permits you'll need. Finally, you'll need to open a business bank account. How do you start a business with no money? Starting a business without money involves all of the steps above, but the difficulty lies in the funding portion. Simple businesses like dog walking don't require much start-up capital, but other types of businesses could be quite difficult to start without upfront investment. Many capital-intensive businesses use small business loans, which typically require some sort of collateral, but some grants may be available to entrepreneurs without money. How do you start a business online? If your business is online and you work from home, then seek out home office tax deductions in addition to the other steps mentioned above. These are available to anyone who uses a portion of their home for their business. Want to read more content like this? Sign up for The Balance’s newsletter for daily insights, analysis, and financial tips, all delivered straight to your inbox every morning! Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Futurpreneur. "About." Small Business Administration. "10 Steps To Start Your Business." USAGov. "Start Your Own Business."