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How/Where did you learn how to start a business step by step for the first time?

sleeksilky

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Feb 12, 2021
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This might seem like a very general question but one I'm always wondering about. Where do most people who decide to start a business get the knowledge on how to do it. Specifically all the logistical stuff like knowing if you need to register certain things or what licences or permits to obtain, who to contact for equipment and designing interiors if you have a brick and mortar business. All these things dont seem like theyre just common knowledge and yet people start businesses for the first time constantly.

So for anyone who has their own business or ever had one, can you please explain in your personal situation where and how you learned all the things initially. I always assumed school doesnt exactly teach you any of these step by step processes to do that, so im curious what everyone did or where they got their knowledge on how to do it from. If possible mention what type of business it was and maybe a small explanation of the steps you took personally to find out exactly what you need to do step by step to get it running or learning all the aspects of starting it from the ground up.
 

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Pauly-FL

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This might seem like a very general question but one I'm always wondering about. Where do most people who decide to start a business get the knowledge on how to do it. Specifically all the logistical stuff like knowing if you need to register certain things or what licences or permits to obtain, who to contact for equipment and designing interiors if you have a brick and mortar business. All these things dont seem like theyre just common knowledge and yet people start businesses for the first time constantly.

So for anyone who has their own business or ever had one, can you please explain in your personal situation where and how you learned all the things initially. I always assumed school doesnt exactly teach you any of these step by step processes to do that, so im curious what everyone did or where they got their knowledge on how to do it from. If possible mention what type of business it was and maybe a small explanation of the steps you took personally to find out exactly what you need to do step by step to get it running or learning all the aspects of starting it from the ground up.

We all just jump in and do it. You are not specific to the business you are wanting to start, but there is a ton of help out there if you ask. There is no "one path" for every business.

I had to jump in and start my business with very little time before the first deadline was due. I was scared and didn't think I could do it, then began asking lots of folks as to how they did it for their business. Some were helpful and gave me good advice, and others didn't care to share. I found that owners of small businesses are the most helpful.

Don't try to make sure everything is "perfect" before you start - because you will never start. Get it going and make corrections along the way without beating yourself up about any mistakes.
 

DeniseChiara

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May 12, 2021
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This might seem like a very general question but one I'm always wondering about. Where do most people who decide to start a business get the knowledge on how to do it. Specifically all the logistical stuff like knowing if you need to register certain things or what licences or permits to obtain, who to contact for equipment and designing interiors if you have a brick and mortar business. All these things dont seem like theyre just common knowledge and yet people start businesses for the first time constantly.

So for anyone who has their own business or ever had one, can you please explain in your personal situation where and how you learned all the things initially. I always assumed school doesnt exactly teach you any of these step by step processes to do that, so im curious what everyone did or where they got their knowledge on how to do it from. If possible mention what type of business it was and maybe a small explanation of the steps you took personally to find out exactly what you need to do step by step to get it running or learning all the aspects of starting it from the ground up.

I think you should focus on challenge-based learning to understand the complexity of real problems.
It is important to detach yourself from the idea of learning one block of topics after another as it is taught in school or university. Of course, this is an easy way out, but in reality, everything is much more complex and half of what you learnt in university will not be needed when you start your own business. I studied business administration for 3 years and also had several courses in entrepreneurship. But I don't have the feeling that I have really learned the aspects that are important for the actual founding (as you said legal issues, etc.).

That's why it's important to always acquire specific skills and knowledge in a practice-oriented way because it's learned in the long term and you can save yourself a lot of time. I am currently working on my business idea and refining it further. Therefore, I have spent a long time looking for a platform that can offer me the knowledge I am still lacking. I found EWOR offers a very cool learning map with which you can learn in a very practice-oriented way.
 

MJ DeMarco

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This might seem like a very general question but one I'm always wondering about. Where do most people who decide to start a business get the knowledge on how to do it. Specifically all the logistical stuff like knowing if you need to register certain things or what licences or permits to obtain, who to contact for equipment and designing interiors if you have a brick and mortar business. All these things dont seem like theyre just common knowledge and yet people start businesses for the first time constantly.

Every answer can be found by searching for it at any search engine. However, your search needs to be specific, not general. A general question (such as this one) won't yield good answers. However a search for, "how do I find manufacturing for widget X" would yield much better info. Or, "how do I start a business in Colorado?" will yield specific details.
 

WJK

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You have the world of knowledge in your hand. It's called your smartphone. You have more computing power than NASA had when we put the first man on the moon. Additionally, you can read, take classes, ask Google, watch Podcasts, listen to TED talks, ask the guy down on the corner, start a lemonade stand, take sales training, read posts on this forum... the information is all around you. The burden is on you to reach out and start your education.
 

Johnny boy

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It is a state by state basis.

Use the people that work in the offices that deal with this daily. They were very helpful.

I was an absolute idiot and paid legalzoom $700 just to take a month to form my llc in the incorrect state. It was a giant shit show. They prey on people who know nothing about starting a business and they upsell you trash and say "woah, you're not gonna start a business without hiring a full time accountant right? That would be crazy. Here's someone who's paying us a lot of money that you should use".

Start with the name. It needs to be available. You should be able to search for it on your secretary of state's website. Then, file your papers. Lookup articles and avoid paying someone to do it for you.

I recommend doing everything in person if possible. I eventually walked right in and got my formation papers, filed with the city for a business license, got setup with employment security department, got my ein number from the IRS, and got a business bank account, all in an afternoon. Always just tell them you're new and need some advice or a checklist if they have one.
 

Brrr

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Since you asked for specific examples, this is how I learned different things:
  • I learnt about company formation when I was about to form a company, I did a lot of googling and then spoke to an accountant who took the time to answer my 100 stupid questions and my 10 reasonable ones. Any issues with money, accounts, bookkeeping,
  • I learnt about importing equipment from other countries when I had to import equipment from Italy, I called up various government numbers and wasted as much of their time as possible asking them 100 questions about the processes
  • I learnt about specific legislation regarding food truck licensing when I found out that's what I needed to do from my local authority that deals with the licensing.
  • I learnt about borrowing from my bank when it came time to borrow money, I spoke to an account manager about opening an account and I pester him when I need to extend my credit, overdraft or need to enquire about what services I can access
  • I learnt about taking on a lease when I decided I was going to try and open a shop, I picked the brain of the estate agents I dealt with and then harrassed my solicitor with any question that pops into my head or anything that I feel I do not know enough about.
  • I learnt about design and legal requirements for a premises when it came time to kit out a shop, I realised this is beyond my capabilities and that's why I hired a designer who has helped me understand various aspects of this process.

I think I can stop now, you may sense a theme going on. You learn as you go along and you encounter the right person that has the information you need at the point that you need it. You develop as a business person by adding more and more tools to your toolbelt and living through the various experiences of your business.

There is no degree or training that can prepare you fully for your specific business path but there are general truths that apply to every business. That's why business books are a thing and why a good book is relevant whether you are selling life insurance, vegan cat food or glow-in-the-dark dildos.

Start with your idea first and then work out the shortest path to get that idea into reality.
 

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