How to Start a Small Business in Indiana

If you have always wanted to start a small business, it isn’t so hard to do if you know the process. Starting a business just takes a number of steps that you must complete in order to fulfill the obligations required by state and local law. The rest just involves getting organized so that you can get started with your new venture.

What is an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is a term that refers to someone who has a unique idea that they want to produce for the world. Entrepreneurs can be found in every industry, including retail stores, the food industry, wholesale businesses, and financial institutions.

No matter what industry you are in, if you have a great business idea and know the steps required to start a business in Indiana, you can be well on your way to doing so in no time at all.

Steps to Starting a Business

Once you have an idea for a business that you want to launch, you need to do some planning on how to carry out your idea. Below are some tips and steps you can take to make sure you are on target to launch your business.

1. Brainstorming and planning– Before you start a business, you need to think about how you were going to take your idea to the market. You also need to be aware of who your market will be and the demographics and psychographics of your ideal customer. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, once said, “There is a quantum leap between a great idea in a marketable product.” So your goal as an entrepreneur is to think about the practical aspects and how you will take your idea to market in a way that will be profitable for you. If a business is not profitable, (to quote the IRS), “you don’t have a business; you have a hobby.” So make sure you will be able to find your market and make money with your idea before you move forward.

2. Visit the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce– If you live in the Indianapolis area, you can visit the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. They have many resources for small businesses and startups, and guides that will help you to figure out what you should do and the order in which you should do it. They are there to help business owners find their footing in the world of entrepreneurship and to establish a new Indy business according to all the relevant laws. There are also people who work in the Chamber’s entrepreneur services division that help you qualify for a microloan to get started. Visit the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce or call 317-464-2258 for more information on how they can help.

3. Choosing a Space– The real estate industry says it’s all about “Location, location, location” — and they’re right. It is important to find a retail spot that you know will make you profitable. If your business is one that needs a lot of space, you will need to look into real estate options for commercial space in the Indianapolis or surrounding areas. The city planners at the Department of Metropolis Development in Indiana can answer questions you have regarding zoning and other issues. The more you understand about the area of Indianapolis and Indiana and how things are done, the more you will have a leg up on your competition in building your new business.

4. Establish a timeline. It’s important to know when you will be able to get your permits to get things in order and start making money. The Chamber of Commerce can help with this, as well as with helping you create a plan that will help you get your business established and off the ground within a reasonable time. If you are renting a space that is already there, it may only take about 60 days or less to find a location and get moved in. Allow for this timeline and realize it will take some time to get organized and started when you build a new business.

5. Know the zoning ordinances. Make sure you know the zoning ordinances so that you won’t break any laws accidentally when you’re setting up your new business. Make sure you always do everything legally so that you won’t have any fees or fines because you failed to take note of an important but not-so-obvious rule.

6. Consult with a professional. Once you’re actually ready to get started with your new business, you will want to consult with a professional. This can be a number of people including financial advisors, business coaches, or city ordinance specialists. Make friends with influential and successful people in your community, as this will give you a great resource to make sure you are doing things correctly. Remember these people tend to be very busy, though, so you will need to make an appointment or call back at their convenience. If you are friendly and professional, they will usually be happy to help a new business owner secure the resources and get started with their new venture.

7. Secure needed capital. One of the most important things that you must do to have a successful business is to secure the capital you need to grow your business. You can do this in a number of ways such as small business loans and angel investors. Look into the options by visiting with a venture capitalist or investment firm as well as other financial institutions to get an idea of how much you’ll need to launch your business.

Gathering your resources

Once you have a plan, you can begin to rent your space, move in your merchandise or start offering services. Whether you are a products entrepreneur or a services entrepreneur, you will be successful if you are determined and you make the most of your resources, including securing the capital you need to grow your business.

Types of Business Funding

There are many different types of business funding you can look into to launch your startup. Below are the most common options.

  • Unsecured line of credit– An unsecured line of credit allows you to get funding in a credit line that you can use for business purchases without collateral.
  • Small business loans– A small business loan gives you upfront capital that you can use for your business that you pay back over a specific term in installments.
  • Equipment financing– Many businesses require the use of equipment to run their operation. There are some financial institutions that loan money specifically for equipment financing. This helps you gain capital for one of the most costly aspects of your business.
  • Purchase order financing– Purchase order financing gives you working capital that allows you to purchase inventory so that you can grow your startup to the next level without breaking your personal bank account.

If Flex Capital can help you with any of these types of financing, contact us for a quote. And best of luck with your new exciting adventure!