Your 10-Step Guide to Business Ownership

Jun 21, 2024 | Financial Planning

Turning your solopreneur dreams into a reality is exciting business! But where to begin??

We’re here to dust off the guesswork by offering this guide on how to create and start your awesome business. From cultivating the right mindset to nailing down your business niche, structure, and growth strategies, let’s walk through this 10-step process together.

1. Cultivate The Right Mindset

While the allure of overnight success stories is captivating, the truth is that building a business takes time, dedication, and perseverance. Instead of fixating on instant results, you could embrace your unique journey. This requires that you focus on what you can do – setting meaningful, specific, and time-bound goals, and the habits that align with them. And whatever you do, please avoid measuring your success to anyone else’s – this is an unnecessary recipe for losing sight of your progress and successes.

Identify what you can do now:

What daily or weekly habits can you implement to move closer to your objectives? Is it setting aside 15 minutes a day for market research and business planning? Is it reducing your expenses in the short term, to build up extra capital for starting a business? Or perhaps spending an hour each Saturday and Sunday to learn more about your niche area?

2. Define Your Business Type and Concept

Whether you’re refining an existing idea or starting from scratch, take the time to clarify your business concept and type. Consider what you love, what you’re good at, and what the market demands. Your business idea should be a blend of passion, profitability, and feasibility.

If you’re curious but unsure about what your business concept is yet, you might ask yourself: (1) what do I love to do, (2) what would I not want to do, (3) what would improve something that already exists, (4) what do my friends come to me for help or advice about, or (5) if put on the spot, what topic would I be willing to talk about for ten minutes?

Additionally, you should know the type of business you’d like to start. Are you leaning towards a consulting-type business or a franchise? Perhaps a photography business or starting an online store? Maybe your dream is to become a social media influencer on a niche topic? A way to really nail down a business type is to align it with your skill level, interests, available funding, and what type of support you have.

3. Research… Then Research Some More

Avoid making the common mistake of focusing more on your product and less on your competition.

To get started, you should first understand your target market or audience. Perhaps you could learn what they want (or don’t want) via surveys or questionnaires. Resources such as SurveyMonkey and Ask Your Target Market – AYTM and similar can help if you don’t have access to an audience yet. Lastly, it’s probably best to avoid surveying your loved ones – there’s a big difference between people saying they like your product, versus their willingness to buy it.

Once you’ve done some heavy lifting on the research side of things, it’s wise to dig even deeper here. Another way to enhance your business idea and future success is by understanding the facts around your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats: conducting your very own SWOT analysis! Seriously, put the time and effort in now to identify and address areas of opportunity here, to avoid them turning into your business’ Achilles heel.

4. Have a Rockstar Business Plan

You can think of your business plan as the roadmap to your business’ journey – covering each stage of your business from start to management. This helps focus your team’s and your efforts, and lets your potential investors understand what you are doing. Whether you choose to craft a traditional or lean startup plan, be sure to include the following sections: executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and structure, mission and goals, products or services, background summary, marketing plan, and financial plan. Bonus points if you include a section on your exit strategy in the event you sell, transfer ownership, or move on to other passions.

For free business plan templates, you could check out resources such as U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and

5. Select Your Business Structure

Selecting the appropriate business structure is crucial for legal, tax, and personal asset-risk protection purposes. Whether you opt for an LLC, partnership, or corporation, it is highly recommended that you first weigh the pros and cons of each carefully, alongside an expert business accountant.

6. Register Your Business & Obtain Licenses

Ensure your business is legally compliant by registering it with the necessary authorities and obtaining any required licenses and permits. Part of this process includes choosing a business name, domain name, and obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This process is essential for establishing your brand identity, protecting your intellectual property, and avoiding unnecessary legal troubles. Your specific requirements will depend on your business type, industry, and location, so it is highly recommended to seek counsel from experienced legal professionals here.

7. Manage Your Finances Wisely

You can fund and manage your business’ finances in several ways. Whether you choose to self-fund, seek outside investors or loans, or are eligible for local or federal grants, having a solid financial plan is key to sustaining and growing your business. Part of this also means maintaining separate financial accounts for your personal and business affairs. Once you have a separate business bank account, you should get accounting software to track your income and expenses meticulously. This software can help you determine your business’ break-even point: the point where your business can make money. You should know this number and prepare for having enough cash to cover at least 6-9 months of operating expenses before launching.

Hot Tip: One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is underestimating how long it can take to generate a profit. Typically, this can take roughly 2-3 years for small businesses. So, be mindful, proactive, and plan accordingly.

8. Secure Business Insurance

Protect your business from unforeseen risks by investing in the right insurance coverage. From liability insurance to workers’ compensation and property insurance, prioritize safeguarding your assets and liabilities. Some notable small business insurance companies are Allianz, Allstate, Chubb, Clear Blue, Farmers, and Travelers.

9. Have the Right Tools and Software

Streamline your operations and enhance productivity with the right business tools and software. From accounting software to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, credit card processors to email hosting, you should leverage technology to automate tasks, save you time, and make informed decisions – especially when you are just starting out!

10. Develop a Robust Digital Presence

Build a strong online presence through a professional website, SEO optimization, and active participation on social media platforms. This includes creating valuable content, making an added effort to engage with your target audience, and really leveraging technology to push your business forward.

BONUS! – Build a Rockstar Team

It’s time to build your dream team and form strategic partnerships to keep things running smoothly. From hiring full-time staff to finding freelancers on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, there are plenty of resources available. Utilize job boards like Indeed and Craigslist or tap into social media networks like LinkedIn and Facebook for talent scouting. And don’t forget to explore partnerships with businesses in your industry, offering clients a one-stop-shop experience, or consider teaming up with companies serving the same target market to expand your reach.


Becoming a business owner can be both exhilarating and challenging. By cultivating the right mindset, conducting thorough research, implementing a strategic plan, and really securing your venture with appropriate funding, insurance, and an online presence, you can turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Truly, with the right approach, you can be unstoppable! 

So, stay focused, stay determined, and remember that success is a journey, not a destination. 

We’ve got this!

Learn how our unique approach and personalized advice can help you grow the value of your financial portfolio.

Disclaimer: Pring Turner is a Financial Advisor headquartered in Walnut Creek CA, and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The views represented herein are Pring Turner’s own and all information is obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. This information should not be considered a solicitation or offer to provide any service in any jurisdiction where it would be unlawful to do so. All indices are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results.