The How of Business Podcast – Small Business Startup Episodes

These episodes of The How of Business podcast are focused on small business startup, and will help and inspire you to start your small business. From tips and strategies for launching a small business, to the inspirational stories of other successful entrepreneurs, these episodes are for you if you are thinking about or planning to start your small business.

Here is a FREE download to help you with starting your small business: Business Start-Up Checklist

Start a Small Business Workshop

Listen to these episodes to learn more about how to start a small business:

The How of Business

7 Small Business Start-Up Mistakes. The most common 7 Small Business Start-Up Mistakes and how to avoid them and launch a successful business, with Henry Lopez. How to identify and avoid or minimize some of the most common small business start-up mistakes. Henry shares his top 7 common small ...
The How of Business
 Small Business Startup Checklist. Small Business Startup Checklist to help you launch your first business, with serial entrepreneur Henry Lopez. Henry explains the primary steps involved with starting your first small business and realizing your dreams of entrepreneurship. Free Download: Small Business Startup Checklist  The Small Business Startup ...
The How of Business
 Six Small Business Startup Myths. Six common Small Business Startup Myths discussed and debunked by Henry Lopez and David Begin. These 6 myths can hold you back or mislead you as to the real challenges and opportunities related to starting your first small business. Serial entrepreneurs Henry and ...
Episode 515: Kelley Thornton - Scaling Tiege Hanley

Scaling Tiege Hanley. Scaling Tiege Hanley, a direct-to-consumer men’s skin care product company, with co-founder Kelley Thornton. Kelley shares his entrepreneur journey, and how he launched and scaled Tiege Hanley (starting at 15:11) – providing “Uncomplicated Skin Care for Men” through their online site. Kelley Thornton was born ...
The How of Business

How to Create Your LLC or Corporation. How to create your small business LLC or Corporation with host Henry Lopez.  What is a legal business entity, why do you need one and how do you create it?  Creating and operating your small business under a legal entity, like ...
Episode 447: Candace Nelson - Sweet Success
 Sweet Success with Entrepreneur Candace Nelson. How to achieve sweet success in small business with entrepreneur Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles cupcakes. Candace shares highlights of her exciting entrepreneurial journey, including founding Sprinkles cupcakes, and valuable insight into what it takes to achieve sweet success as a small ...
Episode 503: Adam Siegel - Fashion Resale Business

Fashion Resale Business. How Adam Siegel launched Recurate, a tech-enabled resale service that empowers brands and retailers to establish their own integrated resale platforms directly on their e-commerce sites. From Aerospace Engineering to starting a business in the fashion resale business, Adam shares his fascinating entrepreneur journey. Adam ...
The How of Business
Starting Your Business – Are You Ready? Resources to help you determine if you are ready to start your first small business. And if you are not ready now, what do you need to do to realize you dreams of business ownership? Resources on this page include:
Episode 469: Courtney Reum - Shortcut Your Startup

Shortcut Your Startup with Courtney Reum. How to shortcut your startup with Courtney Reum, co-author of the national bestseller “Shortcut Your Startup: Speed up Success with Unconventional Advice from the Trenches”. Courtney shares practical advice for entrepreneurs looking to bring their ideas to market quickly and effectively. Courtney ...
Episode 470: Peter Mann - Launching Oransi

Launching Oransi with Entrepreneur Peter Mann. Launching Oransi with entrepreneur Peter Mann. Peter shares his entrepreneur journey, dealing with an autism diagnosis later in life and starting his business. From serving in the military, to a later-in-life autism diagnosis, Peter shares his inspiring entrepreneur journey, including founding and ...
Episode 468: Charles McCarrick - Personal Qualities for Success

Personal Qualities for Success with Charles McCarrick. How to transform your personal qualities for success in small business with Charles McCarrick. How can you transform your personal qualities to help you achieve success? Charles shared insights and stories from his new book, “Lessons My Brothers Taught Me”. Charles ...
Episode 455: Kristina Schlegel - Starting Make Bake
Starting Make Bake with Kristina Schlegel. Starting Make Bake with entrepreneur Kristina Schlegel. Kristina shares her entrepreneurial journey and her experiences launching Make Bake a CPG baking & food craft brand. Kristina Schlegel is the founder of Make Bake, and creator of Stickies –The Stickers You Can Eat!® “Our ...
Episode 433: Mike McFall - Entrepreneurship
 The Entrepreneurship Journey with Mike McFall. Mike shares his tips and advice for starting and growing a small business, based on his over 23 years of entrepreneurship experience and co-founding Biggby Coffee. Michael J. McFall is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Biggby Coffee – a fast-growing $200-million-dollar coffee ...
Episode 432: Nick Loper - Side-Hustle Business
 Side-Hustle Small Business with Nick Loper. How to start and grow a side-hustle small business with entrepreneur Nick Loper. For many of us the reality is that we need to start our first business as a side-hustle – a business that we start on the side, while we ...
Episode 424: Connor Meakin - Launching Bluebird Provisions
 Launching Bluebird Provisions with Connor Meakin. Launching Bluebird Provisions, a maker of bone broth food products, with entrepreneur Connor Meakin. Connor shares his entrepreneur journey, how his foot injury led him to discover the health benefits of bone broth, and why and how he started his own bone ...
Episode 399: Dan Perry - Handyman Business Startup
 Handyman Business Startup with Dan Perry. How to start and grow a handyman small business with Dan Perry. Dan shares how and why he transitioned from a mechanical engineering career to starting a handyman business, Handyman Startup, and tip & insights on how to start your own handyman ...
Episode 390: Alex Doman - Launching Avec
 Launching Avec with Alex Doman. Launching Avec, a maker of canned drink mixers with healthy ingredients, with entrepreneur Alex Doman. We also explore Alex’s entrepreneurial journey. Alex Doman is the co-founder of AVEC – a maker of canned drink mixers with healthy ingredients including real juice, low or ...
Episode 282: Elizabeth Butts - Launching Sprinkle Pop
Launching Sprinkle Pop with Founder Elizabeth Butts. How Elizabeth Butts launched Sprinkle Pop – from a one-woman home business, keeping her day job, to dedicated warehouse space in less than a year. She shares her entrepreneur journey, from hobby baking business to side-hustle and then leaving her successful corporate ...

How to Start a Small Business

How do you start a small business? Here is an outline of the primary steps required to start a small business. Depending on the type of business you are starting, some of these steps may not apply and for other types of businesses there may be additional steps required.

In the United States, small businesses are a pivotal part of the economy. They account for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses and employ a significant portion of the workforce. However, starting and sustaining a small business involves careful planning and strategic execution. This outline, along with the links to relevant content and resources, provides a summary overview of what it takes to start your small business:

  1. Conduct a Personal Evaluation
    Assess why you want to start a business, your skills, experience, and readiness for entrepreneurship. To help you determine if you are ready to start your business, we recommend the Are Your Ready series of podcast episodes, and Starting Your Business – Are You Ready? – an online self-paced course to help you assess how prepared you are to start your business, including a scorecard and roadmap. According to U.S. Small Business Administration, “market research will tell you if there’s an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. It’s a way to gather information about potential customers and businesses already operating in your area.”
  2. Ideation
    If you are searching for an good business idea, or wondering if yours is a good business ideas, we recommend the Business Ideation series of podcast episodes. Part of this initial phase includes conducting your initial research of the industry, market needs, competitors, and potential challenges. You will expand upon this research when you complete your business planning. The ideation phase can be frustrating, as it may not be easy to find the perfect business idea that works for you. That said, however, you will likely find that finding the right business idea is often easier than executing the idea for your business.
  3. Evaluate Your Target Audience
    Once you have an idea, it must be matched to a potential target market. For small business owners, this should be as targeted or niche of a market as possible. It’s often a mistake to try to serve everyone since you simply may not have the resources to be able to do so. It’s hard to compete against Wallmart, for example, on every day low prices. It’s imperative to clearly define your Avatar or Ideal Client Profile to guide the development and focus of your small business.
  4. Create Your Business Plan
    Even if it’s just for yourself, we always recommend that you create a Business Plan for your small business. As the U.S. Small Business Administration explains “a good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business.” To help you write your small business plan, you can download the Small Business Plan Outline. At a minimum, your business plan should include a company description, market analysis, organization and management, sales strategies, funding requests, and financial projections. The business plan defines the business model that is projected to generate a profit. We recommend that you (and your partners) write the business plan instead of paying someone else to do so. If you need help with creating your business plan, consider joining the next online Business Plan Workshop instructed by Henry Lopez, host of The How of Business podcast.
  5. Plan Your Finances
    An essential component of your Business Plan is your Financial Projections. The Financial Projections are used to estimate the financial variability of your business mode. In addition to the financials of your planned business, it’s critical to estimate and prepare for your personal and household expenses if you plan on reducing or replacing your current income with your planned business income.
  6. Pick and Register Your Business Name
    Choose a business name that reflects your brand and is available. Your availability search should include the United States Patent and Trademark Office, your state’s corporate registration website, and the internet to confirm that the URL or domain name is available before you finalize a name for your small business.
  7. Choose a Legal Business Structure
    We recommend that you not operate your small business as a sole proprietor. Instead, with the advice of a CPA or Tax Attorney, decide on a legal structure like an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or Corporation (C-Corp or S-Corp). Your choice of legal entity can impact your personal and business taxes, liability, and other legal exposure and requirements.
  8. Get Licenses and Permits
    Secure the necessary legal permits or licenses required for your to operate your small business. Permits or licenses may be required by your state, your county or your city. Regularly review your business operations for legal compliance and industry standards.
  9. Choose Your Systems
    Create the first version of your mission critical systems to help you operate your small business consistently and to train your staff. Also select your software and other tools, like CRM, Financial Management, Point of Sale, and other technologies to help you operate and manage your small business.
  10. Choose and Set Up Your Business Location
    If you business requires a physical location, then location selection may be critical to the long-term success of your small business. Select a location that suits your business, customers, and employees. We recommend engaging a Commercial Real Estate broker to help locate a location and negotiate a lease.
  11. Hire and Train Your Team
    Initially you want to outline a hiring process and familiarize yourself with labor laws if hiring employees or contractors. In your Financial Projections you should plan for your labor requirements and associated expenses. If you require a team to deliver your service or product, you must recruit, on-board, train, and retain a talented staff.
  12. Sales & Marketing
    Your Business Plan should include a detailed Marketing Plan for how you promote your small business and generate revenue. Your marketing efforts may include Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, traditional advertisement methods, Email Marketing, and direct Sales efforts.
  13. Launch Your Small Business
    Start with a minimal viable – the smallest version of your small business possible – product or service and adapt and reiterate based on market feedback.
  14. Build a Support Network & Get Help
    “Networking is a powerful tool for small business owners. Engage with local business communities and chambers of commerce to build relationships, gain insights, and increase visibility for your business, ” explains the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Starting a small business can be a lonely pursuit, and getting the support of other entrepreneurs, mentors and an experienced small business coach can prove invaluable.
  15. Continuously Review and Adapt Your Small Business
    Regularly update your business plan as your business grows and market conditions change.

The How of Business is dedicated to helping your start, run and grow your small business, providing the best actionable resources and knowledge for business owners and entrepreneurs.