Newport Board Group, an Advisory Firm Serving Middle Market Companies, Releases a 5 Step Guide to Starting a Successful Business for Under $1,000

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Starting a New Business Need Not be an Expensive Undertaking

For many “would be” entrepreneurs, starting a new business can prove to be daunting from the viewpoint of “where do I get help” or “I can’t afford to start a business.” Neither needs be a major obstacle.

For many “would be” entrepreneurs, starting a new business can prove to be daunting from the viewpoint of “where do I get help” or “I can’t afford to start a business.” Neither needs be a major obstacle.

The U.S. has always been the land of opportunity. Anyone has the right and theoretical opportunity to start a business and be successful. The risks of starting a business can be high but the rewards can be well worth it. However, the fact is that more businesses fail each year than start.

In 2014, there were 514,332 new businesses started in the United States. Unfortunately, there were 548,159 closed and over 55,000 bankruptcies.

The principal reason a business fails is many fold including poor product concept, lack of a reasoned business plan, undercapitalization, insufficient marketing efforts and changing market economics. So with statistics like these, how can a new business become a business success and not a business failure?

The answer is to have a viable strategic and tactical plan, seek help and be smart about how to set up the business and how much to spend to do that.

Five Steps for Under $1,000

1.    Strategic Plan. All of us have heard the “back of an envelope” story on how businesses are formed and that does happen. However, it is typically the concept that happens on a back of an envelope and not the actual plan to bring that concept to the market. The first step is to develop a well thought out business plan that addresses key success factors such as:

1. Name of Firm. Descriptive of the service or a name – companies with a description of their service or products generate more web visits than using a fictitious or personal name.

2. Owner or Owner-To-Be. Are you going to be the sole owner or will your have investors or/and partners?

3. Information on the Business. Information on the type, nature and products of the business

4. Market Analysis. Consider customers, competition and barriers to entry and success.

5. Market Strategy. How will the business generate sales, promote the product, and what media to use to do promote the product or services?

6. Management. Can the entrepreneur manage the business and also serve customers?

7. Financial. Can the business make money?                

An excellent business plan guide was recently published in Stumbleupon but also consider and review the IRS Guide. And help from experienced mentors is free through organizations such as SCORE, an organization of volunteers who provide specific advice and resources as business mentors to newly created and growing businesses on a no cost basis. There are of course, many other organizations such as your local chamber of commerce who can also provide mentoring and guidance.

Cost: 0 Dollars

2.    Web Identity. Everyone is on the web. Customers’ access and search the web for services and sellers through an Internet search. Suppliers and banks look at your website for credibility and presence. But the business web identity is more than a website. It starts with an email address with the business name such as and a domain name such as
A few years ago, creating a website was expensive and required outside technical consultants. Now it is quick, easy and you can do it yourself. Consider companies such as to choose a domain name, email address, webhosting and website design. Companies such as will even do the online billing to your customers.

Cost: 300 Dollars per year

3.    Office space. 52% of all small businesses are home-based, but that does not mean that you need to look like you work from your home. Customers look at the address and usually can tell a professional address from a home address, they often like to meet in person at an office location and working at home can be distractive and if you live in the suburb and your customers are in other locations, it can be difficult to do business. Consider a fractional executive office service. A very economical service is Regus, with office locations worldwide, office space is readily available for the startup entrepreneur on a just in time basis. The Blue card is free and the Gold card, offering shared space, internet and telephone access in location worldwide for no cost 8 hours a day 5 days a week for a small monthly membership fee ($59 – first month free). Don’t forget to check airline perks for club members as many airlines provide the card free to more elite members. Additionally, working around other entrepreneurs and hanging out at Starbucks between meetings will be a thing of the past.

Cost: Free (Blue Card) or Gold Card (zero from an airline or 649 dollars/year)

4.    Business Cards: A paper carryover from the past, they are still widely used and critical to a new business. There are many on line business card services but companies such Home Depot offer quality cards for as low as 10 dollars.

Cost: 20 dollars for 300 cards

5.    Social Media: Depending on the type of business, the business should have a social media presence. Linkedin with over 300 million members is regarded as the business site for connecting with other business people and has excellent posting features for articles, blogs and connecting with customers and vendors. Facebook is more a social friends and business focused site but an excellent tool for “getting your word out” to your friends and customers. Both Linkedin and Facebook allow you to set up a commercial page for your new business.

Cost: Free

Total cost: 969 dollars

To make a business successful, you need to provide a service or product that the customer wants to buy, that you can provide at a profit. And of course, it’s not all about the money. A successful business is very hard work and long hours. But with a bit of planning and a little bit of money the “would be” entrepreneur can beat the odds and create and grow a successful business.

Michael Evans is the National Managing Partner of Newport Board Group

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