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Starting a Business by Industry

You dream of starting a new business, but what kind? While several processes for launching a startup are universal, some requirements and best practices vary depending on the business's industry.

For example, you will have unique considerations should you open a bakery, daycare, or online clothing boutique. The steps to form your business and what you must do to make it legal may differ.

This article will help you learn about:

This article links to step-by-step guides for how to start a small business in various industries.

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Starting an Online Business

Many small businesses don't require a brick-and-mortar presence. Opening an online-only store has advantages. You have lower overhead costs and don't have to worry about legal requirements like zoning or signing a commercial lease.

But e-commerce businesses have their own legal considerations, including:

Online stores and e-commerce sites can work well to promote services or sell products without a physical storefront. You may be just as effective at selling jewelry or graphic design services through e-commerce as you would from a physical location.

Your marketing strategy may include search engine optimization (SEO) and online ads. Ensure your website is user-friendly, accessible, and has secure payment options. Social media platforms Instagram and TikTok allow business accounts to link a website in their page profile. This makes it easy to direct customers from your social media accounts to your online store.

Some businesses start as online-only and expand to brick-and-mortar as the business grows. The scalability of your business may allow you to expand your business model later to include one or more physical locations.

Choosing the Best Industry for Your Small Business

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides free customer information and market trends. Business owners can use these insights to identify industries with high demand and growth rates. Knowing which business sectors have high profit margins and opportunities for growth is helpful—but keep in mind these industries can also be competitive.

You should also factor in how saturated a market is in the area you want to do business. Breaking into a saturated market can be challenging. Expect steep competition. You'll need a strong value proposition to help your business stand out.

The industries with the greatest chance at success have high demand but low supply. For example, opening a boutique gym in an affluent neighborhood without an existing fitness center may be a successful business endeavor. Opening a brewery in an area with four others in a 10-mile radius may not.

Some businesses also require specific certifications or professional licensing. You may need these if you start a business in healthcare, bookkeeping, cosmetology, or real estate.

Start With a Business Plan

All small businesses (regardless of industry) need a strong business plan. Your business plan will showcase more than just your business idea. It should also include detailed information on:

  • Market and competitor analysis
  • Profit projections
  • Customer profiles
  • Business operations plan

You will likely need to secure funding for your business, either through business loans or investors. Financial institutions and investors will use your business plan to determine the viability of your idea and the potential for return.

Need More Help? Talk to a Business Attorney

Entrepreneurship and being your own boss come with distinct challenges. Depending on your type of business and industry, you may benefit from having legal help on your side.

business attorney in your area can guide you through your business formation, helping you identify business opportunities and avoid legal problems before they arise. An experienced attorney can help with several aspects of your business venture, including:

  • Securing funding to cover your startup costs
  • Identifying potential liabilities
  • Choosing a business structure
  • Registering and protecting your business name and logo

FindLaw's Starting a Business section is another great resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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