What Will it Take to Open Your Lemonade Stand?

What Will it Take to Open Your Lemonade Stand?
What Will it Take to Open Your Lemonade Stand?

Last week I saw another case of a privately owned business being forced to shut down when it ran afoul of local regulations. This time it was a Florida lemonade stand operated by Gavin Gunderson, age 11. The stand was deemed to be in violation of Homeowners Association restrictions, and Gavin lost his business. (He did, however, earn $30 before he was forced to close.) As silly as it sounds, this happens fairly often to entrepreneurs in the lemonade business.

My point is that starting a business — any business — is a journey with many hurdles. Not only are there laws and regulations you need to learn about and obey, but also there are an incredible number of details to consider. If you are dreaming of starting out on your own and think you have a great idea, here are a few of the many questions you should ask yourself.

  • What regulations govern your proposed business? Do you need health department permits, or licenses to sell your products or services?
  • If you will have a brick-and-mortar location, what zoning laws apply? (Don’t make Gavin’s mistake.)
  • What kind of business insurance will you need?
  • How will you find your clients and market your business?
  • Do you know where you will need to post notices of your intent to operate the business?
  • Do you know how to do that?
  • If you will have employees or contract workers in your business, are you familiar with the local and federal requirements?
  • Have you done your financial due diligence, learning about quarterly tax estimates and record keeping rules, and applying for a sales tax number if you will need one?
  • Have you opened your business bank accounts?
  • Have you examined the various forms of business formation (i.e., LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.) to determine which makes the most sense for your business?
  • Do you know where you will turn for advice? Lawyer? Accountant? Business advisor?

These are just some examples. The list goes on and on. Try a Google search on the term “business startup checklist,” and you’ll find free, high-quality resources from both private and government sources — such as SCORE and the Small Business Administration. Even a brief review of a few of the available checklists will give you a glimpse of the enormous amount of ground to be covered to put a new business in motion.

Of course, there is another way. If you will consider the option of going into business for yourself via a franchised business, you will find that your checklist becomes much shorter, and the franchisor can provide you much needed guidance. That’s part of what makes franchising attractive: it an efficient way to get into business for yourself — not by yourself. New Franchisees purchase the right to use a proven, effective formula for success.

At FranNet, our job is to help prospective new-business owners determine if the franchise path is right for them and coach them on the due diligence required to make an informed decision. If you decide to go it alone, make sure you develop your own system and follow the checklists!

Thinking of Starting a Business? FranNet Can Help