A guide to getting your small business off the ground

A curated collection of steps to set yourself up for success

Companies of all sizes have one thing in common: They all began as small businesses. Starting small is a column for those just getting off the ground. Learn about how to make that first hire, deal with all things administrative, and set yourself up for success.

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy—and more are launching than ever before.

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New business applications in 2021 soundly beat 2020’s record, with a staggering 5.4 million new business applications filed. This surge in new businesses has occurred across nearly every industry and is shaping up to be a major force in the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Whatever the reasons and inspiration behind this surge in new businesses, the upward trend toward self-employment and new startups is continuing into 2022.

Before the pandemic, only 3 percent of new business owners were Black and 27 percent were women. In 2020, 11 percent were Black and 49 percent were women.

If you’re among the growing number of entrepreneurs with small-business dreams, this guide will walk you through the essential steps to realizing them—from stating your mission to filling your sales pipeline.

Kristen Bailey is a veteran writer and editor based in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. She has a penchant for helping large and small brands create stories that tell the why.

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