Crucial Steps for Starting a Small Business
How to go about starting a small business has always been the basic question for any new entrepreneur who wants to be in business. Most of the time, varying answers to self employment ideas can be found but the question is, are those solutions reliable? Will they fit with your business needs? Will they really take your new business from seedling to a fully grown tree?
There are complex issues such as setting up your legal entity and simple steps such as setting up an online fax service. Read on and you might find something useful.
· Register a Domain Name
These days, everyone is transacting business online. Even if you don’t want to sell online, chances are that Social Media will be an advertising tool for you and people will find your business this way. The days of newspapers and the Yellow Pages are long gone! Registering a domain is your first step! You can achieve this through GoDaddy.com. You may even want to name your business (step 2 below) based on which domain names are available since this will determine your web-address and email addresses. You also need to make sure that the domain is spelled intuitively otherwise, people may not type it correctly and end up at a competitor’s website. Once you’re done verifying that your chosen domain name is still available, you need to pay for it. Once you’ve made the domain name officially yours, then you can customize it by choosing a variety of available upgrades such as private registration, domain variations, and bandwidth. Domain hosting companies often also provide email addresses – you can set them up at the same time as purchasing your domain. Otherwise, consider webmail services that host your email for you – this eliminates the need to have your own exchange server (equipment and IT knowledge required!). Gmail and Yahoo are good examples.
· Name Your Business
Naming your chosen business is crucial once you have decided on a concept and also verified that the domain address is available online. The name should be fascinating and appealing to your chosen targeted market, but not too difficult to remember or spell. Something that will stick to the minds of the consumer and not just something that can be forgotten in a few minutes. A simple name is fine too – it could be your initials and the type of company (e.g. RKConsulting) – you don’t have to spend hours with an online dictionary!
· Set up an office
What really is a business space? Most small businesses start in the garage, basement or office of your home. What does this imply? The things such as fax, phone line, and address define your “business space”. Having your business space as part of your personal space means that it may be difficult to separate your two lives! You may start by using your own fax number, phone line, and your personal address. The upside is that you won’t have to pay any rent for your business and you can often claim these personal expenses as business expenses for taxes. The downside is that the moment your business expands, you will not be able to transfer your phone and fax number and you will need to reprint all your business materials and edit your website. This may cost you more in the longer term. If you elect to use services such as online fax and GoogleVoice – these numbers are completely transportable and you won’t have to change them later.
· Form a legal entity
Business entities and taxes are not the most fascinating part of starting a business. But, to be able to start one, you have to identify the types of business entities that will work best for your particular structure. Majority of business owners settle for the Limited Liability Company (LLC) structure however you can also look into general partnerships, corporations, sole proprietorships, or limited partnerships. A Limited Liability Company has the advantages of limited liability (like a corporation) and favorable tax treatment (like a partnership). To establish an LLC, you obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), the number that allows you to set up a company bank account, purchase insurance, and take out a loan. You may want to consider the services of a local lawyer to advise you with this step.
Once you have applied these four steps, you are on the right track to building a successful and prosperous business. Visit www.ChooseWhat.com for further resources on ways to build a successful and flourishing business. If all this sounds complicated then I suggest that you consider enrolling in our small business course to help you with starting a small business.