This blog will be touching upon a few things that you will need to have in place, in order to open the door to your new business. Of course, we are not attorneys or tax professionals, so please refer to those experts for the official rules and regulations.
We love working with businesses! Non-profits, for-profits, any size business from small, medium to large. No matter what size of business, you will need to have certain things in place, in order to really begin. It may feel overwhelming and for some, a bit scary but focus on the excitement, hopes, and joy of starting a business.
Starting your business
There are items like city and county paperwork that will need to be done for licensing, permits, fictitious name filing if you aren’t just using your own name, and operations tax. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, then you need to deal with the landlords for leasing space and set up your services to that location. For a home-based business, you will need to have your city permit to operate out of your home. The city where you live surely has a website with information on getting started.
Market research and a marketing plan
Knowledge and expertise are critically important when starting a business. It is also very important to have some kind of marketing and business plan to establish a road map. This can be an ever-changing document but to start, you must map your direction. Of course, most or all of your research can be done online. There are still lots of book resources out there too. I have always enjoyed the straightforward way that’s Nolo Press presents its information. They have a great website with online forms and books to purchase as well.
You must also choose a business structure. Are you going to be a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietor? Talk to your tax advisor to help you choose the best one for your needs.
Your Business name
Make sure to do your research in picking the best name for your business. Will people know what you do? Buy the domain name and make sure that you keep paying it yearly or however long the period you purchased it for. This business name is many times your online URL (the address that you put in the search field in your browser). This is best practice but sometimes a business was started without checking to see if the domain name is being used already. You can put it in your search bar and see if it’s available. Also, domain registrars like GoDaddy for example have a search tool that allows you to check if it’s available and it gives you alternatives if your name has already been purchased by someone else. There is a great tool called WhoIs that you can check the domain name and it will give you information like who owns it and when the registration will expire. Also, another resource is the official ICANN website(Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and many other similar websites that you can use to find useful information.
This is the face of your company and it’s going to be used on all of your document’s letterhead, website, social media, and anywhere else that your business needs a “picture” If you have the budget, then a professionally designed logo is really your best option. If you have a product that you are selling, you will need a custom logo. If you don’t have the budget at least, to begin with, there are lots of tools online that can help you for a fraction of a custom logo. Although, this logo is not custom and can be seen if another business is using the one that you chose for their business already. The only way to have one that no one has seen before is to hire a graphic designer to do this for you. Ask us about this and we can help to point you in the right direction.
This is many times, the first glimpse of your business that someone sees. Whether we want to admit it, we all judge and you want the first impression to look sharp and professional. Some people on a budget try to save money by setting up a website themselves. There are tools like GoDaddy site builder or Wix with the promise that it will be easy. The problem here is, unless you are technical, you probably won’t be able to put a good enough product out there even with these tools. Not to mention that they are very limited on how you can design and edit. Also, you may not know, what you don’t know…. meaning your website may not be search engine friendly with some of these methods You will need to be found by Google and many of these options just don’t offer much in that area. What is a website worth if no one can find it? Just like you wouldn’t buy a home without a Realtor helping you. The same is true for a website. Hire a professional like Grateful Web Services.
If the website isn’t programmed correctly, doesn’t look professional, isn’t easy to navigate, and isn’t maintained often, you may be missing out on a lot of business. A unique and custom design is really important to help your reputation. Keeping it updated is critical for Google to keep indexing your website in its ranking for searches.
Your website will need to be hosted somewhere. As explained in this blog in further depth. We offer hosting services to make it easier for our clients to have all of their web services under one roof. Either way, there are lots of options out there but make sure that your host has the latest software on their server!
Hopefully, you will be able to start receiving money for your product, services, or donations for our non-profits! Of course, you must set up a business account at your bank to receive payments to your business name. A sole proprietor can use their own name. It is also suggested that you set up a PayPal account and Venmo account since many people prefer the ease of paying through these methods. Grateful Web Services can also set up your eCommerce, so your website can take payments and our non-profits can receive their donations. Sometimes people can find all of this overwhelming. No worries we can help you navigate all of this and even maintain it for you if requested.
Ready, set, go!
Take time to be happy and to appreciate the process. There is always going to be stress but this is an exciting time and don’t forget to step back and enjoy the accomplishment.
These are a just few very valuable resources mentioned in this blog