If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either interested in starting your own business or are already working in one. Maybe you’re even considering making the jump. If so, bravo!
There’s a lot to think about, though, and not all the information is easy to find. That’s where this post comes in. We’re going to cover everything from business licensing and liability to marketing and sales.
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
One of the first things you need to do is make sure you have everything you need. This means getting a business license and liability insurance policy, checking out the legal requirements of your location, researching business ownership options, and considering whether or not to incorporate. Let’s take a closer look at each item on that list.
Business License And Liability Insurance
The first step is to make sure you have a business license and liability insurance. You don’t have to have a business license to operate a sole proprietorship or a partnership, but if you plan on having employees you’ll need to get a business license. You can get a standard business license for a one-year term for only $150. If you’re already a registered business, you can use your existing business license. You’ll need to renew your business license every year.
When getting liability insurance, make sure you choose a reputable insurer. Also, make sure you notify your insurer of your new business. Most insurers will ask you to send them an updated version of your business license, as well as any other relevant paperwork. If you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to ask your insurer about obtaining a standard commercial liability policy, which covers your business legal rights and obligations. If you’re self-employed and work alone, you can choose a simpler form of insurance, called a homeowners policy. However, if you’re partnered or have employees, you should consider getting a commercial liability policy.
Your location is important. You obviously need a physical space to operate your business. Depending on where you are located, you’ll need to consider whether or not to register with the local government. If you’re already a registered business, check the legal requirements of your location to see what you need to do. There are legalities that you need to follow depending on where you are located. For example, in some places you may need a food permit, in others you may need an events permit, and in still others you may need a liquor license.
If you have a bricks-and-mortar location, it’s critical that you consider what you will do about liability there. Will you rent a garage or buy a building with a garage? What about employee parking? Will you provide parking for customers? These are all important questions to ask yourself before making any decisions about the location of your business.
Business Ownership Options
If you’re looking to get started with a new business, you’ll have to think about whether or not to register with the government as a partnership, sole proprietorship, or corporate entity. There are pros and cons to each option, so take your time deciding which one is right for you.
A business registered as a corporation must have at least two shareholders. However, if you’re just getting started, you may want to consider registering as a sole proprietorship or partnership. A partnership has no limit on the number of partners you can have, but if you decide to go that route, make sure you register your partnership with the government. Just keep in mind that if you have employees, you’ll need to register your partnership with the IRS as a business.
If you decide to register your business as a sole proprietorship, you’ll need to file a DBA (doing business as) statement with the government. This just means you’ll represent yourself as the business owner and won’t necessarily need to have a legal title to the business. If you have employees, you’ll need to file an SSN card with the government. You won’t have to, but it’s a good idea to do so. This will make it much easier for the IRS to collect taxes from you if you do happen to sell a product or service that is subject to taxation.
“Sole Proprietorship” (Proprietorship): It is the simplest form of business registration. All you need is a legal name for your business and you can just start operating. You’ll file your tax returns as an individual, and you’ll be responsible for paying all the taxes due. If you do happen to get audited by the IRS, it will be your responsibility to prove that you are in fact the owner of the business.
A partnership is when two or more people own the business and contribute their talents and financial resources to the venture. You’ll have a general partner who is responsible for handling the financial side of the business. The general partner can be registered with the government, and the business can be registered as a partnership. Partnerships are more common in larger cities, where multiple people can join together to form a business.
Marketing And Sales
Once you have your location set, you can move on to marketing and sales. You’re going to need to decide what you’re going to use to attract customers to your business. Most entrepreneurs choose to use some combination of online marketing and word-of-mouth marketing. So, let’s take a look at each one.
Marketing is pretty self-explanatory. It’s where you promote your business to get people to come back and visit your website or shop online. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing, but you’ll need to decide what works for you and your business.
If you have a physical location, you’ll want to set up some kind of sign to put in front of it. If you can’t find a sign for free, don’t worry. You can rent one for a few days, or buy one at any local store for about $10. When people come to visit your location, they’ll most likely be looking for signage to help them identify your business. So, make sure you have something there to indicate what the place is about.
Going online to market your business is common today. It’s an excellent way to reach a massive audience and can be very cost-effective. If you have a web browser, you can visit numerous websites that offer free business advice, review websites, and much more. There are pros and cons to using the internet to market your business. It’s a great way to reach a global audience, but you do have to be careful about what you say and where you say it. You could run the risk of being hacked or having your personal information stolen. There are ways that identity thieves can use your personal information to steal your money, and even if you change your passwords frequently, it can still happen. If you use social media to connect with potential customers, make sure you use a different account for your personal use and one for your business. This will help protect your personal information and ensure that you’re doing the right thing by using social media for your business.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the process of getting your product or service to the public through interactions with existing and potential customers. This is done mostly through social media. When someone recommends your product or service, it means they’ve either tried it out themselves and liked what they saw or heard, or know someone who has and wants to share their experience with others.
If you don’t have a physical location, you’ll have to rely on online marketing and word-of-mouth marketing to get the word out about your business. Social media is an excellent way to do this. You can use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to connect with potential customers. If you’re going to use social media, make sure you create accounts for each platform and remember to update your content frequently. Also, be sure to include links to your website and products wherever you can on social media.
With so much information available online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. That’s why it’s important to do some market research before you begin your campaign.