Tips on starting a business?
Looking to start a new business, and you’re not sure exactly where to begin?
I would suggest looking at my article on writing a business plan first, and I think it’s really an important read before you jump in headfirst.
Well that can be one of the more difficult questions to answer if you are new to the process. First you must ask yourself a few questions about the business you are starting.
If you are looking for some ideas, I offer some throughout my articles on this website. I did write an article called 11 Legitimate work from home ideas, and that may be a place to look if you need some help to get started.
What kind of business is this? Are you going to be selling things, providing a service, or other? Depending on how you answer these questions is how to get started.
If you are wanting to start selling things, first you must decide on what you are going to sell and whom your target audience is.
If you are going to provide a service, is this service something you can do onsite or do you need a building/equipment?
In most states, if not all, you will be required at minimum to pick up a business license from your county tax office. Depending on the type of business you are creating you may also be required to procure other license.
I know in my state Florida if you are going to be doing any type of construction work you are required to also gain a contractors license. If you want to work in food service you have to have food and beverage license as well as a ServSafe certification.
In addition to any extra license or certifications you are required to get, you may also be required to get business insurance or get bonded.
There are two types of bonds surety and fidelity, surety bonds may be required by a third party such as the government, and fidelity bonds protect you and your business.
What kind of business to start?
Before you go running out to get started, you may want to decide if you want to create your business structure as a sole proprietorship, Partnership, LLC., C-Corp, or S-Corp.
As a sole proprietorship all finances and taxes will go through your personal accounts, and any assets or liabilities will be on you as an individual.
Partnerships is very similar to sole proprietorship but will be split between you and the co-owner, however ownership usually cannot be transferred to another individual.
Limited Liability Corporations (LLC.) are created to protect personal assets from business liability, and business assets from personal liabilities. LLC.’s are not taxed separately from the individual they act as a pass through for profits and losses.
C and S Corp.s function similarly when it comes to each other, and in some respects to the LLC.s. They both separate the owner and business liabilities and assets. They both have shareholders, however the S-Corp. is limited to 100 and the C-Corp do not have a limit to the amount of shareholders it can have.
The S-Corp. acts as a pass through when it comes to federal taxes, and the shareholders are subject to pay the taxes on their dividends.
The C-Corp. does not have a pass through when it comes to federal taxes, meaning that taxes are paid two times once by the business itself than by the individual shareholder.
You may want to do your own research on each type of business, some of which can be done a LawDepot where you can also complete some forms, or possibly locate and talk with an attorney before you decide.
Talking to an attorney can help you find and file all the correct paperwork you need to get started, but can be rather expensive at times.
Now maybe you’ve decided…
By now, it’s possible that you have decided the type of business you’d like to start, and how you want that business structured.
Now you must think of things like insurance for your business as well as you and your employees. If you are operating the business by yourself and don’t require any employees, then you likely will not need to worry about workmans compensation.
You will want to check with your individual state that you are licensed in as to the type and amount of insurance coverage that your required to have.
All of this sounds like it may be very expensive, or impossible to accomplish, but I can tell you firsthand it’s not that difficult. You just have to take each step one at a time and try not to get ahead of yourself.
By now if you’ve followed all the steps you’re ready to get started working, but wait don’t forget about marketing.
I don’t have a degree in marketing, nor have I been doing heavy marketing research, but I know you have to get your name out there somehow.
These days you have tons of options for marketing such as Google (if your going to have a website), social media is another big one now, television, radio, mail outs, signs.
Some are certainly more expensive than others, but I know you can get started posting adds on Facebook for as little as $3.
I know we have discussed a bit, but don’t let FEAR stop you.
Fear can be something to either drive us to push past it, or send us running the other direction. While this isn’t entirely about fear of the unknown so much as the fear of what we do know.
Sometimes fear can manifest itself in the form of a task, a goal, or even the fear of success itself. We can often be afraid of taking that scary first step into the unknown, but only once we have taken that step will we be able to take the next step.
Goals especially big ones can be terrifying, but as I mentioned in a previous post you can cut that big goal down into smaller more achievable goals.
I know it can be hard how to discern where to cut the goals down, but if you think about it long enough, you will find the answer, but don’t think about it too long or you could wind up overthinking the problem.
Fear of things is much more understandable because the things are tangible. Fear of situations or outcomes can be just as scary for some, sometimes even more scary to some.
Just take a deep breath and step back, look at the situation, and you will find the solution. Just have to believe in yourself!
As always if you have any comments or concerns about this or any of my other posts please feel free to comment or contact me.
*Disclaimer – I am not a certified Financial Advisor, Accountant, nor am I an Attorney, So any advice given in my blogs is solely based on my opinions.*