Are you contemplating building a brand new business? A startup is one of the best ways to build your own career and lifestyle independently, and it is small businesses started by individuals like you that support the local economy and community. Of course, an innovative idea is the first step; you want to bring something new and useful into the community. And as you may know, there is much more to consider in terms of actually building a company that will be successful. If you already have a baseline idea, here is a basic overview of the logistics of starting a new business:
Create a Financial Plan
Throughout the entire startup process, a working business plan is extremely important. This forces you to think through all the details, and it is highly recommended to collaborate with one or more trusted colleagues to ensure your plan is thorough. You need to address who your target audience is, how you will reach them, how you will obtain funding for initial investments, and how many sales you need to make to gain that money back and start making a profit. Through each step in crafting your business, refer back to this plan and keep it updated; this helps you organize your thoughts and ensures that you are on track.
This business plan should include a name for your business that is eye catching, memorable, and represents your company message. You also should decide how you want to classify your business; this will have large impacts on how your company runs and how it is taxed:
Sole proprietorship: A company owned by a single individual who is responsible for making all decisions, has full company liability, and receives 100% of the profit.
Partnership: A business owned by two or more individuals. These individuals share responsibility for decision-making, liability, and profit.
Corporation or S-Corporation: A company owned by many individuals which operates under written permissions from the state in which it is located.
Limited Liability Company (LLC): A hybrid company type that combines aspects of a partnership and a corporation.
Apply for an EIN and Business Licenses
In order to open a new business bank account, you need to apply for an Employer Identification Number in order to separate your personal identity from your business. You can apply online for free on the IRS website.
Depending on your industry and location, you may also need to apply for a number of licenses in order to do business legally. Make sure you have done extensive research on which licenses are required for your line of business and obtain these licenses immediately. Legal repercussions are the last thing you want to worry about during the growth and expansion of your company.
Open a Bank Account and Find a Payment Processing Service
After you have an EIN you can open a bank account that is strictly reserved for business affairs. This kind of financial organization is extremely important for staying on track and avoiding mixing business and personal financial affairs. It is important to conduct thorough research on banks and credit unions to determine which option is ideal for your business. Consider the processing speed, minimum account limits, and customer service quality before you decide to work with a company.
In addition to a bank account, you will need a service or company that handles payment processing, to allow your customers to make payments to the business. Similar to banks, there are a variety of options for payment processing to research, which depend on the nature of your business. Some only offer eCommerce services, while others are geared toward physical sales. One great all-around service that provides accommodations for a variety of business types is Double Helix. As a smaller company, they provide in depth and personal customer service and advice, and they specialize in high risk merchant accounts, such as adult content or gaming.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you are officially ready to begin the spread of your company!
Create a Website and Rent a Space
In this day and age, online presence is one of the most important factors of business success. It is extremely important to work with a team you trust when building a website, to ensure it has high usability, is attractive, and represents your company accurately. If you will be relying heavily on eCommerce sales, the purpose of the site should be to get the viewer to make a transaction quickly and seamlessly. If you only have a physical location, then focus more on providing information and easy ways to contact a representative. Even if your company is not quite ready to make sales, website creation is vital for beginning to build your brand and getting customers hyped!
If your new business relies on a physical location, this will also be the time to find a space to rent or purchase. It is advised to hold off on this process as long as necessary, as you want to be prepared to begin lease or rent payments and not waste any time afterwards. This process requires detailed and extensive research on which area and building style will be the most profitable. When planning your budget, make sure to include any interior and exterior renovations, as well as decor and furnishings, as that can be a major expense. This can also include hiring employees, however it is advised to postpone that until your new business gets on its feet unless it is absolutely necessary.
Now that your business is ready to start collecting revenue, push the marketing train into full steam! This means creating social media accounts of all sorts if you haven’t already done so, running ads to target your ideal customer, and participating in the local community to get the word out and build a positive name for your company. If you can attend or create physical events, promotional merchandise such as that offered at GoPromotional can be extremely effective and memorable for customers. It is highly advised to hire professionals to aid you in the marketing process, as they not only can provide insight into an effective marketing strategy, but they can provide the manpower to accomplish more than you alone.