Have you ever had an idea, product or skill that you were really passionate about? Have you considered if your idea, product or skill could provide income?
Starting a business can be very intimidating. We have broken down some of those big steps to make it easier to realize your dreams.
Basic Task List for Starting a Business
Establish a Mission Statement
Before even picking a name for your business, you might want to think about the purpose or mission for your business. Start by answering the following questions:
- What makes your product, idea or skill unique?
- Why would someone do business with you over some other company?
- How do you want your customer to feel after they have done business with you?
- What is most important to your target consumers?
When you have a general idea of what your business is all about, you can create a mission statement that specifies the who, what and why of your company.
Create a Name
There are many important things to keep in mind when creating a name for your business. If you are very thorough in this process, your business will be easier to market and brand. There are many websites available to generate business name ideas, such as:
Things to consider when picking a name:
- Use a name that promotes your mission statement. You want it to have meaning.
- Say the name out loud. Do you like the sound of it? Is it catchy? You want it to be easy to say.
- Use the correct spelling of words. Don’t try to be so unique that you end up correcting anyone trying to write it.
- Do a search online for trademarks and originality. You don’t want to get mixed up with other companies because your name is too similar. Check with your State to verify that there are not any other businesses with that name. You cannot register two businesses with the same name. For example, in Utah you can go to https://secure.utah.gov/bes/ and do a business entity search.
- Pick a name that will grow with your company. You may choose a name that fits what you are providing now. As a result, it may be harder to add more products later or the industry could change, leaving you with limited revenue. Imagine if Amazon started out as Online Books?
- Think about branding and marketing, as well as your logo and how you will incorporate the name and pick a color scheme.
Check for Domain Availability
We live in an online world. You want to make sure that your name will be able to be incorporated into a domain (website). You can use Name.com to find a domain name for your website and email use. There are several companies where you can purchase a domain, create a website and do online marketing. Some of the big ones are:
- Network Solutions
Organization or Sole Proprietor
The main difference between an LLC and a corporation is that an LLC is owned by one or more individuals, while a corporation is owned by its shareholders. No matter which entity you choose, both entities offer big benefits to your business. Incorporating a business allows you to establish credibility and professionalism.
Register Your Business with the Local and State Governments
This will ensure that you will be set up for taxes and the appropriate permits. Most states charge a small fee to register your business name and get a business license.
Articles of Incorporation
Articles of incorporation are a set of formal documents filed with a government body to legally document the creation of a corporation. They generally contain pertinent information, such as the firm’s name, street address, agent for service of process, and the amount and type of stock to be issued. (Kenton, n.d.)
If you plan to get financing, your financial institution may ask for a business plan. You may also need a business plan if you seek investors or partners. A business plan would include things like:
- Owner information
- Strategies for accomplishing goals
- Marketing plan
- Estimated income and expenses
When writing your business plan, try to advertise your passion for the idea or product so that the reader will be as excited as you are.
- Pursue a grant – Grants may not include large sums of money, but could help pay for small parts of your new business. There are state and national government grants that would award to businesses that are trying to build the economy or create jobs.
- Crowdfunding – This is where you try to get public interest to take a part in your product or idea. In our digital world, it is easy to spread the word about a new product or idea that others might be willing to invest in. This leads us to our next option.
- Family and Friends – Sometimes family members and friends have the same interests as you do. If family or friends are willing to help contribute, you might be able to get your start-up funds faster. Be wary of the strain it might put on your relationship.
- Find an angel investor – An angel investor is an individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. There are networks of angel investors. The key to finding a successful angel investor is being able to show that your product or business is unique and will easily create equity.
- Bank loan or line of credit – If you have assets to use as collateral, or good credit history, bank or credit union financing is a great option. The advantages of this option are that you retain full equity, you can feasibly obtain a large figure and that you can build your credit. The negatives are that you’ll need to pay back everything, plus interest, or leave yourself vulnerable to bankruptcy.
In conclusion, there are a lot of things to do when starting up your own business. We hope by providing this information, you can start making your dreams become a reality.
If you would like more information about business financing, click here.