It’s no secret that starting your own business can lead to unlimited income potential…
…but how do you actually get started?
In this article, I’m going to outline some very basic and easy-to-follow principles that will help you get started in less than 30 days.
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Naming Your Business
Obviously, there are millions of entrepreneurs and business owners out there trying to start their own venture and fund their own dreams. The problem is, that means there are many business names already taken, even the clever ones in the industry that you want to get into.
So, how do you know what’s been taken and what hasn’t?
If you live in the United States, it’s easy: your state has a department for business and commerce, and their website will have a page where you can search for “business entities”.
I live in Pennsylvania, so I’m going to use PA’s Corporation Search as an example. There’s 49 other states with 49 different websites, but they all should function the same way.
Visit this link to search for a business in Pennsylvania (it will open in a new tab): https://www.corporations.pa.gov/search/corpsearch
If you search for a business name and only similar ones come up but not the exact name of your business, then you can file for that business name in your state (e.g., Joe’s BBQ LLC is already taken, but Joseph’s BBQ is not, so you’d be fine).
Choosing Your Entity Type
There are several types of businesses, and although knowing the differences between them and what’s expected of them legally is important, I always recommend filing as a single-member LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) because as long as you are the only person with equity (100%), you only have to file taxes with your yearly income before April 15th.
Of course, always consult a tax professional to make sure you are doing everything correctly.
Create An Account With Your State
These days, as far as I know, each state in the U.S. gives you the ability to register your business online without filing physical paperwork.
For Pennsylvanians, you would register using the brand-new PA Business One-Stop Hub: https://hub.business.pa.gov/Profile/NewUserRegister
This allows you to do everything you need to with the PA Department of Commerce.
Once you’ve created your account, find the paperwork for filing an LLC in your state (if you prefer, or if your state does not offer online filing, you can print the PDF form and submit it – follow the instructions EXACTLY).
Create A Brand
Here’s where we normally come into the picture with new businesses.
Your “brand” is essentially all of the elements that make your business stand out and recognizable for customers. This includes your business colors, logo, how you “speak” to customers, what you’re known for, etc.
Apple, Inc. doesn’t treat its customers the same way that Chic-Fil-A does because they’re two completely different businesses in two completely different industries.
Apple is a technology company, and caters to people with a modern taste and money in their wallets. They’re very liberal by political standards, as they try to please everyone as much as possible.
Chic-Fil-A, on the other hand, is a restaurant with well-known Christian undertones. They don’t really care if you’re mad at them for being closed on Sundays, because the Lord Almighty rested then and so should you…apparently.
So this begs the question, what will your brand look like? Who will it cater to?
Once you’ve created your brand, now it’s time to get a market presence.
What this means is designing and setting up your website, social media accounts, marketing materials, advertising campaigns, strategies, budgets, sales and conversion tactics, etc.
It’s a lot, I know, but it’s all part of setting your business up for success in the long run. Trust me, running a business is hard enough day to day without having to worry about where your next customer is going to come from.
If you’re interested, Cassus Media has its own startup program for new entrepreneurs. You’ll be working with yours truly, and I’ll help you get set up with weekly lessons and push you to become a successful business owner!