In this special guest feature, James Kim from Choosewhat.com gets your new business going with five easy pieces.
Whether you are sick and tired of the office politics, or you just want to do something you love and earn money from it, setting up a business is probably something that you have thought about but always put off because you believe that it costs too much or you would never be able to do it. Now you can set up your own business and with these five easy steps you will soon be well on your way to living the life of your dreams! These steps provide you with everything you need from the legal entity to your online fax service.
Step one: Name of the business
What is a business without a name? You might not be very creative, but that is not problem! What if at a later date I don’t like the name I choose now? That’s fine; you can change it when you want to! Remember your name needs to be captivating and alluring yet memorable and simple. Try think of something that is easy to spell, easy to say and has not been used before.
Step two: Website and email
Now you need to visit websites like GoDaddy.com. There you can check that your domain is available and then follow the process and select other services you want such as bandwidth, private registration and domain variations. Complete the process and pay for what you have selected. Be careful – not all domains are created equal – some domains are very expensive!
Many services are available for creating a website. You can hire a web designer or many small businesses are creating their own using a “website builder”. This is a suite of tools that will help you to step through the process by providing you with templates that allow you to drag and drop text, images and videos directly into the web page. Many of the hosting companies also provide website builders.
You will also need to set up a business email account. You have a variety of service providers for email accounts to choose from. Hosting service providers like GoDaddy, 1&1 or Yola offer email accounts which can easily be added to your hosting package. You could also use web based email providers like Gmail or Yahoo.
Step three: Office Space
Your office is the launching pad for your business. You can use your home initially, but be aware that when your business expands and your home is no longer a viable as your office – you will need to move and that may be time consuming and expensive (all of your business marketing materials will need to be reprinted).
You can always rent office space – craigslist or a realtor can assist. Alternatively, you can work from home but use office space that is rented by the hour for client meetings or conferences. Regus is one company that has these services in many metropolitan areas.
Step four: Business entity
Although this is not a very exciting step, it is necessary for a successful business. You need to do research on the types of business entities available and decide on which entity will suite you the best. The most popular for a new business is the Limited Liability Company (LLC) but you can also do research into corporations, limited partnerships, general partnerships and sole proprietorships. A Limited Liability Company provides you with the same benefits of a corporation in limited liability and a partnership in favorable tax treatment. Once you have your LLC you will get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) which you need to open a company bank account or purchase insurance or apply for a loan.
Step five: Networking and Marketing
So now you have the business all set up and ready to go, you need clients of course! The most popular way of letting people know that you are ready to provide them with your specific service is email marketing. Companies like MailChimp or Benchmark Email will gladly help you with your email marketing.
Business cards are still a must! They provide legitimacy and allow you to do both marketing and networking all at once! A business card which is professional and interesting gives you something real to hand out to prospective clients.
Now you can sit back and have a cup of coffee while you wait for your first client to give you a call! For further information on setting up a business visit www.ChooseWhat.com. With these easy steps all done you are on the road to having a successful business!