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Oh, so I didn't scare you off last week-good! Let's get to laying the foundation for your business. You hear that? (In slow motion) Your business! Feels good doesn't it? Okay, no more messing around because it moves pretty quickly from here. Let's start with what you want to do. A good rule of thumb is to provide a product or service that will resolve a problem, this thing should also be something that you are passionate about. This is important as there are stages, that we'll explore later of entrepreneurship, that you may not see a dime for your hard earned work and question if it's all worth it. Listen, as long as you are passionate about your craft and not focus on the check, you'll be successful. After you've decided on what your business will focus on, move on to your name. Make sure you choose one that is catchy, unique even, but not too busy. Before finalizing your name it's best to do an online search to ensure no one has already used or trademarked it as well as see if the domain is available. I don't know how many times we've had to tell clients that they couldn't get their desired url because it was already taken. BRANDING IS IMPORTANT
After that's settled, move on to licensing and structure. Told you we were going to move fast...Here is where you definitely want to focus to ensure you've chosen the correct legal structure to avoid a headache later. Will you be going at it alone or with a partner? Terms you'll see are partnerships, LLPs and LLC's, Corporations, different tax classes codes, NAICS codes, insurance, business licenses (city, county, and state). Start by registering your business with the Internal Revenue Service by obtaining an EIN (Employee Identification Number or Federal Tax ID). Visit your local business office (in person or online) to inquire what licenses and permits are required for your business type and location. I should also warn you that you would save major bucks if you were to do this yourself instead of going through one of the popular online websites to have your business formed.
Okay, so you've decided on what type and where you'll conduct business, your name has been determined, you've acquired the applicable licensing and permits...NOW WHAT?! Now's the time to get your notebook and pen together because you will be in deep thought for the next few weeks trying to narrow down what products and services you'd like to offer. Research what your competitors and business inspirations are offering and decide how you can make a name for yourself doing it differently, all the while implementing what's been successful. Learn from their successes and failures and really study your industry. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions. You never know, you may end up finding a mentor or valuable information that can further set you up for success.
Well, why are you still sitting here? Get busy with researching and making decisions. (LOL) Meet us back here next week for the next installment of Open for Business by Reese Salley.