Open for Business – 5 Tips for Starting Your Own Business

Beautiful Little Business Woman With Briefcase

Have you ever dreamed that you would do something that made a difference? So did I. One of my aspirations was to start and operate my own business. I had a stable 9-5 job but lacked fulfillment and wanted to pursue my DREAM! How about you, do you desire to have your own BUSINESS? If yes, the following are some tips to help you on your way!

The Internet has lots of information about starting your own business. Perhaps too much. As you search you find that the rules vary from state to state, province to province, country to country. It can all be overwhelming.

Here are some basic steps that I find work for me after starting a few businesses or helping others to start theirs:

1) Choose the Right Name: Creating the right name for your business is one of the basic steps for creating a successful Brand Name that others can easily associate your business for its expertise, products and services. If your business is part of an established industry, I suggest that you include something about your offering in the name of your business.

For example, if your target market is small businesses, you may want to include something about small business or some word associated with small business in your company name.

In an episode of the CNBC series “Profit,” one of the companies featured was called “Green Tea.” Most people polled thought the company was selling tea. It was actually an ice cream company. This didn’t cause the business to fail, but it may have slowed the growth because of the lack of name association to the product it was offering.

2) Corporate Structure: Structuring your corporation requires a little more thought and homework; if you are not familiar with setting up a company. Deciding whether your company will be a sole proprietorship, S-Corp, C-Corp, Limited Liability Corp, etc. is very important for not only decision making process, but taxation purposes, liabilities and any future sale of the company.

The rules surrounding these various types of corporate structures are different based upon where the company is established. In Florida, the definition of the Managing Member of a Limited Liability Corporation has been modified with huge implication on who has the authority to make decision in such entities. Do your homework and/or consult with a corporate attorney to help you understand the rules.

3) Virtual Presence: Today, if you are do not have a virtual presence (website, social media page, etc.), most folks, at least in the USA, would question your business validity. If you are reading this article, I presume that you are in an area where people have access to the Internet.

Having a virtual presence will help you reach an audience outside of your local area, if this is one of your goals as an entrepreneur. It gives you the appearance of being an established company just like the larger corporation. It gives you access to a wider marketplace with more buying power.

4) Brand It: When you think about your company name also think about things such as:

  •   What should the company Logo be?
  •   What are the color schemes for the Logo?
  •   How about the company other marketing materials and virtual sites?
  •   What should your tag line be?
  •   What do you want your company to be known as or for?

Create marketing materials that support these aspects of your business. Include them on your business cards, virtual cards, brochures, letterheads, videos, podcasts, etc. You don’t have to do all of these, but even if it is only your business card, make it count. Brand your business to standout from the crowd.

5) Give It A Heart: In your Vision, Mission and Values statements, give your company a heart. I call these three your companies Heart Statements. Put the things that you envision your clients would experience from purchasing your products, services and ultimately you and your employees! Then live this heart. Don’t just state it. Live it.

I find that I am willing to purchase from companies that live their Heart Statements. There are arguments abounding whether a corporation is a person or a thing. I won’t get into them. My views about it is that someone creates a product or offers a service for another person to purchase and use. When a company makes it all about the money and nothing else, I’m not willing to share my hard-earned dollars with this type of business. Many of my friends and colleagues feel the same way. Again, give it a Heart by offering products and services that benefit others.

I hope these tips help to guide you in your steps towards becoming an entrepreneur. There are more to these as you may expect. Take it one step at a time and before you know it, you can hang the “Open for Business” sign literally, figuratively and virtually!

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