4 Steps to Starting a Business
Starting a new business can be a bit overwhelming. From finalizing your idea, to drafting a business plan, to filing all the right licenses and permits, there’s a lot to consider. The last thing you want is for one of these mandatory tasks to slip through the cracks. Here’s a simple checklist to help steer you in the right direction. 1. Get organized Name your business and buy a matching domain - Even if you’re not ready to launch your company yet, it’s always a good idea to secure your domain early. Write a business plan - It should outline your business goals, operating procedures and target market, as well as help you identify your unique selling proposition. Determine your business entity options - Sole proprietorship? LLC? S-Corp? Research your business entity options and file accordingly. Obtain your federal tax identification number - Get a federal tax ID number, as well as your respective state tax ID number (if needed). Contact your state tax department to be safe. Get your business license(s) - Determine and apply for necessary business licenses. Contact your state's Secretary of State and local government for current information. Decide on a location - Depending on your business, it might be beneficial to have both an online and offline presence. Don’t forget to factor building costs and resources into the equation. 2. Prepare your financials Set up a business bank account - It’s important to set up an account just for your business, separate from your personal finances. Apply for a business line of credit - Uninterrupted capital helps with day-to-day expenses, and a credit line helps establish a favorable credit history. Invest in bookkeeping software - Tools like that will help you keep your finances in order from the get-go. Get experts on your side - Consider hiring a professional accountant or tax attorney. Their expertise could come in handy throughout the life of your new venture. Determine how you will secure funding for your business - From angel investors to government grants, every penny counts. Obtain necessary business insurance - As your business grows, you could take on more liability, and having the right insurance in place could you save heartache and cash. 3. Branding basics Set up a professional email address - A professional email address shows customers that you’re serious about your business by attaching email to your new domain. Add a business phone line - Utilize a second phone number app to make and receive calls while keeping your personal information private. Get a logo - Create a logo and use it on business cards, letterhead and across your website for a streamlined identity. Launch a website - Whether you’re starting an eCommerce venture or simply need a stunning site to display business information, a website is a must-have in today’s digital world. Set up your business’s social profiles - Whether or not you’re ready to start engaging on social media, you’ll want to set up an account for your business across multiple platforms. It’s important to stay consistent and having ownership of your own brand name across all accounts will save you big headaches later on. Create a marketing strategy - Much like establishing a business plan, you’ll want to outline some ideas for marketing success before you take your products or services to market. 4. Business best practices Define business policies - Clearly define any and all policies in easy-to-understand language. Craft sound contracts for your business ahead of time - Setting straightforward guidelines and expectations benefits both your business and your customers. Make contact information easily accessible - Make sure your contact information is readily displayed across your website, as well as your operating business hours. Offer social proof - Include customer testimonials on your website. Testimonials are a great form of social proof, and they provide unique and trustworthy insight into your products, services or business. There’s a lot to do when you’re starting a business, no doubt! But this checklist will help you keep it manageable, ensure you’ve covered your bases early on, and put your startup in the best possible position. By laying the proper foundation ahead of time, you can bring your new venture to life with confidence. The Journey is what everyday entrepreneurs, like you, need to follow in the pursuit of online success. Our experienced GoDaddy Guides are here to take you through all the steps, both big and small, that you encounter every day.
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