I Decided to Start My Own Business. Now what do I do?

Starting a business

Picture by Joshua Rodriguez on UnsplashI Decided to Start My Own Business. NOW WHAT?

Okay, okay, don't freak out it's not as complicated as it seams especially if you are starting a Sole Proprietorship...just take a deep breath and enjoy this new endeavor.

Let's face it starting a business is extremely exciting and super scary at the same time. You are most likely fired up about this new found love and the endless possibilities are thrilling and exhilarating, it smells like freedom!!! Hey they say you need to dream, so dream big or don't bother but remember dream is just a dream if you don't take action. So Action!

Now time for Debbie Downer... Starting a new business is not without challenges and YOU MUST work hard no matter what you undertake.Obviously their may be some exceptions but from my experience any new business venture requires quite a bit of work initially (from admin to marketing) once on the right track you can sit back for a little while, enjoy the fruit of your hard work....but do not let go of the wheel as you may lose control faster than you think! (personal experience, so humor me and just go with this one and keep at least one hand on the wheel)

So before we delve into the world of Branding and Marketing, I want to make sure you get your business set up right from the get go...i'm not a business coach, financial advisor or HR professional so please do not use this as your bible but simply as a guideline for important business steps you may need to take. Steps may be different depending on the business type, industry and need.

I've started a few businesses myself and this is truly the tedious, boring part but essential if you want your business to run smoothly. Most businesses will be able to start in no time while incurring little cost...but it's not completely free, you will incur fees depending on the type of business you set up. So just get it done, take a few hours or a few days to create a good foundation and the right legal entity and you're on your way to victory...(I sure hope so...sorry, there's always a chance you'll give up before you make it...just a plain fact.

Again I can stressed this enough,  this is just a few guiding points to get your started but you need to do you're own research as each states and cities have their own sets of rules and regulations and your field may also require some specific regulations as well. So please use this as a quick checklist not your blueprint.

  • Research and Plan

    Before you go wild and start a website, spend money on business products, set up your home office, start building your website,  you may want to take a few minutes to research what products and services you want to offer, the competition in your market, how will you make money, etc. To do so a business plan is in order however the thought of getting started with this task may be overwhelming for some so I included a One-Page Plan to help you out.

  • What Type of Business?

    1. In order to register with the state and/or city, open a bank account, setting up business tax, you'll need to determine your business structure - Don't know which one is best for you, you may want to consult with a pro business advisor.
      1. A corporation
      2. A limited liability company (LLC)
      3. A partnership
      4. A sole proprietorship
  • Pick a Name

    Pick your company name. Not sure how to go about doing this, youtube video from Entrepreneur Magazine

    PS. may be helpful. You also may want to look at available domain names especially if you are starting an online business. Go to Godaddy.com to get you started

  • File/Register with your State

    Filing with the state - depending on the business structure you picked, some documents may have to be filed with your state. check your Secretary of State's website for requirements, forms and documents to get you started.

  • Fictitious Business Name

    File fictitious business name if your are starting a sole proprietorship and not operating under your own personal name - Check your City Clerk's website for requirements, additional info, forms and fees

  • Other Filings

    You may need to:

    • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (IEN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    • Register for State Tax - Go to your State's website for requirements and forms
    • Obtain licenses and permits from your City, State or industry
    • Get a Sales and Use Tax permit from the Board of Equalization (BOE)
  • Bookkeeping

    • Open a bank account (Pick the bank that is right for you)
    • Get Quickbooks to help you manage your bookkeeping, AR/AP / P&L etc. easy to use and your accountant will love you for it! Please consult your accounting pro to get it set up properly, it will save you time at the end of the year!
  • Domain Name and Website

    Ok you've done all the legal requirements now let's start promoting your business!

    • Search and register your domain name, that's your web address - for example mine is www.iconikbranding.com
      • you may want to do this step when looking for a business name - go to godaddy.com
    • Ready to start creating your website - Get hosting from Godaddy.com

That should give you plenty to do for now - Join me later as we will delve into building your brand!