Do not think about it not too much . Be realistic about what you will need.
Do your research and know your number. Put everything on paper and the business plan will become a useful tool and a true north for at least the first 6-12 months.
This is a delicate step. Your name must be correct. It doesn't have to be perfect and it doesn't have to be a made up wordand whimsical like Google or Yahoo. But, you will say that name a lot and it will also be your URL, most likely.
- Think about words, concepts, ideas, beliefs, deors, etc.
- Think about the names based on your initial brainstorm in step 1.
- Check the names in Google. Remove all the options that are al prepare a known company, especially not in your space.
- Make sure the domain name can be acquired. Check out our guide on how to buy a domain name for help here. Don't expect to register a domain name for $ 7 / year and call it a day. You really need to invest in a domain name for your business name.l. If you are on a tight budget, get creative. You can get a good name that ticks all the boxes for under $ 1,500 if you put in the effort.
More Name Finding Tips
- Imagine your name with a logo on a large sign in your future office space.
- Imagine your name on a T-shirt.
- Say your name out loud. "Hello, I'm the name of the business name. " How does that feel? Do you like the sound?
- Evaluate your options and tell people about them.
- Spend time thinking about it and let it sit for a while. Do you continue to use the same name?
Next, create your sales and marketing materials
3. Buy your domain name
Your domain name is essential.
This means not being afraid to spend money on your domain. I use Domain. com to buy my domains - you can read more about why in our review of best domain registrars .
Depending on your business, you rottenz say the url as much or as often as you say the real name of your business. The more budget you have for your domain name, the more you will be able to do.
It's hard enough to find a good name where buying .com is possible. After all, the Internet is over 30 years old. My none of the "good " domain names are taken.
And if you find one that works, chances are you won't get any credentials either. identical social networks.
But you should do everything you can to get them, but if that fails, be creative. Your social media IDs / URLs are a lot less important than your website, but still worth the effort.
You can choose how much effort to spend on your social media right from the start. start - you can just get the name and hold them, you can fill them withsome pictures and information, or you can do it all. It's up to you. For now, I just want you to make sure you have the handles.
5. Develop a brand identity
Your brand identity is very important. These are the colors, images and logos that customers associate with your brand.
It sounds like a lot of work, but you can always update your brand identity by course. be good enough. 99 Designs is a great option for a complete branding identity package. You can run a design competition that lets you choose from hundreds of options.
Unlike your business name, your brand identity isn't set in stone. opt here for a "starting approach ": it doesn doesn't have to be perfect (or expensive); it just needs to be finished. You can always come back and do another design cycle - most companies do.
6. Set up a G Suite account
G Suite is the most important tool for our business. I do almost everything with G Suite. My team emails and calendars are also all available on G Suite. We also rely heavily on Google Drive / Docs.
You will need to configure this configuration as soon as you get your domain name. Then you can easily set up your business accounts. As of April 1, 2019, a basic account costs $ 6 per user.
7. Create a basic and basic website
Your website can be as big or as small as you need itwish. If you are just a small solo business like a freelance writer, you might only need a single page with links to your writing and maybe your contact details.
If you are an ecommerce business selling products and services, you will need a bigger website.
For now, the focus is just put on a basic website. You can upgrade to a bigger website later if needed.
It's good to have a one page live site with information about your business. Then you can continue building from there.
You can be up and running in minutes with Square space . Once you're ready to make a complete website, it's easy to switch to WordPress, using our guide on how to do it.r how to create a website with WordPress .
8. Get Business Cards
Your 99 Designs branding kit will include business card templates. You can use them to get business cards printed online by Vista Print .
This may sound like an archaic idea to you, but trust me. Once you start your business, you will talk about it and everyone you talk to should be given a card with your information on it. I like to keep my phone number off the card and handwrite it for the people I would actually like to call. This makes it easier to distribute cards freely - and it allows people to whom I dOnes my number to know that I really mean it.
Now get your business to be legally settled
9. Find an accountant and a lawyer
This one is easy to put on the back burner, but you should do it as soon as possible.
You'll save yourself a lot of hassle and potentially save your business going forward here. Line up legal and tax professionals in advance. There are many great options out there and your accountant and lawyer can both be distant.
I haven't personally used it, but have heard a lot of good things about Upcounsel .
10. Create an LLC
There are two ways to do this:
No matter which one you choose, setting up an LLC is easy. It 'sa good place to save money by using a service like Legal zoom .
11. Get an EIN
Get your The Employer Identification Number is something you can deal with with the LLC. They usually happen in the same process.
You'll need them to do just about anything, including business banking. You'll also be using it to file your taxes, so write it down!
12. Create an operating agreement
Even if it's just you, an operating agreement is required. ATUnless other people are involved in your business, you can definitely get away with LegalNature here.
Chances are things will change and you will update your agreement. 'operating anyway. If you have other people involved, ask your lawyer to help you here.
13. File the necessary documents with your state
If you hire a lawyer, they can do all of this for you. Otherwise, you'll need to research your state's requirements, which also vary depending on the type of business you're starting.
Pro tip: If you need help, make sure please check out our article on the best best online legal resources .
14. Open a professional bank account
You will need tooin of this EIN. It's usually more convenient to go with the same bank that you already use for your personal accounts.
One thing to watch out for is the upselling that most of the big banks do. For example, with Bank of America, I went ahead and accepted an offer for Intuit Payroll.
It turned out to be a terrible user experience.
The people at Intuit recommended that I create a new account directly with Intuit because they didn't know how to fix some of the issues. the problems we had. They blamed Bank of America.
It ended up working because instead of signing up for Intuit Payroll, I looked for other options and found Gusto , which is much better.
The goal here is to use your bank account for a combank deposit and not to use them for other offers or services.
Subscribe to your main operating tools
15. Set up a payroll service for employees and contractors
Like I said, I really like Gusto . They deliver such an intuitive and, dare I say it, fun payroll experience.
(After all, what's more fun than getting paid?)
I use them and find the service to be superior to Intuit Payroll.
You won't have to worry about it until you start paying employees or subcontractors. Good to have her ready and on deck though. Not only will the service automate your payroll, it will also take care of taxes and forms to fill out.
16. Configurer QuickBooks
A QuickBooks is essential from day one. This is how you will manage your books and make sure you always have good records.
Going back and importing historical data is no fun. The earlier you install it, the better. Do it now.
17. Set up a basic accounting system
The best bet here is to work closely with your account. A good approach is to ask your accountant what you need to do throughout the year to make things easier when tax season arrives and to make sure all quarterly obligations are met.
QuickBooks does all the heavy lifting, but there are still things you will need to masterser. There is some crossover with what has already been described here, but Shopify has put together a good guide to small business accounting .
18. Start using a project management solution from day one
The most important thing here is to get in the habit of tracking all your work. Even if you are the only person in your business, you have to operate as an organization because one day you will have no choice. The other benefit besides building good habits is the historical information and data that will come out of a job like this from day one.
That 's very valuable for new people to come into your organization and to be able to look back on what work has been done in the past. It is the context thats will help (and your business) succeed in the future.
It doesn't matter what tool you use. You'll probably change it a few times anyway. We use Trello . There are dozens of great tools available.
19. Build an internal wiki system from day one
Just as you should use a project management tool from the early stages, it is extremely useful to start documenting everything immediately.
If you ever want to scale your startup, you'll need your brain to scale as well. Your internal wiki is like your brain. Giving your future team instant access to your brain is huge. If you already have a disciplined approach to documenting things in the wiki, your team will follow suit.
This is no funs to determine the value of a wiki system in 3 years, 50 people deep. You will think of an infinite number of documents that you would have liked to write as you go.
We use Confluence .
20. Create a Slack account
Everyone likes Slack . It works. Mobile communication is essential. There is a free plan which is a good place to start. It's about $ 7 per user per month for the next plan, which allows you to control, like guest access to different channels, as well as more storage and more connections. applications.
21. Configure a conference call numbernique
Many businesses will need to set up a conference call at one point or another, and GoToMeeting makes this easy. Instantly join, host or manage a video, audio, or web meeting from a conference room, your office, or a remote location through your Mac, PC, or mobile device. Visit GoToMeeting to sign up and get started in minutes.
22. Configure 1Password
Now you start to see the theme here: Reduce Future Headaches. Configure your systems now and you can focus on future growth.
1Password is a great tool to manage all your passwords and sensitive data. Il makes it easy to share connections securely with your team, which is essential, as Centrify estimates lost passwords cost $ 416 in productivity per person.
23. Creating a subion tracker
It's easy but often overlooked. 1Password is great for keeping track of your subion logins. You always need a way to quickly see what you have and what you are paying for, especially as you grow older and more people are using and signing up for different tools and subions.
A simple spreadsheet is all you need. Track subion, cost per month or year, terms (if applicable), payment method (which account or card is it linked to?) And renewal date.
Now planify your goals for your first year in business
24. Create a strategic plan for the next 12 months
Like your business plan, your strategic plan doesn't have to be complicated.
Here's how to write a simple start-up business plan for the first year
- Set a big goal for the next 12 months.
- Determine what you need to do to reach your goal. What projects or activities will you need to complete?
- Find out what metrics or metrics you can use to monitor progress. Set up a monitoring system.
- Review and challenge monthly. Make the necessary adjustments.
Even in a one-person store, taking the time to do so will force strategic thinking and actiondetermined. This will help you avoid being reactive and doing whatever comes your way at random.
This becomes even more important when you have a team that needs to know which direction to walk. They will need this context to do their job.
Other guides written on how to start a business are quite general. I don't see much to reiterate what's already out there, so here is a list of guides I would recommend for further reading on how to start a business: