K-I-S-S - How To Start Your Own Business

So you want to start your own business, where to even begin? I would recommend first sitting down and talking with other entrepreneurs and asking them any and all questions you might have about beginning your own company. Small business owners love to network and connect with other likeminded people. Use them as mentors. Take notes and listen carefully to what advice they have to give, try to talk to a range of entrepreneurs too. Find people who have been doing this for years and find a few who are new like you that way you can get a wide range of information to help you start.

Of course the big question is, what will you be starting in? What is it you have decided to take on as a full-time entrepreneurship business? If there is any bit of advice I can give that you take away from this, start a business in something you know and something you have already done. The more you know about your business, the easier a transition will be and the more knowledge you will be able to have on all matters and we all know knowledge is power! You want to start a business where you will thrive on a daily basis, start in something you hold a great amount of information about.

It doesn't have to be complicated.  My dad always used to say "KISS" - Keep it Simple... and you know the last word.  The last word isn’t the nicest word so let’s say Silly for now…Keep It Simple Silly! You know what you know, you are good at what you are good at, and that is where you should focus your entrepreneur endeavors.

Start with the basics. Here are some pointers I would recommend that I used when first starting my own business. I found each of these to help guide me as I began my journey as an entrepreneur: 

1. What will the name of your business be?  Look on your Secretary of State website to see if the name is available.  If it is, reserve it until you are ready to actively start your business. 

2. Talk to legal council and a CPA to find out how you should structure your business.  S Corp, LLC, LLP, etc.  Find someone in your sphere of influence who you know will be a good resource and will protect you.  Don't try to do it yourself.  Hire a professional and mention you are a start up and need to keep your cost as low as possible.  They will work with you if they want your business, believe that you have a viable business and want to see you grow. 

3. Register your Business name.  Check the Secretary of State Business database to see if it is available

4. Get a FEIN ( Federal Employee Identification Number)

5. Get a Business License

8. Look into doing business with your municipality.

9. Understand Federal State, county and city tax requirements.

10. Once you have established the name and company structure open a separate bank account.  Do not mix your personal with your business.  It will be too difficult for your CPA or tax person to sort it all out.  

11. Set up a simple accounting system.  Sign up with a QuickBooks online account or if you can find a free online or cloud based accounting system that you can access from anywhere.  We are so mobile these days and it's helpful when starting out to have everything at your fingertips as most likely to start you will be the one to do the accounting until you are able to fire yourself and hire someone else.  Unless of course you like to do accounting them keep your position with the company.

12. Identify your customer segments and revenue streams

13. Meet with other business owners, councilors to get questions answered.  Get a mentor, someone who can help you through the process and who has been there and knows how to succeed in business.  

14. Get a website or Just simply a Facebook business page. If you want to be in business your business card is your website or online presence.  There are free websites and low cost hosting available.  I recommend Squarespace for a website template and Host Gator or Google for your hosting.  Try to use your business name as your website or get as close as possible.  

15. Marketing collateral.  Make some business cards.  They don't have to be expensive you just need to have them.  Vista Print offers free business cards and you just have to pay shipping.  

16.  Social Media. Start marketing your new business on social media.  Create A Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter and Linked in account if you don't already have one. If you can link all of your social media together to host all posts, images, write-ups, and etc. great that means less work for you! Again keep it simple.  Start with one page and start sharing posts about your business.  Remember don't sell your business, inform people about what you do and how you can help them.  People don't like to be sold they like to Buy.  I recommend a great book called The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffery Gitomer.  Jeffery talks about this and how to get yourself into the marketplace without selling.  

17. Networking. Start to network in your community.  Go to free networking events and socialize with other business people.  You will connect with people who can help you with your business. 

18.  Insurance -  make sure to get business and liability insurance and make sure you know what is needed for your business.  

There is so much more but these are the basics to get you started. Remember, start with what you know and also what you love and as they say, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life because you are doing something that sparks a fire in you. 

Photo by Oko_SwanOmurphy/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Oko_SwanOmurphy/iStock / Getty Images


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