Setting up a business is exciting! However, there are many steps you need to take before you can hit the ground running. Here are a few general guidelines to help you in the process of building your business’ foundation as you set it up.
Building an Identity
You’ll need to develop a brand for your company, including aspects such as a business name, logo, a color scheme, and more. What are your goals as a company? What do you want your company to communicate to others? How do you want to represent yourself?
Research your target audience. How can you best appeal to them? What will draw their eye? What do they want? Then, define your business’s niche. What will you have that other companies don’t? Make sure you specify branding guidelines and rules in order to maintain consistency.
Registering the Company
Registering your company is another key step in creating your own business. In order to do so, first, choose a business structure. This will affect how you file taxes, as well as the risk to your personal assets should your business ultimately fail. Then, decide the location of your business—what address will you use for filing taxes, opening a bank account for your business, and receiving government documents?
You may need to register your business at the federal, state, and local level, depending on where you live, so be sure to look up the applicable regulations. You will also need to apply for required licenses and permits before you can begin doing business. All of this can come with some expense, and different fees may apply depending on your state and business structure.
Planning Your Finances
Although setting up your business might not involve a lot of money right away, it will require some level of initial investment. You’ll need to plan out how your company is going to cover expenses until you can start making a profit.
Plan out a summary of estimated one-time startup costs—permits, equipment, legal fees, inventory, insurance, branding expenses, any property leases, etc. Don’t forget to include any expenses from registering your company. Then add on how much your business will cost to run for the first 12 months, including salaries. This final rough figure represents the initial investment. You can fund your business in many ways, including financing, loans, grants, investors, crowdfunding, and even bootstrapping.
Setting up a business is a complex, involved process. Focusing first on the basics, building an identity, registering your company, and planning your finances, will get you off to a strong start.
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