What does it take to start a business?
To begin with, it takes courage. Ambition. Consistency. Authenticity. Perseverance. Hope. Faithfulness. Dedication. I think you get the hint. It ain’t easy!
No really. One too many times I’ve seen so many people mistake that a business just requires a logo and a following. I’m sorry to break it to you but let me break it to you.
What you’re doing now is a side hustle. It’s good for right now but you could be securing the bag the right way and building a foundation for something that could be greater if you apply yourself. You know what matters in business too? Research and Knowledge. I just gave you the cheat code. ALWAYS level up even you think you’ve already up on. Knowledge is power. If you’re going to do it, do it the right way.
Everybody don’t got it but like I said before, research and knowledge (major key alert). But check this, the secret that no one talks about is sacrifices. You’re going to have to sacrifice those Jordans, Cole Haans, Bundles, or Michael Kors (whatever you’re into). You’re going to have to stay out of the club, mall, and research. Use your job to fund your dreams. Budget & Grind Harder. You want it right?
There are so many FREE opportunities such as networking events and workshops that can keep you get ahead of the game. There are free programs you can use to make designs etc., when it’s time for that. There are free ways to market yourself. You just have to apply pressure.
Here is a business checklist with a downloadable file be on our Branding + Strategy page, that I think is beneficial in the beginning stages. Download our Brand Beginnings Booklet as well. It’s designed to help you find out how to market yourself and find your niche.
Here are the pieces to the puzzle it is important that everything involving your business should have the same information on it.
Make sure your name isn’t taken by checking the Trademark website.
There are some business consultants that help you with business naming. You want to avoid a lawsuit by all means. That includes taglines and symbols. You want to make sure you’re not stealing someone else’s work.
Set a Business Structure
There are several business structures that you can choose from such as LLC, Corp., etc.
It is important to DO YOUR RESEARCH to see which structure fits your business. Some tax agents provide the service of setting up your business structure for you.
If home-based, you should get a virtual office address for bank account and legal structure.
Depending on your type of business (retail, office or warehouse), arrange for office space to be leased. Contacting a commercial realtor in your area can be helpful. Also, make sure to arrange for utilities and office furniture. Some come fully furnished and include water or even a business phone line with receptionist.
Creditors look at that information and a home address wouldn’t hold weigh to an actual business address. It shows AUTHENTICITY. Some virtual office plans come with a receptionist, business phone line and a physical address for you to pick up your business packages and mail. It gives you a sense of work/life balance too because work is ALWAYS at home.
It is ideal to have a business email that is solely yours. This would be your domain name and something that is familiar to your brand or business. For example, our address for inquires is firstname.lastname@example.org which derived from our website IconicMinds.net.
That is not an email ending in @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @comcast.net. Again, creditors/lenders look at this when you’re applying for business credit.
Business Phone Number A business line is another factor that banks/lenders look at. AUTHENTICITY.
You can get a FREE business line with Google Voice. That way you don’t have to buy a completely new phone or worry about an additional expense. There are many other apps like Google Voice such as Grasshopper that basically call forwards to your mobile device when someone is calling your business phone number. Finally, many virtual offices offer a business phone line as well with selected packages.
EIN / State Tax ID #
This is like your social security number of your business. This number is required to open up a bank account. It is important for those of you that have employees to issue payroll. You utilize this number for tax purposes also.
It is FREE via the IRS website DURING their business hours. Additionally, contact the bank prior to opening the account to see what their specific requirements are to open a business checking account; some banks’ requirements are fairly simple whereas some banks’ requirements are extremely complex. RESEARCH.
Permits and Licenses
Depending on the type of business you are in, you may need a Federal license or permit. Most businesses do NOT require a Federal license or permit. RESEARCH.
Many service businesses that do not sell a physical, tangible product are NOT required to collect sales tax, ask the State taxation agency for details/clarification.
Some state licensing requirements are based on the product sold. Contact your state licensing authorities to determine the licensing requirements of your business.
Record-Keeping and Account Tracking
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years.
This is enough to keep you busy for now. Don’t lose focus. Don’t give up. Be detailed and faithful in prayer, always. God Bless!
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