Starting a new company is an exciting but also complex and sometimes scary endeavor. There is a wide variety of things that one must deal with during this process. This includes legal issues, developing products, finances, marketing, HR, intellectual property, and a lot more. So, it is no wonder that a lot of people find themselves feeling like they have way too much on their hands. There is a lot of things you need to learn in order to do it right.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the common requirements for starting a new business, and how to approach them and deal with them properly.
Think of a great company name
Thinking of a name for your business and company is one of the important starting points. It may seem easy, but it isn’t something to be taken as lightly as it may sound. If you pick the wrong name without doing any proper research, you can find yourself in trouble, not only business-wise, but also in terms of legal issues.
So, for starters, do comprehensive research online on whatever name you come up with. You don’t want to be stepping onto somebody else’s trademark. Be certain that your name will not limit your business as it expands (for example, don’t call yourself “Jack’s Footwear” if you are like to end up selling a greater variety of products later on). Avoid any names that are way too difficult to spell, as they will most probably be an issue both to your customers and employees. Speaking of employees, make sure that they are satisfied with the name as well, as they will be the ones uttering it a lot.
Register your business name
Once you’ve come up with a good name, it is important that you register it. You will most probably be doing it as FBN (Fictitious Business Name) or DBA (Doing Business As). This way the state you are in will know what name you are using to operate under, but it will not provide you with trademark protection. However, this kind of registration is necessary as the first step, because otherwise, your business will get a default name according to your legal name. It is only if you decide to work as an LLC or corporation that you won’t have to register as DBA, because the business name that you picked will automatically be registered with the state.
A trademark is crucial if you decide to do business online or nationally. That way you can be certain that no one can use your name anywhere, and if they do, you will have a much stronger legal ground to protect it.
Determine your business structure
As we have mentioned doing business as an LLC or a corporation in the previous section, it is crucial to discuss the importance of deciding what kind of official structure your business is going to have. This is strongly connected to revenue and taxes too.
You can do business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, and a legal entity like the aforementioned LLC, S-corporation or a limited liability corporation. On one hand, with sole proprietorships and partnerships, as we have ascertained, you need to register your name so that you can open your company’s bank account, pay taxes, and be able to receive checks written out to your company’s name. On the other hand, if you want to do business as a legal entity, you will need to contact a corporate attorney. It is generally advisable to ask for professional help, such as from the experts at Chedid Storey Legal, because they can help you determine what kind of legal entity is the best choice for the kind of company you want to start.
Come up with a business plan and establish a brand identity
Of course, if you intend to start a company seriously, you need to start with a business plan which is going to determine all the necessary details such as what your business is about, what kind of products and/or services you are going to offer, what your business goals are going to be, how your company is going to operate, and, finally, find a place in regards to your competition. A business plan is also important in case you need funding in order to get started, as lenders such as angel investors, venture capitalists, and so on, will not believe that your idea is feasible unless you can prove it.
Of course, you also have to establish your brand identity. While this is a process that happens over time, as you establish an online as well as an offline presence, clearly define your character and goals, and gain your customers’ trust and loyalty, you do have to start from the basics. These include coming up with a unique logo, business cards, as well as stationery. At first, it’s all about people remembering you, before you reach the part where you get them to like you.
Create the perfect website
In today’s digital world, your business simply cannot do without a good website. Even if you are not mainly an eCommerce business, and want to focus on operating as a brick-and-mortar store, you still need a website where people can find you, learn about you, be impressed about what you have to show and tell, and decide to pay you a visit.
So, check out your competition, learn all you can about the current web design and SEO trends, and then come up with ideas that you can present to the web designer you hire, so that they have an idea what you are after. Your content needs to be top-notch, and your site properly optimized (mobile-friendly, fast-loading, providing a great UX, and so on). In the end, you need to get control over an appropriate URL.
Starting a business can be tricky and scary. But if you follow the necessary steps, and truly dedicate yourself to the job, you will be fine. Go through the crucial beginner steps discussed in this article, and then proceed into creating amazing marketing strategies, expanding your reach, and all the other actions that are crucial for running a company and keeping it in the best shape.