You’re launching a new business venture, and you’re understandably excited. You’re also really scared, which is also understandable. While no business launch comes with guarantees, you’re more likely to succeed if you cross all your i’s and dot all your t’s, literally and figuratively, before you hang up your shingle. Each business is unique; however, there are common elements to nearly every business you should be sure to put in place to give your business the best possible shot at success.
Begin With Basics
This may seem obvious, but you need to know what your business will do and how you intend to structure your company before you launch. This includes selecting a legal structure for your business and obtaining any required registrations or permits. For instance, unless you open a sole proprietorship using your own name, you will probably need to register the name of your business.
If your business employees other workers, you will need a tax ID number. You should probably get one anyway, because it will help you establish a separate business identity. If you intend to sell merchandise, you will need to register with the state to pay state sales taxes. Do you need to obtain malpractice or worker compensation coverage? How about unemployment benefits? You must develop answers to these and related questions before you open your doors.
Dollars and Cents
If you decide to go the bootstrapping route and fund your business with savings, credit cards, or wages from a regular job, you will be in good company. Many companies start that way. However, if you seek funding from a bank, angel investor or venture capitalist, you will need to have a strong business plan ready.
You will also need a way to handle the money your business generates or pays out, beginning with a dedicated business bank account. Banks will generally require evidence that your business is registered with the state or county, along with a business tax ID number before they will open a business account for you.
Online and Social Marketing
Back in the day, if you wanted to get the word out about a new business venture, you bought newspaper and magazine advertising. You put up billboards. If you were very ambitious (and had sufficient funding) you could pursue television and radio advertising.
Traditional advertising and marketing outlets are still important for businesses at every phase of development. However, to tap into the potential of having word of mouth spread to thousands of potential clients or customers, it’s difficult to beat online marketing and social media. Social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which was built for business, are ideal for reaching younger audiences.
To tap into online resources, you must, first and foremost, purchase and maintain a domain for your business. Establish dedicated company email addresses associated with your company’s domain. Use this domain to build your company’s website and get the website listed with assorted search engines. Link your website to social media outlets and build back links with compatible third party websites or company web pages.
Develop a Checklist
Think of your business venture like moving house or planning a long trip. You undoubtedly begin with a plan and develop a checklist of associated tasks. Launching a business is no different. By laying the proper groundwork, your business has a better chance not only to survive, but to thrive.
For Further Reading
Dot.Com Countdown: Seven Steps to E-Business Launch
Five Steps to Launching a Business
Follow These 10 Steps to Starting a Business
Guest post contributed by Paul Kasparov on behalf of MayoWynneBaxter.co.uk - Wills and Probate Solicitors. Paul is a freelance writer. He has a penchant for new businesses and writes for various online business publications.
Category: Startup Advice