How to Start Your Own Small Business
How to Start Your Own Small Business
The saying “times are tough” is worn out these days. However, the current economic climate has improved enough to encourage entrepreneurship. If you have a service or product to trade, starting a small business is a viable avenue for some supplementary income along with your regular job.
The risks of setting up a small business scare off some people. In the world of economics it takes money to make money. Despite many hurdles, you don’t have to be rich to create your small business.
The following will dispel a few myths about business development, and give aspiring entrepreneurs valuable tips in entering their dream field. These points relate to costs, risk management, networking and security. Let’s go…
Start a LLC
LLC stands for Limited Liability Corporation, and is basically synonymous with small businesses. You can create a LLC by filing a form called the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State Corporations Division. This includes (1) the name of the business, (2) the address and (3) the filing fee, which costs $100 in Georgia.
You, or whoever files the Articles of Organization, act as the “registered agent,” which means that you accept legal papers on the LLC’s behalf if it gets sued.
You will have to comply with tax and regulatory requirements, and that includes…
- Getting an EIN number, which is an IRS Employer Identification number, even if you don’t have employees. You can get this on the IRS website (no fee). Think of it as your business’s social security number, because that’s what it is essentially.
- Business licenses are necessary depending on the type of business and its’ location.
- In certain cases (like selling goods, having employees or collecting sales tax), you need to register with your state’s Department of Resources.
- You have to re-register your LLC on a yearly basis, to make sure the government doesn’t cancel your business.
Whether you receive money from work, school or parents, completing these steps is easy once the fee is paid, and it can be done online.
What the Business World Won’t Tell You, But We Will.
Don’t do anything shady [or definitely anything illegal], but keep your company business secret. In the modern era, hackers run rampant across the country, stealing intellectual property. Having redundancies (backups) for files and products and ideas are the life-savers of prospective companies. These include getting multiple flash drives and having extra copies of important documents.
You probably need to avoid social media for certain situations.
It seems strange to do this, but the business sphere is becoming more astute at using your social media profile to categorize you and that may harm your potential business.
For the love of whatever hope you have for your company, avoid Twitter and Facebook. Social media leaves a highly traceable digital footprint, so things you tweeted or posted come back to haunt you no matter what. Just keep everything light and professional if you have to tweet.
Aside from potential blackmail, Twitter and Facebook remain under fire for scandals involving theft of intellectual property, so hackers and other miscreants can profit from your efforts. Use caution if using social media.
Getting a website can help.
There are many tools that help small businesses and individuals share their thoughts and creations. You can use website tools like Wix to make your company website, or you can hire a professional. All successful businesses need an online address and therefore presence.
Working from home or getting an office?
You can rent offices for one-time use for prospective clients. Renting an office on a monthly or yearly basis requires a steady revenue stream. Renting on an hourly “as needed basis” saves money. If you have products to sell and store, look into storage units.
This is self-explanatory because you need a network of clients, friends, acquaintances and other people to refer business to you. It benefits your business to be involved in the local community. Friends, family, teachers and colleagues are all resources for networking.
The small business route offers several opportunities for creative folks who may want to accomplish their goals their own way. Owning a business is not just for rich people–it can be for you too.