Small Business Tax Center
Small Business Ideas, Grants &
Plans to Start & Run a Business:

Small Business Grants
CyberSchmooz
Network in Cyberschmooz Community Ask Questions Questions and Answers Share Tips Small Business Ideas List Your Business Business Advice from Idea Cafe Experts Coffee Talk with Experts Starting A Business Business Plan Biz Planning | Sample Plans Small Business Ideas Idea Name Your Biz Name Plan Your Biz Plan Financing $ Starting a Business Do It! Running your Business Marketing Tips Promotional Merchandise Marketing Tips Marketing | Sales | Customers Human Resources HR | Employees | Contractors Legal Forms & Tax Information Legal | Biz Forms Managing a Business Managing | Operations
Financing Resources Financing Your Business E Commerce & Webhosting eCommerce Take Out Info Trade Publications FREE Trade Publications Business Books Biz Books Your Own Business Small Business News Small Biz News Gen X Biz Gen X Biz Work at Home Work @ Home Business Information The Fridge - Biz Info on Ice Destress Send Awards Send Awards & Greetings Yoga At Your Desk Yoga @ Your Desk Fun Guide Guide to Find FUN Online About Idea Cafe Press Idea Cafe has received Idea Cafe in the News Idea Cafe's Kudos Kudos for Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy Contact Idea Cafe Contact Idea Cafe Link to Idea Cafe Link to/from Idea Cafe Join Idea Cafe
Search Idea Cafe Site Directory Site Map SMARTpages.com Find a Business, Person, or
    Directions at SMARTpages
Online directory to business resources Biz Web Guide



Article from our Guest Expert Kyle Wilkins

color business bar

4 Important Things to Know When Starting a Small Business

Do you have an idea for a business that has you ready to get started on the paperwork right away? Before you take on the huge commitment of dedicating your whole life to getting your fledgling business off the ground, make sure you are familiar with all of the basic first steps you will need to follow in order to start a successful, healthy new business with the potential for stable, long-term growth.

1)     Start with the Nuts & Bolts

Once you've figured out what general service(s) you want to offer, make sure you know what specifically will make your business stand out from the crowd. The world already has lots of dog trainers in the world. What about your credentials and your method make you a brand new voice in the market? Do you have a strategy for working with dogs that is all your own? Do you combine your training with doggie daycare? Have you received any awards or recommendations?

Once you've figured out what sets you apart from the crowd, come up with a name. You will need to purchase the rights to your name and register it, so go online to look up all company names and registrations before you settle on one that is fun, catchy, and reflects your business.

Next, attend to legal matters. Depending on the nature of your business, you may have to follow particular local, regional, or national guidelines. Make sure your paperwork is all taken care of, that you are registered with a Tax ID, and that you know all laws relevant to your business type.

2)     Figure Out a Starting Budget

Do you expect to be working on your own at first or do you want to hire on a few starting employees? Figure out how much money you can start out with. You may want to consider using budgeting software so that you can clearly see what you can work with. Do you have enough in savings that you are comfortable spending on this project? Do you need to take out a business loan? How many employees can you afford up front?

Next, figure out the starting logistics. Will you work from your home? If you have other employees, will they work remotely or do you want to rent an office location where your employees will work? Do you have enough for office supplies including furniture, computers, and telephones? If you can wait until you have some clients and income accumulated, you may be able to secure a more stable footing before risking your money on investing in an office location!

3)     Get Ready to Self-Promote

Once you have figured out the logistics of starting a business out of your home or of creating a brick and mortar location, it's time to start thinking about creating a client base. Who are the people that your services will appeal to? Who are the people who might already buy from you? What are the means of self-promotion that will most appeal to their sensibilities?

To get started, you should be sure to set up a website and to build company profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also want to be on Pinterest and Instagram.

In setting up your website, try to get a domain name that is the same as your business name. If that is not available or is too expensive, you may actually want to consider picking a different business name so that your business name and URL will match. You've no doubt experienced confusion before when working with a company whose URL didn't match their business name, so you've seen how this can easily lead to misdirection and loss of sales.

Next, start to build your website. Choose a reputable hosting company that will be safe and secure and will be suitable to growing your website as your company grows. Be sure to have some form of website security to protect you against malware and prevent you from missing out on traffic. Now that part of your profits depend on your website, you will become a bigger target for hackers, so you will want to take extra measures to ensure the safety of your network and devices.

4)     Find Those Clients!

Now that you have a great looking business backing you up, it's time to connect with clients! Try to think of things that will appeal to your specific network. For example:

  • Get advertising space on local TV and radio channels.
  • Put ads in the paper and on local websites. Buy banner space on websites that cater to your industry or local area.
  • Put a listing in the phone book.
  • Request an interview with a publication that appeals to your consumer base.
  • Offer discounts and coupons for referrals as well as follows and likes on social media.

Now that you're on track to building up an industry presence and a client base, you're on your way to succeeding as a local business. Check out these resources for more tips. Good luck!

 

Google      

Small Business Tax CenterIdea Cafe HomeSign UpBiz Grant CenterCyberSchmoozCoffee Talk with ExpertsPeople in Biz ProfilesStarting Your BizBiz PlanningRunning Your BizFREE Trade PublicationsMarketingFinancing Your BizHuman ResourcesLegal & Biz FormsManaging Your BizeCommerceYou and Your BizGen XWork@HomeThe FridgeDe-StressSend an AwardSend an eGreetingYoga @ Your DeskWeb GuideIdea Cafe in the NewsAbout Idea CafeAdvertise on Idea CafeContact UsPrivacy PolicySite MapSmall Biz News

Copyright 1995-2017, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.

DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.

TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business™, CyberSchmooz™, and BizCafe™.

 

 



About the Expert

Peter Hupalo
Owner of HCM Publishing, Inc.
Peter investigates the latest computer-programming technologies and researches companies for investment. He also writes a column about entrepreneurship and small business for iSyndicate.com and reviews biz books. Peter wrote Thinking Like An Entrepreneur, about how to make savvy business decisions and take real control of your financial destiny. more