Tailor Brand’s Step-By-Step Guide to Starting Your Own Business
August 25, 2016
So you’re taking the first steps in starting your own business…congratulations! It’s the small business owner that helps to spark competition, create a higher quality of the community, and encourage innovation in their fields. This is something to be celebrated! But as important as small businesses and brands are to a robust economy, it should also be noted that getting started can be an uphill battle. Having an idea may be your first step, but taking the other leaps to get started and make your dream a reality can be intimidating.
Use This Small Business Checklist to Get Started!
Don’t fret! We’re creating a step-by-step guide here that can help you cruise down the road to small business ownership.
- Define your idea and what you want your business to be. Get an overall feel for the size and scope of your plan, and what you can feasibly handle. We all aspire to be the next Facebook, but that empire wasn’t built in a day. Think about your vision, mission, objectives, and actions that need to be taken to reach these objectives.
- Think of a name for your business. Research the competition and similar businesses to see what you’re up against, and how you can both create something appropriate for your business idea but also stand out from the crowd. Remember that your business name does not need to be your company name if you’d like to change this at another time (Google is the company, Alphabet, Inc. is the business that owns Google and its subsidiaries).
- Figure out how you want to conduct business. If you’re looking for a brick and mortar store, you’ll need to be sure that you have the right location and that anything you do abides by your town’s zoning laws. If you’re keeping your business online, know how taxes, shipping, and more will affect your pricing and method.
- Assess your financial situation and what your budget is for your business. Starting your business is going to have a cost associated with it, but you’ll need to have a realistic understanding of what you can expect to contribute and what kind of help you’ll also be able to receive. Think of using the Small Business Administration for a Small Business Loan to get you started.
- File the paperwork to get your business started with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and business license! Make sure to consider the filing fees and how much these may be to become recognized in your area. This may be a great place to speak an attorney about the pros and cons of the different legal options you’ll have at this time.
- Get started on your brand. Do you have a logo? Do you have a font, colors, and something that sets you apart from the competition? You’ll need to ensure that your business is identifiable. Generally, this is done through the consistent use of your logo and a consistent visual identity across your products and services. Since this is the face of your business, you’ll want something that can represent you even when you’re not there, which can include items like social media profiles, business cards, letterhead, invoices, business proposals, and more!
- Create your web identity! This will be important moving forward as customers use the internet to find new business or take the time to shop online. This is where you’ll be doing business from, where people will learn about you, and where you should be emailing from as well. We personally like Strikingly since you are able to get your domain, a simple store, and easily updated and new features.
- Build the team of people you’ll be looking towards for help and guidance. Are you trying to work on your own or are you interested in finding a partner or a team? Who are the trusted people that you can rely on for advice when the going gets tough? Creating a circle of supporters is an important part of starting your business!
- Test some of your sales in the community and start getting the word out about your business and product offerings. Set up at farmer’s markets, contact your local Chamber of Commerce, or run some ads on Facebook or Google. Test ideas with these early adopters to refine your idea and how you’d like to move forward.
- Grow your business! Don’t let checking items off a checklist stop you from becoming a small business owner. Get your feet off the ground, get your items out there, and start building your brand.
Starting a business takes work, but it’s manageable! By breaking down the steps you need to take in manageable steps can help put it all in perspective and allow you to keep your head on straight when everything gets busy!