When I first started my website, I entirely thought of it as a personal website, not something that would turn into a business. Yes, I dreamt of bringing in some side income from it, but now I really enjoy it and would love to make it more of a business than just a hobby.
I’ve been looking into things that I should be doing differently and the steps that I need to take. There are many critical things that need to be done in order to ensure that things can flow smoothly and there will be stability well into the future.
Starting a business can be very difficult in the beginning, so following some common steps can be greatly helpful with your business being successful.
1. Have a Plan
What type of business are you trying to start? Where do you want to end up? Who will your customers be and where will your market be located? Are you going to start a business that operates nationally or just within 30 miles of your main office?
Do your research very thoroughly in this area, especially if this business that you are creating will be your only source of viable income. There are many companies out there that offer valuable industry research on your possibly business, and you can also talk to people and potential customers.
Make sure that the services and/or products that you are offering are sellable and wanted in the market. Maybe your dream isn’t to make millions off your business (but instead to have enough to be happy and fulfilled in life), but you still do want to make sure that you aren’t wasting money or your own time.
2. Register your Business Appropriately
Create a name for your business and register it with your state. Also, figure out what type of legal structure your business will be. Different structures (partnership, proprietorship, limited liability company, etc.) work for different types of companies and the goal(s) of the companies. Consult a lawyer and tax professionals for this, especially if you are unsure.
Keep in mind that different entities work different when it comes to many things such as: dividends/distributions of income, income taxes, liability and so on.
3. Apply for your Business Tax ID
The upside of paying taxes? It means your making money! All businesses need to apply and have a tax ID so that they can pay taxes. It can make applying for loans and starting bank accounts for the business much easier as well.
4. Create a Bank Account for Your Business
You need to treat your business finances like a business. Your business bank account should absolutely be separated from your personal bank account. When tax time comes around, it will make sorting out your income and expenses much easier if you just separated your business and personal spending and income from the very beginning.
5. Hire Help if You Need It
Starting a business without help when you absolutely know that you need it is most likely a bad idea. Many businesses fail right at the beginning, and this might be one of the main reasons.
If you can’t tend to your clients and successfully complete what you promise your clients, then this can hurt your reputation and the products and/or services which you offer. Selling subpar products and services in the very beginning can haunt your business and potentially destroy it.
6. Start a Website
A website might not always be needed in your industry, but for me, I tend to like businesses more if I can look them up online. I believe it’s easier for people and potential customers to trust you if you have your name online somewhere.