I want to share some critical steps and tips that you need to think about when you’re just first starting with your business. This might be a food business, a home-based business, or a brick and mortar business, but these are critical for any business owner to think about:
Critical Tips and Steps When Starting a Business
Some so many people are starting home-based businesses these days, and a lot of them are probably doing it wrong, and so today, I want to kind of debunk some of the things that you need to think about if you’re first starting with your home-based business. This might be everything from an e-commerce business to a blog to a YouTube channel you’re beginning and hoping to make money from to a consulting company.
Starting a Business vs. Getting a Job
If you read a lot of “how to start a business” content online, you’ve probably noticed that most articles glorify entrepreneurship and bad-mouthing having a job. Here is the truth, you could miserable after you have started a business, and you could be ecstatic working in a 9-5 job.
The fact is that it doesn’t matter what anyone tells you about starting a business. The only thing that matters is “you.”
Do you really want to start a business?
Do you really want to start a business, or you just hate your job, boss, coworkers, etc.? Some people use starting a business as an escape. Escape from what? You might be unhappy with your job. Or that your boss is a jerk. Maybe you hate the people you work with. Let me tell you, even if you start a business, you will face most of the same problems you dealt with at work.
If you start a business, you will deal with clients or customers. Some of your customers will be tough to deal with. You are going to have to hire people to help you with your business. If you don’t hire anyone, you will be a one-person business, which is super stressful for several reasons.
I don’t want to talk you out of starting a business. All I want you to do is to carefully think about the real reasons you want to start one. Maybe starting a business is the best decision you ever make.
Start a Business, Escape the 9-5
Maybe you were working for a company, and then you decided to stop working, and you went home, and you’re trying to figure something else that you want to do to make money.
I want to talk to you about taking that idea that you have for that business and what you need to do legally to protect that idea and how to build it into something exceptional that can help earn an income for you and your family and so that hopefully, you don’t have to go back to that night into five job.
Because if you’re reading this article, the chances are that you probably don’t want to be at that nine-to-five job.
When should I start a business?
Do you want to make money on your own terms, perhaps even get rich, I mean really rich? Starting a business might be the best way. Do you want your upside to be beyond any amount you could dream of earning in a 9-5 job? Starting your own home business, online business, or brick-and-mortar business is the best way.
If you want to be free to chart your own course, to make your own decisions, to make your own business blunders — to let the sky be the limit not just financially but also, and most importantly, personally?
Many factors are critically important when you think about starting a business.
Now may be the best time for you to start a business, if you:
- Have a passion for starting a business
- Have enough money to support yourself until your business takes off
- Ready to roll up your sleeve and learn whatever you need to know to succeed in business
Is it realistic to start a business with no money?
Realistically, you can start quite a lot of businesses without money. But a no money business doesn’t mean that you don’t need any money. Let me explain. Even if you start a dog walking business, you still need some cash to pay your bills until your business takes off.
So, just because you can start a business with no money, it doesn’t mean that starting a business is a good idea if you are completely broke.
How much money to start a business?
How much money does it cost to start a business? It depends on the company you want to create. If you’re going to become a personal chef, you don’t need a lot of money. Still, if you are interested in starting a restaurant, you could be looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions in investments before you can open your doors.
Which business should I start without money?
The business to start with little money would be some type of a service business or an online business such as a blog. A low investment business requires your time. You might have to work for months or even years without making money. You don’t have money to invest, so you have to invest your time.
Here are a few ideas to start a business without money:
- Blogger (food, travel, hobbies, health, personal finance, etc.)
- Affiliate marketer
- Personal chef
- Virtual assistant
- Professional writer
- Ebook author
- Instructor (music, math, language, science, etc.)
Which business can I start without investment?
You don’t need a ton of cash to start a business. And, it is possible to start a business without investment. You can start many home-based service businesses without investment.
You may be able to start a business without investment, but you will invest your time. Starting a business without investment is not a far fetched idea if you are willing to put in the necessary work.
What business to start at home?
For the tens of millions of Americans who already work from home, starting a home business is a dream that can easily become a reality. A home business used to be a rare phenomenon. Still, high-speed internet access and changing attitudes have made starting home businesses a reality for millions of people worldwide.
Starting a home-based business is not only easier than ever; you have more options than ever before. Many home businesses require little money to start. Some home businesses require no experience or special training or certificates.
With a home business, you can begin small, even part-time, until you make enough money to quit your day job. A home business gives you a lot of freedom because you can grow it at your own pace.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your business, you can start a home-based business and become very successful.
Here are my favorite home business ideas:
- Home bakery – If you love baking and people love your cakes and cookies, a home-based bakery business might be your ticket to entrepreneurship.
- Social media marketer – If you spend a lot of time on social platforms, you could build a solid home-based business as a social media marketing consultant.
- Photography – Professional photography requires a very little startup cost. You can easily run your photography business out of your home.
- Professional writing – Every business needs lots of content written for their website, blog, and various marketing materials. If you enjoy writing, this might be your ideal home business opportunity.
- Online selling – From eBay to Amazon and everywhere in between, you can sell new and used items. Online selling is for those who like to hustle and eager to learn about the latest and greatest online marketing tactics.
What is a startup business loan?
A startup business loan might be required if you don’t have enough savings, and you want to start a business that requires a substantial investment. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a startup business loan option, offering up to $50,000 for small businesses. The average size of these business loans is only about $13,000.
The downside of the startup business loan is that the loan amount may not be sufficient for all entrepreneurs.
The SBA’s flagship 7(a) loan program is also a possibility. This type of business loan offers financing that borrowers can use to cover business startup expenses. Unfortunately, 7(a) SBA loans are not easy to get. They are typically awarded to established businesses with collateral. In other words, companies with physical assets, such as equipment or real estate, are more likely to be approved because the lender can sell business assets if the business defaults on the loan. The qualification process is strict. Even if you qualify for this type of business loan, approval could easily take months.
If you can’t obtain an SBA loan, you might have better luck with nonprofit or microlenders. Getting a business loan through such nontraditional lenders can be a simpler route, especially if you have shaky finances. Many of these lenders focus on traditionally disadvantaged or minority small-business owners. If your business is located in an economically struggling area, you might have a better chance of financing your business this way.
Getting financed by one of these lenders, you can grow your business and establish better credit. That can help you qualify for other types of funding down the road.
How to name your business?
One of the first things you need to do when you’re starting your business is to pick a name for your business. The business name is a crucial thing when you’re just getting started in business. If you’re trying to build a brand, you might want to create a name that is something unique or different.
How to protect your business name?
Sarah Blakely, who started Spanx, came up with that name; she did all the things she needed to do to protect her business name before launching the public. So the first thing you have to do before you start is to protect the business name.
An excellent first step is when you have a business name you like is to perform a search of all the online platforms to make sure that nobody else is using that name. Search Google and search the US Patent and Trademark Office website. It would be best if you also searched on Facebook. It would help if you searched on all the social media platforms.
Make sure your business name is available.
It would be best if you made sure that the name that you’re choosing for your business is available so that you can use that name, and then you can start claiming all those properties as well all those online properties. The other great place you want to check is the Secretary of State. Every state has a Secretary of State.
Check their website; they usually have an online database regardless of what state you’re in, and make sure that the name you’re choosing is not already taken in that state. In the state where you live or in the state where you’re going to be starting your business.
If you’re overseas, assuming that your name is available, you should go ahead and register as a DBA. That’s a doing business as in your state, and the reason you want to do that is so that when it comes time to form an LLC or a corporation or something else. You want to be sure that name will be reserved, and nobody else would take it and use it.
Submit Trademark Application for Your Business Name
It is not a bad idea to file an intent to use application with the trademark office. You can’t get a trademark until you’re using the name or the logo or whatever it is in commerce. In other words, unless you’re selling products with that name, you can’t register a trademark.
If you came up with a great business name, you can go ahead and register it with the US Patent and Trademark Office. To do that, you have to file what’s called an intent to use application.
It’s going to tell them that you intend to use this name in commerce in the future, and you’re basically reserving that name.
Open a Business Bank Account
Next, you need to go ahead and open up your business bank account. This is important because this is how you will keep track of all your business expenses and any income you may earn. At this point, you don’t need to go ahead and apply for an employer identification number with the IRS. At least, not yet.
You can open up this business bank account in your name with the DBA you’re using and use your personal Social Security card or tell the bank you’re opening a business as a sole proprietorship. You can go ahead and do that before you’ve formed an LLC or corporation.
The bank is going to require that you make an initial deposit into your bank account. You are going to have to use your own money to make the bank deposit. With the bank account, you can get a debit card, and you can use that to pay for all the supplies, get your blog started, whatever you need to pay for.
You can invest in the business personally, and then you can use
that money to pay for all your startup costs. You can also use your bank account to start receiving things like affiliate sales from ShareASale or Amazon affiliate programs.
Once you make affiliate sales, you can deposit that money into your business bank account.
Forming the Right Business Entity
Next, you need to think about incorporating your business. You can incorporate your business after you’ve validated your business idea. After your business is starting to make money, it’s critical to form the business entity.
It would be best if you understood the differences between the various legal entities. After you have read up on the different business entities available to you, decide if you want to be a sole proprietor, or if you want to form an LLC or a corporation, or partnership.
Getting Permits and Licenses for Your Business
The next thing you should do is make sure you don’t have to get any special license in your state or the locality you’re living and operating your business. Some states, cities, or counties may require you to get a privileged license or business license or something like that.
You may have to register with your local taxing authority in some other way so let them know that you’re operating a business. This is also true if you’re operating the company out of your home. The important thing is to check with your city and state officials. You don’t know what is required until you check.
Let’s say you’re starting a catering business or a restaurant. There could be specific health regulations that you would have to follow to comply with local rules and regulations.
Taking care of these licenses, permits, and certificates are just part of the cost of doing business, so that’s something that you need to budget for because you have to make sure that you comply with all the local rules
Make sure you’re getting permits and licenses so that you can lawfully run your business. Otherwise, you can get yourself in big trouble.
Contracts for Your Business
The next thing to do is to make sure that you have your business contracts in place. This is especially important if you’re going to be bringing on clients. You need to use a client contract to get everything in writing when you provide service. Contracts are also necessary if you are
going to be hiring independent contractors.
business. So make sure that you have your business contracts in place. It is vital that you don’t try to write your own business contracts unless you are an attorney. Having the wrong contracts in your business can really hurt your business.
Insurance for Your Business
The next step is to purchase adequate insurance. Insurance is critical. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked, but it’s an integral part of owning a business, and it is not that expensive. You may need to get several types of insurance for your business, such as professional liability insurance. Chances are you won’t need, but you can also get what’s called an umbrella policy or a general liability policy.
If you’re operating a business where you’re going to have people over to say your house or someplace else or you’re going to be doing work for them, make sure you have some sort of liability policy in place in case you
make a mistake. When you hear about bonded and insured people, that’s what they mean they’ve got a bond they post a bond in case something terrible happens. And they’re also insured to cover that too.
Hire for Your Business
The next step is to start to build your professional team. This is where you’re going to start hiring people to work in your business to help you out with your business’s day-to-day operations. You may need to hire a virtual assistant to help you with your website or your marketing or social media or something like that.
You might want to hire a local marketing assistant to help you put on events and network with other people and do seminars and things like that to get the word about what you do. As you bring on more clients, you’re going to need team members to help you service those clients so that you can do more marketing and bring on even more business.