How do you ACTUALLY start a new business?
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
You’ve come up with your new business idea, talked about it with friends and family, done your
research, and feel good about it. You are ready to go! Now what? There are many sides to getting ready to start a new business. We talked about the first one in our last post – some of the emotional pieces of advice we have. The second is all about the idea – research, making sure there’s an opportunity or interest and knowing what you are offering to consumers and why they’d want it. And today we’re talking about the third side - action. How do you ACTUALLY start your business? Today’s blog is about the basics, the logistics and the things you have to do to establish your business after you’re comfortable with the opportunity, risk, and have thought through a basic business plan.
1. NAME YOUR BUSINESS. I always thought the hardest part of new product development was
naming – so much pressure! One, it is important the name be clear, easy to say and type, and
meaningful. Two, it has to be available. Brainstorm a list of 10-15 names and then research them
on your state’s business registration website and a url provider to be sure they aren’t taken. You
might also check out their social media accounts to see that they are available. Once you’ve
settled on one you like, register it with your state (#3 below), secure the url, and social media
accounts. You can use web providers like Earthlink or GoDaddy to search and purchase your url,
or a website hosting service like Wix.
2. DETERMINE YOUR BUSINESS STRUCTURE. If you’re a solopreneur or working with a partner, you’ll need to develop Articles of Organization to establish your business. These can be very simple but outline the type of business you are developing (LLC, corporation, partnership, etc)
3. DO YOUR PAPERWORK. This includes registering your business in your state, getting an EIN
(Employee Identification Number) from the federal government and possibly a state ID, and
securing any permits you need. This will vary based on the type of business you have selected
but is crucial for opening a bank account, paying taxes, and just doing business. Your state will
have a small business website to help you understand what is required for you. The Small
Business Association (www.sba.gov) is a good resource too.
4. OPEN A PO BOX and BANK ACCOUNT. You can purchase a PO Box at your local Post Office to keep your business address separate from your personal one. If you are considering a co-
working space, many offer a mailroom as part of their packages. We think a PO Box is a good
small step to add a little security and privacy for you at home. Once you have a PO Box (be sure
to get their physical address for banking), you can open your bank account. Most banks offer
small business accounts with minimal cost and features, but lots of online banking help.
5. CREATE YOUR BRAND. At the beginning, this can be very simple and just include a logo,
business cards, and a website. These items should all work together to reinforce what your
brand is all about. Your website lets you share a little more about your personality and what
inspired you. Even if you aren’t selling directly on your website, it reinforces why people will
want to be involved with your company.
6. DEVELOP A LAUNCH PLAN. You’re completely setup and ready to go. But nobody is visiting your website yet? Use your network of friends and social media tools to get the word out. Attend
local networking events. And be patient.
And that’s basically it! Now that you’re logistically ready to launch your business, don’t forget to have fun! You picked this idea because you believed in it and there will be good days and bad days. Try to stay positive and believe. You got this.