A successful small business always starts out as a grand idea. Transforming and growing that idea into your very own business, might feel overwhelming in the beginning, and understandably so. There are a lot of different factors that contribute to starting a business. Like any ambitious goal, you will need to start by breaking it down into small, manageable tasks.
Beginning steps to consider when starting your very own business:
- Conduct Market Research – As you are taking the first steps to starting your business, it’s always good to research your competition, who your potential customers will be, what they are buying now, why they are buying, and what will make them buy from you. The best research can even be done at home by a phone call survey, and gathering competitive intelligence through social media. The research you find will help you create your scope of your business. Visit this article from entrepenuer.com for ideas on how to conduct your market research.
- Create a Business Plan – A well thought out business plan includes a formal document containing goals with time-frames and how to achieve them. This acts as your foundation and becomes the structure for your business to help you stay on track and grow. Check out 7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan.
- Funding –Starting a business can require a lot of upfront cost. To help you find the money you need, some finance techniques include getting a bank loan, using a credit card, factoring, crowdfunding, and tapping into your 401k. For additional techniques read 10 Ways to Finance Your Business from Inc.com
- Choose a Name – It may seem like a small detail but coming up with a name can help you define your business. Plus, it is the start to creating a trustworthy and fun brand. Once your business name has been determined, make sure that your business name isn’t already being used through this trademark site.
- Determine Legal Structure – Choosing your legal business structure impacts everything from daily operations, to taxes, to how much of your personal assets are at risk. You should choose a business structure that gives you the right balance of legal protection and benefits as this impacts your business registration requirements, personal liability and how much you pay in taxes. The most common forms of business are LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and S Corporation. For tips on determining business structure check out what the US Small Business Administration suggests.
- Apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) – Once you have chosen a name, you need to make it official (legally). You will need to register with the federal government & possibly your state government as well. Check out how to apply for an Employer Identification Number.
- Apply for Licenses & Permits – Just as you as an individual would be identified by your social security number, you will also need to obtain your EIN which is used to identify your business. A link to start your application through the federal government and apply for licenses and permits can be found here.
- Open a Business Bank Account – With your newly formed EIN, your next step is opening a business banking account. Business owners should consider opening both a savings and checking account to separate your working capital and savings funds. To start the process of choosing the best bank account review costs, fees, and documents required. For other pointers on opening a business bank account visit here.
- Make a Website/Register a Domain Name – One important step of getting your business up and running is to create a website. Creating an easy to use website and registering a domain name are must do’s while starting your business. Your website and domain name is a great marketing opportunity to leave a positive impression and increase brand recognition. See tips for making a website and registering a domain name on websites such as, Squarespace, Wix and WordPress.
- Create Social Media Profiles – Social media can act as a free, easy way to market your business. It’s important to make sure your branding is consistent throughout all social media channels. Consistency is key throughout all the content you are producing around your new business on your social media profiles.
Once you have completed these steps, it's time to connect to your customers through Wi-Fi, reliable Internet and a voice solution that you can rely on. Read below on how Cincinnati Bell can power your business and keep you connected:
- Future-proof your business with Fiber Internet up to 1 Gig.
- Keep your business connected, never miss a call.
- Put your Wi- Fi to work for you.
- Provide your business with enhanced features.
As you continue to grow your business, check out this blog topic, Top 5 Ways You Didn't Know Cincinnati Bell Can Help Grow Your Business. Read our business success stories with Cincinnati Bell and learn more!