Is 2014 going to be the year you finally start your own company?
It’s about time! 😉
If so, you probably already have a ton of ideas in terms of your product or service, business name and even how to market yourself.
What you might lack, however, is the knowledge about the actual steps you need to take in order to get this idea from inside your head into reality.
All serious ideas for a business need to begin with a business plan. Until you handle this part, your idea is still a fantasy, at best. There are a number of tools online that can assist you, but the general idea is that you want to map out what it will take to “open your doors” and begin selling a product or service for a profit.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by hiring a freelancer online. Find someone with the experience you may be lacking and pay them to create a business plan for you.
A major obstacle every business has to deal with is raising capital. It always costs money to make money, no matter what kind of company you’re hoping to start. Fortunately, in the digital age, it’s easier than ever to get a business up and running with minimal funding. If it’s going to take more than you have at the moment, consider speaking with your bank or borrowing the money from friends and family. There are also a number of options online for raising funds from interested parties, as well.
Depending on the nature of your business, you’ll need to designate it as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), cooperative or nonprofit. Learn about each one and then choose whichever is best for you (usually an LLC). This decision will affect many things, especially those pertaining to taxes.
Speaking of which, you’ll need to find out which tax ID number you need from your state revenue agency and the IRS. Then, register with them for taxes. This step will also award you unemployment benefits if they ever become necessary, workers’ compensation and more.
Usually, when you first start out, you or your family will be the only employees working for the business. As that changes, however, you’ll need to be sure you understand your responsibilities as an employer.
Even though a lot goes into launching a successful business, don’t let the above intimidate you. Everyone has to go through it and it’s actually easier than it seems (trust me … I’ve started a plethora of ’em!).