10 things you need when starting a business in 2017

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Starting a business 2017
Starting a business 2017

We write plenty of business savvy informational articles on our site, but for those of you that don’t own your own business, do you ever wonder what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in this day and age?

Does creating your own schedule excite you?

What about not having to answer to someone hounding you constantly to meet quotas and deadlines?

Honestly, it doesn’t take a lot to start a business today, but you do need a few pointers to get started. We did a quick Google search and while there is a lot of interesting information out there, we feel our list is warranted for multiple reasons. We like to help our readers anyway we can, and we feel like keeping it simple and to-the-point is the best way to go.

So here are 10 things you need when starting a business in 2017:

1. Come up with a business idea

Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! Coming up with a business idea is tough, but you should always remember that not all business ideas were original. In fact, a lot of inventors and business owners take an existing business idea or principle and improve on it.

On that token, remember that all is fair in business.

What we mean by this is once you have established your company and brand, you should always be prepared to go to war with your competitors (in the nicest/most professional fashion possible).

We’re not talking about undercutting everyone down to pennies, nor are we talking about anything unethical. If your competitor comes out with an article a day, release two articles per day. If they target certain niches, target it harder and more aggressively. You must be willing to live by the sword and die by it if you plan on going anywhere with your company.

On the other side of the coin, you could always form amazing and meaningful partnerships with those competitors in order to grow together if you feel this is possible. The beauty of business is that there are infinite options and (almost) infinite ways to make money. Choose what you’re most comfortable with and move on to step 2.

2. Ask Yourself: Who are my partners going to be (if any)?

Sometimes, a husband and wife starting a business together isn’t always the best idea. Sometimes it leads to millions of dollars in cash flow. Other times it leads to litigation.

Choose your partner(s) wisely!

Family and friends are not always the best employees or partners. Sometimes you’ll be better off partnering with people that you aren’t close with.

Business acumen is everything, so don’t feel obligated to give Uncle John your CFO position because he’s out of work.

Choose your partner(s) wisely!

We can’t stress it enough.

3. Figure out what type of business it will be

Are you going to start off as a sole proprietorship and roll it into an S-Corp later on? Will it be a 501(c)(3)? These are important yet easy questions to answer. If unsure, feel free to visit the IRS website to see what kind of business you should be establishing.

4. Go downtown and register your business with the appropriate governmental agency/department

Here in Texas, we have to go to our downtown county clerk’s office to register a business name. You might have similar procedures in your state, but a quick Google search will clear that up for you.

Simply search something along the lines of “business registration DBA [insert state/city name]”.

That should get you the correct information you’re looking for.

5. Register with the IRS and make sure you begin tracking your expenses and income

The last kind of surprise you want is a huge tax bill because you didn’t calculate your taxes the right way during the year. Accounting software is paramount in tracking your expenses and income which bring us to…

6. Invest in accounting/bookkeeping software or a CPA

There are plenty of great options out there that will allow you to accurately keep your business receipts, expenses and income in one place. Let us know what your favorite accounting software is in the comments section!

7. Pay a graphic designer to create your brand’s first logo (exciting!)

Things are getting real now and hopefully you don’t have a headache from all the other preliminary processes thus far. This step should help to keep your motivational fire red hot, especially now that you can actually do something creative and visual.

There’s just something about seeing your idea in color on a piece of paper that really turns it to reality.

8. Invest in an office space, preferably separate from your home (but don’t break the bank)

Try to find a reasonable office space to call home for the next few years. You’ll get better rates if you can sign longer leases, but you don’t want to get locked into a space for too long for multiple reasons. Two main reasons are because if you go broke, you don’t want to have to keep paying for years or even worse, file bankruptcy to break a lease agreement. The other reason being that if you grow quickly, you might need something larger or nicer than the space you started with. Try to use good judgement and get into a yearly lease agreement if it fits your budgetary standards for the year.

9. Find sales reps, customer service reps and any other employees you’ll need to grow

Now, we’re not saying to fill every single conceivable position for your company right off the bat. What you will need are the front-liners. The people that will do the exponential “grunt work” that every business does to get off the ground. Get in there with them. Make some cold calls to motivate your team. Get rejected and shutdown to show them it’s okay. Failure is all a part of the process. It’s how you deal with it and spin it to make it work out in your favor that will create success for you and your business in the end.

10. Website

This should be higher on the list, but I wanted to get all the major points out of the way first before focusing on your business website.

In order to have a website, you must first find buy a domain and choose a website host.

Godaddy is our pick because that’s who we use and we couldn’t be happier with their service and support. A non-premium domain will run you around $5-$15 per year (usually), and private domain registration will cost an additional $10-$20 per year. The private domain registration allows you to keep your personal/business information hidden so spammers and scammers can’t contact you once you purchase your business’ domain.

We would recommend that you choose your host’s WordPress management program. This just makes it easier to keep everything under one umbrella, and sometimes it can be cheaper too. WordPress management makes it easy to setup your website because you just have to choose a theme and make a few pages and you’re basically up and running.

There are a lot more factors that go into this, but it’s definitely something that a rep from Godaddy can walk you through if you’re brand new to the process.

Honorable Mention: Advertising Budget & Social Media

We feel like it needs to be said: you need an advertising budget and at least one social media account!

Advertising is one of the single most important actions you can take to grow your business. Online advertising is where you’ll get the best bang for your buck for any kind of situation. Feel free to call Google’s Adwords team to allow them to walk you through the process of setting up your advertising account. Once you get a Google Adwords campaign started, you can proceed to setup a Facebook account for your company.

Yes, you guessed it, Facebook is also extremely important to your business.

Many of your customers will check to see if you even have a Facebook account before giving your business a chance. Be sure to put nice photos up and post at least once every other day to stay relevant. If you let this slip, you will see your sales slip too. I’ve seen it too many times where businesses neglect their Facebook account and lose out on tons of potential money and customer interaction. Rapport is paramount in business and engaging with your audience online is the new norm. You have to stay up with the times because if you don’t, there’s always someone else who will.

There you have it, folks. Take this information and apply it however you like. We have lived it and we know from experience that every single one of these steps are important in building a successful and relevant business from scratch. Feel free to comment below with your experiences and let us know if there’s something we should add to it. Good luck and feel free to request advice from our experts.

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