Starting a new business and being successful depends on your positive motivation and willingness to succeed. Even if you later decide to outsource any or all of the tasks required to run your business and to provide various services to clients, you must first believe in yourself.
If you have the courage and mindset for obtaining your goals, and the belief that you'll make money at this, then you will!
Setting up your business requires a plan. Let's begin.
Step One: Order Business Cards
Having a business card is a mandatory requirement. They're quite inexpensive, but they represent you and your business.
You can give business cards to potential clients, friends, service people, and you can even write a note on the back of your business card for someone you've just met. It's a great way of promoting your business.
Online resources for ordering business cards (located in several countries):
- VistaPrint - www.vistaprint.com
- Moo Business Cards - http://us.moo.com/products/businesscards.html
- Graphic River - www.graphicriver.net
- 123 Print - http://www.123print.co.uk/
Local resources for ordering business cards:
- Local printer close to your home or business
- OfficeMax, Office Depot, or Staples
HINT: If you can find a local printer, go into their physical store to place your order. That local business owner could be your first client!
Step Two: Create a Three-Page Website Or A WordPress Blog
Although this step is not mandatory before you launch your new business, perhaps you can take the money that you make during the first couple of months and pay someone to set up a website for you.
The advantages of having your own site give you credibility, establishes your offline marketing brand, posts your fee structures, and allows you to capture potential customers through an opt-in form.
If you don't have any free templates to set up a quick mini site, you could create a WordPress blog and choose an appropriate theme that's free of charge.
Please note, don't let this be a stopping point before you launch your business.
If you know how to create a WordPress blog, then take a couple hours on a Saturday and do it. If you don't know how to create a mini site or WordPress blog, then just proceed to Step Three.
Here are several website resources for you to check out:
- WordPress - www.wordpress.org
- Template Monster - www.templatemonster.com
- Intuit - www.intuit.com/website-buildingsoftware/?xcid=intm_home_iws_nav_hr3_A
Step Three: Register a New Business Name in the City Where You Live
This is another option that is not mandatory, but when you start making thousands of dollars a month, you might want to set up a Doing Business As (DBA) business account with your local government small business office.
When you have set up a business name for yourself, it gives you more credibility, it helps with your branding, and you will need it to open a business bank account to deposit checks that you receive from customers.
If you live in the United States, you might want to look into these resources for small businesses:
Regardless of where you live, if you search on the Internet for the phrase:
―How do I register a business name in <name of city>‖ you’ll discover many links that will walk you through the process. In most instances, you can register a new business name through the Office of the City Clerk.
WARNING: It costs less than $20 to register a business name or an assumed business name. Don't get tricked into paying hundreds of dollars to an online company when you can get this service through your local city office for cheap.
NOTE: Before you register your new business name, it’s extremely important that you do not use your home street address.
Open up a P.O. Box for $10 a year at your local post office. Get the smallest size possible. Then take that post office number with you when you register your business name. Protect your privacy and your personal information.
Step Four: Set Up a Separate Business Phone Number
This step is not necessary during the first two months that you’re doing your marketing and closing sales. However, it is highly recommended that you have a phone number that's separate from your cell phone number or your home phone number.
There are two reasons for this:
1) having a separate number for your business eliminates calls that you might receive when you're not in your office, or during after-hours, on holidays, and on the weekends;
2) it protects your privacy.
Obtaining a business phone number can be free or very inexpensive. Here are some resources for you to look into.
Google Voice http://www.google.com/voice or Google Mobile - http://www.google.com/mobile/
Get a free phone number that transfers to your mobile phone, office phone, or home phone.
- Skype – www.skype.com Place and receive free calls through the Internet
- Ring Central – www.ringcentral.com
- Kall8 - http://www.kall8.com/index.php Offers toll-free numbers and small monthly fee.
- Or, you can buy a cheap mobile phone, with no contract, and add money to your account as you need it for incoming calls. (This gives you a business phone number.)
Step Five: Set Up a Business Bank Account
Whether you handle all of your transactions through your local bank or not, if you are not going to sign up for a credit card processing merchant, then you will also need a way to accept PayPal payments and have them transferred into your business bank account.
Again, this is just a safeguard to keep your personal finances separate from your business transactions.
Having your own business bank account also allows you to have your business name printed on your checks.
In addition, when your brand new customer has his checkbook in front of him and asks you, ―Who should I make the check out to?" You can say, ―Make the check payable to <your company name>.
A business bank account also allows you to maintain an easy accounting system. In addition, a business bank account is required when you're registering your DBA business name.