First of all, let me start off by saying this is NOT some quick scheme to get your business set up in one day and the cash is going to come rolling in. We all know that running a business takes time and effort and most of all HARD WORK!! But if you’re wanting to start your business and thinking you have to do all sorts of research and planning first, I’m here to tell you that the first thing you need to do is give your customers somewhere to go. You are no good to anyone if you can’t tell them how to find you. In the year 2016, you MUST have, at the very least, a website for your business. These are the 5 easiest ways to set your business up today.
So let’s dig in to the steps and get you on your way to your starting your business.
1. Name Your Business
Choosing a name can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. If you are using your name, great! Just remember you may need to use a middle initial to get your domain name and social media accounts if your name is popular. Someone else might already be using it. You will want to check GoDaddy or any domain service to see if it’s available. You will also want to check social media providers to see if your username is available.
2. Sole Proprietor or LLC?
- Sole Proprietor – For Sole Proprietor you can go to your county clerk’s website or office and file a DBA for your name if you are using a business name other than your own personal name.
- LLC – If you decide on LLC you can go to your state’s Department of State website to find the paperwork and filing instructions. Some states you can file online and some you will need to send out the paperwork. You can also use LegalZoom.com for this, however, I suggest finding a lawyer in your city and having them do it to make sure everything gets done correctly.
3. Free or Paid Website?
- WordPress.com is free and easy to set up (You can purchase a domain name to forward to if you don’t want your web address to be http://username.wordpress.com).
- WordPress.org is a little more advanced but you can purchase a domain name and hosting from GoDaddy or a service provider of your choice. WordPress is an easy install and their Tech line is always super helpful if you get stuck. I have personally had super great service with them so I can fully recommend them. I’ve been there for years and have only had one issue that they took care of immediately.
- Squarespace is another option that I see a lot of bloggers using now. I do not have any experience with them so I can’t speak to customer service or pricing, however, I do know of a lot of bloggers that are using them. They have templates to make your website look professionally made and they are easily customizable from what I’m told.
4. Social Media
Decide which social media accounts you want to use and sign up to claim the username for your business. I suggest at the very least Facebook (you can create a page and you don’t have to publish it right away), Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus. Some noteworthy other platforms available are Periscope, YouTube, and Snapchat. If you are not sure which to use, I suggest signing up for each and using them for a few weeks and see how you like them. Some may not be for you and that’s 100% okay.
5. Start Posting!
Finally, create your first post for your website and share it on your social media accounts! Dig in and get started. Don’t wait. Let people know you are there. Decide how often you want to post and then stick to that schedule!
** BONUS STEP **
6. Open a Business Banking Account
Go to the bank and open a Business Account. Then set up a business Paypal account to link to it. Once you have a place for your customers to go for your services and a way to give you their money, everything else is easy peasy.
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Yours in Ambition,