Launching a new business can seem like a difficult and daunting task. However, if you have the knowledge and proper guidance it can be quite simple. Speaking from experience, there are a few basic yet significant things you need to do if you plan on launching a new business. When starting my business, the very first thing that I did was figure out exactly what I want to do. I knew there were things that I was good at and enjoyed doing but I didn’t know which one of these things I should focus on to earn the kind of money I desired to make through the business. This led me to step one….
Choosing a Niche
To help me decide what to focus on, I made a list each of my skills and the things I loved doing. After making my initial list, I then took the list and rearranged the order of each item I wrote down from most important to least important. The most important items were things that I knew I did well, would enjoy doing on a continuous basis, and could do whether or not I made lots of money. The least important items were things that I was only marginally good at and that I would potentially get tired of doing (whether or not I made significant money). To narrow the list down even further, I decided to focus on the top two or three most important items on my list. This is how I was able to determine my business niche and which services I would offer through the business.
Naming My Business – Some people may find choosing a good business name unimportant but I focused heavily on this. Your business name is the first thing people will know about your business. Therefore it’s important to choose a name that is memorable and gives prospective customers and clients an immediate understanding of what you do. For me, since I decided that helping entrepreneurs acquire capital would be the focus of my business, I made a list of keywords that were related to the words entrepreneurs and funding. Eventually I came up with CapitaLinker (a combination of the words capital and linker) because I felt as though it would immediately give my prospects and general idea of what I do. Try using the same technique to come up with your business name.
Make a list of keywords that are related to your product or service then try putting those words together to come up with a name that identifies your product or service offering well. I suggest keeping the name short and simple. Long names are difficult to remember. Also be sure to choose something that your target market can easily pronounce. Lastly, choose a name that is unique. I did a Google search to make sure my chosen business name was not already in use. (I also suggest searching for domains using your chosen business name to be sure someone has not already registered a domain name for it).
Registering My Business
After I determined what my business name would be, I immediately registered my business in the state where I am located. I did this right away just in case someone else would’ve thought of using the same name and decide to register it before me. I also obtained an EIN/Tax ID for the business. These are things I did on my own without the help of a lawyer or business registration expert. However, I did significant research on registering a business and choosing the proper business type (i.e. LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp, etc.) before I actually registered the business.
If you are not confident in choosing a business type or obtaining an EIN on your own, I suggest seeking expert help. Companies like Inc For Free, BizFilings, and The Company Corporation provide business registration services and they will also help you obtain your EIN. They are much more affordable than a lawyer yet they provide a service that is just as good. I’ve worked with both companies to help my clients register new businesses and they did an excellent job.
Developing My Business Plan
Some people believe that a business plan is not important but I am the total opposite. Developing a business plan was crucial for me. I am a very “visual person.” Therefore writing down my business goals and objectives and how I would implement the business was important. I am all about developing business plans to use them as a guide for launching and operating a business. Developing a business plan helped me understand how I would brand my company, who would be my target customer, how I would reach my target customer, and how I would generate revenue. I suggest you develop a well thought out business plan before launching the business to give you a pretty good idea of what you will do once it has launched.
Keep in mind that a business plan is a living document so it will change as your business changes and grows. Lastly, I suggest writing your own business plan to begin with however if you plan on raising capital, you might want to consider seeking expert help to write a business plan. My first business plan was very “amateurish” therefore I decided to seek the help of an expert business plan writer to help me write an updated plan so I could apply for a small business loan. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure your voice is heard loud and clear throughout the business plan because after all it is your plan.