“A big business starts small.”
Starting a any kind of business can be an overwhelming process, but it doesn’t have to be. In this post I will provide a step-by-step guide to help you start a business with a solid focus and foundation. We’ll cover all the important steps to help you feel knowledgeable and confident so you can successfully start your business.
EXAMPLE: Let’s pretend that you are starting a raised garden bed business where you will be selling the necessary materials to other hopeful gardeners.
Find Your Why
Regardless of the business you’re getting into, you will need to know you why and be able to articulate it well to your prospective customers. This will help customers understand who you are. Business owners who have a story and reason behind what they do more easily build trust with clients because their “why” is personal and providing a solution for others is a passion.
EXAMPLE WHY: Your name is Betty and you started a raised garden bed business because you wanted to be able to grow fresh produce for your family in the limited space of your backyard. This was when you discovered raised beds. Through years of trial and error, you found an efficient and adaptable way to build a raised bed in any backyard space. You spent thousands of dollars and years of your life to discover the perfect solution; now you wanted to share with others to save them the time and money you spent so they can simply start enjoying the benefits of a raised garden bed. Now, you sell a raised garden bed as a single package that comes in x number of sizes to fit the different garden size needs.
Naming Your Business
Choosing the right name for your business is important. Your business name needs to represent what you do or offer without being overcomplicated so your customers can find you easily. To being you’ll want to research potential names to make sure they aren’t already being used by someone else. Once you’ve chosen a name, you will want to search available domains for your future website. Once you’ve decided on a name and know it’s available to you, you need to register your business name with the state where you’ll file taxes or the county clerk’s office. You will also want to know what kind of entity type you’re filing for – sole proprietor, limited liability, etc – consult a business planning professional to help you develop a solid business foundation plan. Once you register, you will be issued official documentation confirming your business name.
You’ll also want to come up with a tagline for marketing purposes later. This is a short statement/line that will accompany your business name to accentuate what you do. You do not need to include this when you register your business name, unless you want to trademark the tagline, then you can do that separately.
EXAMPLE NAME: Betty’s Backyard Beds – Raised Garden Beds that fit YOUR backyard needs
Registering Your Business with the Federal Government
To register your business with the federal government, you need to obtain a Federal Tax ID or Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is like a social security number for your business so you can file taxes and fill out various forms regarding your business. Register through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. This will require some basic information about your business. After you submit your application and it is accepted, you will receive your EIN via email or mail.
Open a PO Box
This step is not necessary for all businesses, but for businesses where customers or vendors are sending physical goods or documents to your business it can be a safe and secure way to receive potentially confidential mail. A PO Box should be easily accessible for you so you are able to check it often. Once you select a location, you will need to provide information like proof of residency and a valid form of ID.
Open a Bank Account
Opening a bank account just for your business will help keep your personal finances separate from your business finances. To open a bank account, you will need your Federal Tax ID which you can obtain by registering your business with the federal government. You should also research different banks to find one that best fits your business needs. When opening your account, you’ll need to provide information such as your business name, address, and contact information. Once you have your bank account set up, make sure to use the bank's online services to help you manage your finances quickly and easily.
Build a Website
A website provides potential customers with a place to learn more about the services you offer and how to contact you. It also helps to create an online presence that builds credibility. When selecting a website platform, consider ease of use, price point, and security features. There are a variety of website building platforms available, from those geared toward newbies with no coding experience to those that require a more advanced understanding of web development. Some popular options include WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. You may also consider hiring a web developer or designer from freelance platforms like Fiverr to create a custom website for your business.
EXAMPLE WEBSITE: Make sure you include a few important pages in your website. An “About” page where you explain your “why.” A “Product” page where you provide the details of each full package including the bed dimensions and pricing. And a “Contact” page where customers can get in touch with you with questions and quote requests for special dimensions.
Create a Branding & Marketing Plan
Creating a strong brand identity is essential for marketing any business. You will want to understand who your target market is i.e., the people you are trying to reach who will buy your product/service. Next, you’ll want to create a brand story that will speak to your target market. Once you know who you’re targeting and what they will respond to, you need to create a comprehensive branding and marketing plan. This will include strategies for reaching customers online and offline – social media, email campaigns, flyers, boards, etc.
A subtask in this step is to create branding guidelines to use in your marketing material. This includes a logo, brand colors, brand fonts, and overall visual feel of your brand.
Target Market: Home gardeners with limited space. Likely living in suburbs, cities, or urban spaces. Focus on moms and upper middle-aged men and women.
Brand Story: Focus on solving the problem of limited space, comfortable garden management, and the headache of having to buy supplies separately.
Branding Strategy: Focus on social media and targeted ads on google, social media (IG, FB, and TikTok if videos can be your focus). Create garden related content – video & stagnant posts. Post 3x per week per platform to gain traction and focus on providing valuable information.
Starting a business has many moving parts, but the thrill of bringing them all together to provide a solution for others and a reliable income for yourself is worth all the work!
Witness the peace of mind you and your loved ones will have knowing how to navigate the system to ensure you receive proper care!
Feel Confident knowing all will be fine with you and your loved ones’ future with this guide.
Guide is taught with subject matter expert, Timothy Poore with ATP Healthcare, a post acute care placement agency for hospitals, rehabilitation facility, at home care, and patients.
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