Introduction to Starting a Business

Hi!  I’m Collin Landis, proud Executive Director of EC3 Small Business Solutions, and today I would like to share a lesson about some of the basics when starting a business.

Starting a new business is very much like planting a garden. You can think of your business ideas like a seed. If your small business ideas are incomplete, not well thought out, or not realistic, then your business probably won’t grow. But, if you have all of the right elements such as complete ideas, a good business plan that has a full detailed infrastructure, a network, and a realistic vision, you have all the potential for your business to grow and prosper.  So let’s think of this like your garden growing nice robust fruits and vegetables.

So if we envision your business ideas, sort of being like a seed—then we know you can’t simply plant it into the ground without watering it, taking care of the soil, fertilizing it, and keeping it free of disease and bugs. In the business world this is known as organic growth. In other words, if you do all the right things, your business will grow slowly and naturally until it matures—and then it will grow exponentially.

Starting a Business Phase 2

Now that you’ve come up with a complete idea, let’s talk about blank basic points for starting your business:

  1. Determine your goals, do you want to make a career out of this? Do you want to do this full time or part time?
  2. Plan within your means. If you have never operated as a worker, employee, manager, or otherwise, it would probably be smart for you to do extensive research and education on what it is exactly you want to do.
  3. Meet legal requirements. Becoming a Corporation performing an LLC is important because it protects your personal assets from corporate liabilities.

This is going to involve utilizing accounting services Bookkeeping services are synonymous with accounting services when it comes to small business accounting.  Your accountant will help you incorporate and obtain the necessary tax identification numbers.

Setting up accounting information systems or your accounting model is critical for filing your tax return for yourself and your corporation.  Part of this process involves utilizing the right tax preparation software for your accounting model.  It is also critical for when you utilize your tax prep services.

Here’s another tip—many times your accountant will give you good old-fashioned advice for where to obtain licenses and permits. Also if you’ve done your homework and discovered that your business needs liability insurance or bonding, you may want to go ahead get that done.

Starting a Business Phase 3

So let’s think of the last two steps as sort of preparing the soil to sow your seed. If you don’t properly prepare your soil your seed will probably grow but it may die off soon than expected.

Now that you’ve prepared the soil, so to speak, let’s talk about our next step.  Your next step is very important in advancing your small business to the next level. You will want to brand your company, so let’s take a look at what that means? The first thing people see is your logo – it’s everywhere! Your logo design is the most important part of burning your corporate image in your clients’ minds. You will want business cards, a webpage (it doesn’t have to be that big), letterhead, and an e-mail signature. Corporate branding also goes a step further and places your name into a corporate e-mail address. Once you’ve got your business product and brand I recommend getting out into the market and testing your business product by getting feedback from potential clients. Let’s face it they will make or break you.

You can sort of look at this step is watering your seed…and don’t forget, it normally takes a while for your seed poke up out of the ground.

Starting a Business Final Phase

After we get this phase we want to continue watering our seed by doing approximately 75% marketing to 25% actual work. In the organic business process it can take a little while to strengthen the root system, so be patient and don’t let slow growth discourage you – it’s going to get busier and that will happen pretty soon if you follow my advice.

Let’s think of this phase is watering your garden three times a day seven days a week. Very beneficial.

Once you’ve established your brand and you’ve been on the market a while, you’ve done a few jobs, and you’ve done a little networking – you’ve completed what is considered promoting your brand. At this point the next step is advertising. Small business advertising or marketing will make or break your business, so it’s very important that you:

    1. Take a look at your competition – what are they doing? How can you step ahead? Are any of them successful? If so, how can you be them?
    2. Take a look at your market – it is very important to research the trends in your field of work that have the highest success rates when advertising. Think of how Google keywords play an important part to having your business rank high. It’s really not that much different when trying to pinpoint your market.

You can think of this phase like putting fertilizer in your garden. Pretty much, after you fertilize your garden starts growing – and quickly. So you’ve got to be able to handle it – if you have provided the proper infrastructure from beginning to end and if you take my advice, you will be successful.

I’m Collin Landis Executive Director of EC3 Accounting Solutions, and I will answer any question you have about starting a business. Feel free to call me anytime during operating hours and my number is 404 – 971 – 7775. Thank you and I look forward to your success!