- Get over the company-name thing.
- Get your Employer Identification number (EIN).
- Register your trade name.
- Get your business license.
- Complete a business personal-property tax form (if necessary)
- Ask your locality about other permits.
- Get a certificate of resale (if necessary).
- Get a business bank account.Set up a simple accounting spreadsheet.
Building an effective online presence is critical for growing your online business as it gives your company access to thousands or millions of local, national or international customers who are searching, interacting, sharing and shopping online. In this course you will learn why you must get your business up and running on the Web using e-commerce sites, review sites and social networks. You will also learn that having a Website which is easy to navigate, is informative, and has a good domain name, the right design template and memorable Web copy will help your business stand out from the competition. The course discusses why it is important to have a presence on the mobile Web and how to attract your target audience using tools like Google AdWords. This course will be of great interest to all business owners who are thinking of setting up a Website for their business but are uncertain of how to go about doing it. It will also be beneficial to any company or organisation that wants their existing Website to be more effective at attracting potential customers.
Every small business owner knows that financing can be simultaneously one of the most important and most difficult challenges a company faces. There’s startup capital, there’s funds to tide you through the lean years, there’s money needed to expand your scope. We’ll break down your options for financing a business, and walk through the process for acquiring funds.
1. Small business loans
If you need a significant amount of capital to fund your business, a small business loan can provide hundreds of thousands of dollars at a relatively low interest rate. You might find yourself borrowing money you don’t need, but all things considered, a small business loan is one of the less expensive ways to secure funding. If you go this route, consider a credit union or community lender instead of a big, nationwide bank. The former group approves around 50% of applications, while the latter approves just 17%.
2. Crowdfunding platforms
Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the like offer a way to go directly to the masses and solicit funding. You’ve probably heard how they work: you make your pitch and post it on the platform, and people can contribute toward your fundraising goal. In some cases, you can keep the money you raise even if you don’t make your goal; with others, it’s all or nothing. The downside of these platforms is that the transaction cost can be quite steep, ranging from 5–10% of the amount raised. Unless your business is easily understood by consumers and has a sexy story, you might be better off pursuing other options.
3. Advance orders
If you have a clear value proposition and already have customers lined up, consider raising money through advance orders or presale. This not only provides you with working capital, but it also serves to validate your business idea in a way that no amount of market research can.
4. Personal assets and savings
The simplest form of funding to acquire is your pre-existing money — your investor pitch is pretty easy. You can also lower the interest rates on your loan by offering up your home or car as collateral. But there are significant risks to cashing in your 401(k), taking out a personally guaranteed loan, or using your emergency funds.
Finally, you can take advantage of grants from nonprofits and government alike. High-tech, high-impact and high-growth businesses can be eligible for the Small Business Innovation Research Program, which funds R&D projects; certain up-and-coming cities like Columbus and Philadelphia offer incentives to startups based there.