10 Basic Steps to Starting a Business

Starting your own business can be exciting and very rewarding! Today more than ever it’s easy to start a home business, online or offline. Starting a business comes with a lot of responsibility and a new family member, and his name is Uncle Sam.  One thing about family, is we try to avoid any family disputes, to do this, you must follow the rules and regulations, which govern starting and running a business. There is no excuse for ignorance of the Law! There are 3 branches of Government you will have to answer to, local, State, and Federal.

1. DECIDE IF IT IS A HOBBY OR BUSINESS?

According to the IRS.. if you are selling goods including online, or offering any type of service to the general public with the intention of making a profit, then you are in Business! 

2. BUSINESS PLANNING….

The first mistake many people make is they start a business without a plan! The very first step to starting a business begins with planning and vision! I can appreciate the scripture in Proverbs 29:18 which says where there is no vision, the people perish, the same rule applies to starting a business without a vision your business is destined for failure.

A Business Plan is a document that clearly describes your vision, including all the details of your business operations. If you are planning to seek financing for your business then a business plan is a must! And even if you are not planning on applying for a loan, the main purpose of a business plan is to guide the entrepreneur from where he should start and it should focus on the business goals.

3. REGISTER A FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME

If you plan to operate your business under a different name other than your own, you may be required to register your trade name with your state or local government. This form of registration is known as “doing business as” (dba) or fictitious name filing. Check with your state office for information on Business Name Registration.

4. DETERMINE IF YOU NEED A EMPLOYER ID?

Determine whether or not you need an Employer Identification Number (or EIN)- generally, if you are going into business for yourself and you are not starting a corporation or non-profit organization etc., and do not employ anyone, you do not need an EIN. Your social security number is your EIN. You will only need an EIN if you answer
“Yes” to any of the following questions.

5. CHOOSE A BUSINESS STRUCTURE

When beginning a business, you must decide what form of business entity to establish. Your form of business determines which income tax return form you have to file. The most common forms of business are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and S corporation.

A sole proprietor is not only one of the common forms of business structure, but it is also one of the easiest types of businesses to form. You are not required to do any kind of special incorporation filing. A sole proprietor is someone who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself.

A limited liability company (LLC) or corporation helps protect your personal assets in case a lawsuit is brought against your business, for products sold or services rendered. But may require the help of a professional to start. Learn more about the different types of business structures.

6. CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL ZONING LAWS

Local zoning laws, also called ordinances, establish what business activities can be carried out in a particular municipality. You need to get approval, and any required permits from zoning, before setting up a business in a particular location including your home. Many cities county zoning and planning agencies require all home-based businesses to get a Home Occupation Permit.

7. BUSINESS LICENSE And PERMITS

General Business License

As a business owner, you are normally required to purchase a yearly general business license. Contact your county clerk’s office for more information and/ or any other licenses or certificates you may be required to carry based on the type of business you are starting. If you plan to run a home business from a property you are renting you may also be required to get permission from your landlord acknowledging he is aware of the fact that you are starting a home business on his premises.

Sales Tax Permit

If you intend to sell taxable goods or services online or offline, you may be required to collect state and local sales taxes from your customers. It is your responsibility to apply for a sales tax permit if the state where your business will be located charges a sales tax or levies a gross receipt or excise tax on businesses. Check with your State Revenue office for more information

Health and Safety Permits

If you plan to sell food to the general public or to other businesses, a Health Department permit is needed. Permits are normally issued by your county government, an inspection of the business premises may be required. Additional permits you may need are a food handlers permit or certification for food service or food preparation businesses depending on your state.  You may also be required to apply for a permit and inspection from the local fire department.

Construction Permit

If you plan to make any construction changes to accommodate your new business venture, check your local government’s building and planning department, to see if you need to apply for a construction permit.

Sign Permits

Some Local community ordinances restrict the type, size, or location of signs placed on your property. Check with local city or town zoning board or other local authority.

8. STATE BUSINESS REGISTRATION

Most States if not all, require you to register your business with your State Revenue Agency. State Revenue offices issue a variety of business permits/ licenses depending on the type of business you are starting and the needs of the business.

9. BOOKKEEPING

Setting up a good Bookkeeping system it is a must! Keeping track of your business income and expenses will help you in the long run, to be prepared in case of an IRS audit and it will keep you comp[iant with the law.

10. FILE AND PAY TAXES

Last but not least as a business owner you are required to file and pay small business taxes.

Why Starting an Internet Business is a Great Idea

What better place to start a business right now than online? The Internet offers anyone and everyone, the same opportunity to start a low-cost, highly profitable business online on only a shoestring budget!. The only limitation is your imagination!

Do away with the mentality that says you don’t have enough knowledge or money to start a business on the Internet. Been there done that! If you really want to make money online, there is nothing stopping you, the Internet has opened up the door to a world of possibilities! Opportunity is knocking, ordinary people are making extraordinary money online and becoming millionaires almost overnight. There has never been a better time to start an online business than right now!

I started a retail business online on only a shoestring budget and earned money beyond my expectations! If you are dreaming about starting a business of your own, stop right now and just do it! It just takes stepping out of your comfort zone, and thinking like a millionaire! Even if you are an ordinary Joe with Macy’s taste and only K-mart money in your pocket, you can do it!

During the last 20 or so years, large numbers of people have chosen to market their skills and talents from home. Recent studies estimate that over 50% of all new small business enterprises are operated out of the home, and this trend is growing.

Internet Users Profile:

Research has proven that high on Internet users to do list is Social Networking. Just look at Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and youtube, they all hold high rankings on the Internet. Facebook is #1 on the charts. Once people got a hold of Facebook it took off like a bat out of HE- double hockey sticks. The News and up-to-date happenings are also a crowd-pleaser, Twitter has been known to light up like a Christmas tree, with people exchanging tweets about what is affecting people right now, in various areas of the world.

YouTube is like having your own TV program and it has brought everyone out of the closet, from mom and pop to aunt Sally, in search of stardom. For some people youtube is the first place Internet users go, to learn something new. Humorous videos are also a crowd-pleaser.

Money Making Ideas

YouTubers produce videos on just any subject you can think of. Producing videos YouTubers can make a substantial amount of money through various channels including advertising revenue.

Selling online is one of the quickest and easiest ways to begin making money online and a part of my humble beginnings on the Internet. Internet Users love the convenience of being able to shop from home online due to the convenience and the savings found on various products on the Internet. It’s estimated that consumers spend over $200 billion on all types of Internet-based goods and services. 

Creating Informational digital products is also a great way to make money on the Internet.

What it all boils down to is a large percentage of Internet users who love to socialize online, they are always in search of information and they don’t mind spending money online for goods or services!

Finding Your Money Making Idea:

Now as you begin to search for your money-making niche idea you will have to do your research. Your job is to figure out how to use what you are passionate about and knowledgeable about, to come up with a money-making idea that will coincide with what will turn on the bells and whistles of your target market.

Take a moment and think about how you can turn your talents or solutions to a problem into a money-making business idea?

  • What is it you are good at?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What problems or issues do you see on the Internet you have a solution for?

Begin by writing down all the things you are passionate about and knowledgeable about.

How To Discover Your Million-Dollar Internet Money Making Idea

The Internet is filled with millions of websites and almost any business idea you could think of. Some Internet business types are so common that the market is saturated and the competition is plentiful.

To be successful you have to come up with a unique idea or a better solution to an idea already available online! The key is finding your Niche Market! Targeting a niche market is an ideal way to build a profitable business on the Internet, which requires less overall investment.

Finding your Money Making Niche idea should be hypothetically speaking like finding the love of your life, you want to spend time with it, from time to time it enters your mind without warning, and into most of your conversations and sometimes seems to be the total sum of what you live for, and even takes on the appearance of an addiction! An undeniable passion!

There are two important ingredients that go into finding your million dollar money-making niche idea, it should be something you are passionate about and something you are knowledgeable about!

Research And Again I Say Research:

Follow along as Ms. Mary Flower-head (not a real person) researches the profit potential of her Niche business idea!.

Ms. Mary Flower-head is an ordinary person, just like you and I. She is a teacher by day and a hobbyist by night. Her hobby is making “handmade dolls” which she is passionate about!

One day an idea struck her so powerfully, it almost blew her brains out! She could make and sell handmade dolls on the Internet, she thought! Ms. Mary Flower-head is actually targeting a niche market.

What is a Niche Market?

A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs.

For example, there are all types of dolls and materials and methods used to make them, “dolls” is a small segment or niche of the toy manufacturing industry. Instead of focusing on the Toy industry as a whole you would build a profitable business on a small part of that industry, in this case, handmade dolls.

I think we all can agree that one of the biggest advantages in business is knowing what people want. Surveys are based around the idea of gathering information which would lead to the discovery of what people like and want.

What is Google Trends?

Simply put Google Trends- is a window into what people are searching for on the Internet using the Google search engine. Google trend is a free tool that can be used for Internet marketing research. It allows you to tap into Google’s database of searches.

Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, which shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.

Using Google Trends

To begin using Google Trends visit https://trends.google.com and enter into the search bar your desired niche business idea. Using the example of Ms. Mary-Flower-head I will enter handmade dolls. If there is enough interest in the search term handmade Dolls Google Trends generates a report.

The report answers the following questions based on the search term entered:

1. Is there any interest in Handmade Dolls?

2. When is interest highest?

3. Which regional areas have the largest amount of Internet users searching for handmade dolls?.

4. Scrolled down the page under the related queries section there was not enough data to produce a report.

5. The Related topics Section, gives you an upfront advantage of knowing what related topics people are searching for. In the example below I see Internet users are also searching for sewing and sewing patterns based on the search term handmade dolls.

Knowing what people are interested in can trigger solid business ideas.

Is it a Profitable Business Idea?

Let’s say you have an Internet business idea that Internet users are searching for, the next step is to research the competition. Internet competition is a key factor in determining if an Internet Business idea has the potential to be profitable. Million-dollar niche market ideas will be the ones with little to no competition.

We will turn to Google.com for the answer. Google.com is considered the top search engine used by millions to search the Internet.

Armed with all the information gathered on possible niche business ideas, enter your search term into the search engine. In my example, I will enter Handmade dolls.

Keep in mind that a potentially profitable business idea will be the niche market idea that people are searching for, based on your research, that has little or no competition on the Internet.

Continue to use this method, until you find your niche business idea that people are searching for that has low competition. Try experimenting with various search terms related to your niche idea. The lower the competition for your niche business idea the greater the success rate!