If you just have a small business idea and want to get started the easiest, quickest way – this guide is for you.
Write Up Your Business Idea
Doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just some hand written notes as to what you’ll do, how your new small business will make money, and how you’ll get customers. Also, write down 4-5 good ideas for domain names. These will be your website addresses that you can use to build your website presence on.
Make a Website
You can use a lot of options for this. Many hosts have basic website builders – We like working with Namecheap for domains and hosting. They have a great support team via chat if you want to get up and running as quickly and easily as possible.
We can build you a quality website for a low cost, see all our pricing here.
Register Your Domain Names
Register 2 to 3 domain names with your business in mind. Shorter is better, but a lot of the good domains are taken. It’s smart to have keywords in them, like if you want to start a graphic design company, and your company name is “Obubu” , ObubuDesign dot com is best choice. Could be Obubu-Design dot com – (capitalization doesn’t matter in the domain name). If you have a long or multi-word company name, consider abbreviating it or using an acronym – ex. ABCDesign dot com
It’s good to pick up a couple domains to give yourself options and protect your brand. Here’s a discount: Get a .COM for just $5.98!
Once you have your domain name(s), you need a host to store and serve all your websites files and pages. When starting out, you only need a basic hosting service.
Start Building the Website
You can build a website in html, or with a content management system like WordPress. Many hosts have easy installs for WordPress, which is the most popular CMS.. If you go that route, you will need to configure the site and buy a website template (also called a theme) too.
Secure Your Website
You’ll need an SSL certificate to secure your site for visitors and also logins – Protect your Business with an SSL certificate. Order now for only $7.88/year
Register Your Company
You will want to check with local laws and see what is required to open a business. This can usually be done with the state you live, and you must do your own research deciding what type of legal entity to operate under.
- Sole Proprietor (Your name)
- DBA (a sole proprietor “doing business as”)
- Limited Liability Company
- For Profit Corporation
To get started, you can open as a sole proprietor and add a DBA if you want to get paid with another name besides your own. This has risks, though, as it provides no legal protections should you get sued. Many businesses have the protection of an LLC or Corporation, however, there are many caveats to running those entities.
You should do your research and perhaps consult with a professional if need be. Your state and local governments have a wide array of resources and information to help you make the right decision.
Open a Business Bank Account
You’ll need a place to keep your business money separate from your personal finances. Once you register your business, you can open up a checking account in your business’ name.
Collect Money For Your Business
You need to have a way to collect money, especially if you are doing business online. To do that, you’ll need to have a separate bank account for your new business. To get a business checking account, you need to take your business registration and $100, typically. Once you have that in place you can order checks.
PayPal has always been my favorite way to collect money. Almost everyone has a Pay Pal account, but if you want to open up one for your business, there is a guide here.
Accept Payment Online – Credit Card Payments
Accepting credit cards makes it easier for your customers to pay for your products and services. Credit card fees aren’t huge, but they can add up. PayPal Credit Card Fees are among the lowest and it’s easy for customers to pay online, even if they don’t have their credit card with them.
Every Business Starts with a Dream
Small businesses are a person’s opportunity to grow both financially and personally. The serve the good of the community. We hope this short guide inspires you to get started living your dreams. It will take a lot of work beyond that, and we’re here to help.