Thank you to Name.Kitchen for sponsoring this post and allowing me to share my best tips for setting up a small business.
I guess you could say that my husband and I are serial entrepreneurs. We've owned several businesses, including an insurance agency, a hydroponics store, multiple direct sales businesses, this blog and a social marketing agency. Some of them have done well, and others ended up not working out for one reason or another.
Regardless, we have learned lessons from each and every business we've owned. If you've thought about starting your own business, here are some of my best tips to help you get started.
Choose a Business Model
Will you offer products, services or both? Will you run an online store or a retail store? Will you stock inventory, drop ship or build your business as part of a direct sales or multi-level marketing company? Figuring out what your business is going to be all about is the first step. Next, you'll need to write a business plan for your business model.
Decide Upon a Business Name
Once you've decided what your business will be, it's time to choose a name. A lot of people these days are branding themselves rather than choosing a separate business name. This works well if you'll be selling professional services online. People like to connect with people. However, if it's a business you may one day consider selling, you'll definitely want to go with something other than your name.
The name should be memorable and convey what your business does. Descriptive terms are especially important if you don't have a large branding budget. Names with a lot of consonants are more memorable than names with a lot of vowels in them. Come up with multiple ideas, because you're going to need to check to make sure your ideas aren't registered trademarks and that the domain name isn't already taken.
Secure Your Domain Name
Whether your business is online or a brick and mortar location, you need a website. After you've come up with a few business names you like, make sure the domain name is available. If it's not, move onto another name. You also want to make sure your business name is available on all of the social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. There's nothing like potential customers ending up on the wrong page!
A really cool new development has happened in the domain name space. It's referred to as the not-com movement. If you've looking at domain names before, you probably know that most of the desirable dot-com names are already taken. Staring in late 2013, hundreds of new domain endings started being rolled out. I love how memorable these new not-com domain names are! You can now have domain names end with .TRAVEL, .COFFEE, .SOLUTION, .DELIVERY and so many more!
Prior to the not-com movement, it was getting really hard to come up with a great domain name that was available. That isn't a problem anymore since so many great names are now available.
Name.Kitchen has some great tools to help you come up with the perfect business name and domain name. The website is geared towards entrepreneurs and helps you think outside the box when selecting your name. Their I Am Video Series is super helpful too! And you can claim your name after finding it too!
Register Your Business
You'll also want to register your business. The process varies by state, so check with your local Secretary of State's office for the process and fees. You may also want to speak with an attorney to decide whether to set up as a sole proprietorship, LLC or corporation.
Secure the Appropriate Insurance
Depending upon your business, you may need to secure insurance. Many industries require errors and omissions insurance. Check with a qualified insurance agent in your state for guidance.
Moving Forward with Your Small Business
These 5 tips will help you get your small business set up. Once it's set up, you'll need to launch your business, market it and follow your business plan for managing it.
What is your best tip for setting up a small business?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Name.Kitchen.