Starting a business can be an exciting and rewarding journey, but it also requires careful planning and execution. To ensure your venture’s success, it’s essential to follow a structured approach. In this blog, we’ll walk you through six crucial steps to get a business started. Spoiler alert – It’s easy and it does not require a lawyer or CPA.
1. Validate the Need:
Before diving headfirst into your business idea, it’s crucial to validate the need for your product or service. You want to make sure that there are people who genuinely require what you’re offering and are willing to pay for it. Conduct market research, surveys, and interviews to gather insights into your target audience’s preferences and pain points. Ensure that the potential revenue outweighs the expenses and time invested. This step sets the foundation for your business’s viability.
2. Come Up with a Brand:
Your brand is more than just a name and a logo; it’s the identity that your customers will recognize and connect with. While brainstorming, remember to prioritize simplicity over cuteness. A name that clearly communicates what your business does is ideal. Your brand should resonate with your target audience and convey the essence of your business. Invest time and effort in creating a professional logo, selecting a memorable name, and crafting a compelling brand story. What do you want people to feel as they engage with your brand? Having the answer to that question at the forefront of the creation process will help.
3. Register with the Arizona Corporation Commission:
In Arizona, registering your business with the Arizona Corporation Commission is a legal requirement. Fortunately, the process is straightforward using their e-filing system. Almost anyone can do it, and you do not need an attorney. You’ll need to register both the business name and the entity structure (LLC, PLLC, S-Corp, etc). If you are unsure about any of the fields they have FAQs and other items to click to read and learn more. Be prepared to invest around $150 for this registration. To expedite the process, consider paying an extra $35 to $85. This will save you valuable time and get your business up and running faster.
4. Apply for an EIN with the IRS:
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is essential for tax purposes and opening a bank account for your business. The good news is that applying for an EIN is free and can be done easily on the IRS website. It’s a crucial step to ensure your business’s financial affairs are separate from your personal finances.
WARNING: Make sure you use the IRS.gov website. When using Google or other search engines the IRS website does not show up first. Other sites that charge you money to assist in the EIN process come up first. But you do not need those sites. You can do it yourself!
5. Open a Business Bank Account:
Once you have your EIN and confirmation of your LLC filing from the Arizona Corporation Commission, you can open a dedicated business bank account. Keeping your business finances separate from personal finances is essential for legal and accounting purposes. This step will help you manage your business’s income and expenses more efficiently. Many people make the mistake of combining their business and personal accounts. This will cause many headaches and prevent you from operating your business smoothly.
6. Create a Website:
In today’s digital age, a well-designed website is a must for any business. Choose a simple, easy-to-spell URL that aligns with your brand. Your website should communicate your business’s core message clearly, addressing the problems you solve for your customers. Use a compelling call-to-action to guide visitors on what to do next. Incorporate testimonials and images of satisfied customers to build trust. Keep the content concise and user-friendly, ensuring a seamless browsing experience.
Starting a business involves several essential steps, from validating your idea to creating a strong online presence. Although this list is not all encompassing, following these steps diligently will not only help you establish a solid foundation for your business but also increase your chances of long-term success. Remember that entrepreneurship is a journey, so stay committed, adapt to changes, and keep your customers’ needs at the forefront of your business strategy.
To me, owning and operating a business is not only a great blessing, but it is a beautiful endeavor. It makes a big impact on our society and can be done as an act of worship to the Lord. I strongly recommend it!