Starting Out In Business: Part 1

9 out of 10 transactions take place online. Follow part one of this simple guide to get your piece of the pie.
According to the Small Business Administration, or SBA, a small business is any enterprise which has fewer than 500 employees. By this definition there are 28 million small businesses in the United States, and this number is growing daily. Small businesses have generated 65% of the net new jobs in the last ten years and over a half a million small businesses are created each month.
The benefits of creating a small start-up business are innumerable. In this digital age the most successful businesses are backed by a winning website that helps carry the load. Finding your passion is the hard part when creating a business, but once you find it the rest is easy with the right site and web host. So here are the steps you need to follow to get started in business according to the SBA with helpful hints from
Step #1: Create a business plan.
This is a step that is much easier said than done. Business plans take work but are a crucial step in creating your small business. You want this document to act as a road map for the first three to five years of your company’s journey. Templates can offer a huge help but so can others who have written them. Ask other small businesses similar to yours how they got started and what they wish they had included in their business plan.
Step #2: Seek help – don’t be shy!
Many communities offer workshops designed to help small businesses get started so be sure to ask around to get an idea of what help is available. There are hundreds of sites and blogs that will provide you with invaluable advice on getting your business up and running. Take advantage of all opportunities that may exist. Also, remember that while classes and tutorials are very helpful, nothing beats the hands-on experience that you can get from an internship or mentor program.
Step #3: Register a domain name.
Your domain name will direct all your online customers to your website, so you need to spend some time on the decision. Spend a considerable amount of time planning your domain, sub-domains and sitemap, remembering that you can opt for a whole range of top level domains (TLDs) from .com to .whatever. New gTLDs or generic top level domains like .blog, .shop or .rocks can provide a competitive advantage if your industry holds its own gTLD. Use to sort through all the available options. No longer does the world have to settle with a .com when a .photography or .network can give your business the boost it needs.
Step #4: Find funding.
Depending on your business plan there are many options when looking for small business financing beyond asking your family or friends for money; there is a range of grants, loans and investors that your business could take advantage of. Crowdfunding has become a booming industry and can help you get the startup funds you need while allowing you to work on pre sales of your product. Think outside the box if necessary! For example, there are dozens of contests especially for small businesses to get started as well as angel investors looking for the perfect company… could it be yours? Consider all options and read as much as you can about how other people have accomplished the same task that you are trying to achieve.

Step #5: Determine the structure of your business in legal terms.

LLC vs sole proprietorship is a bit outside our scope of expertise and can change depending on the area you live in. It is recommended that you visit the Internal Revenue Service’s Guide to Business Taxes to get started. We can also offer up this little bit of general tax advice to help you along the way because nothing can ruin a business faster than unfiled or misfiled taxes. Check out this blog post to learn a bit more about the types of business structures and which one could be best for you.

Look out for Part 2 of our Getting Started In Business Series on the Midphase blog.