If you are thinking about turning Internet marketing into a full-time job, you’ll need to learn the basics of how to set up your own business. Online businesses are not dramatically different from traditional companies and share many of the same basic strategies, techniques, and goals. As part of your startup planning, consider what makes an offline business successful and apply these ideas to your online startup. If you are interested in setting up an Internet marketing business, the following business startup planning guide can help you reach your goals.
Spend Time on Business Planning
Business planning is an important first step in setting up your business. A business plan helps you learn more about your industry, your competition, and your audience. Start your plan by conducting research and determining the funding, resources, and information you will need to start your business. Remember that no business plan should be set in stone. Regularly revisit your plan to reevaluate your needs and adjust your goals.
Choose the Best Name for Your Business
Choosing a business name is one of the most important parts of startup planning. Your business name is often the first thing potential customers will encounter, so it is important to choose a name that accurately reflects your mission, product, and service. A good business name can attract customers and help you stand out above your competitors, so choose wisely.
Choose the Right Business Structure
1. Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is one of the most basic legal structures applied to businesses. In this arrangement, you are the only member of the business and you alone are responsible for your company. This designation is often best for freelancers, part-timers, and consultants. The benefits of this model include minimizing tax hassles and lowering startup costs. The fact that you are solely responsible for all liability can be a problem in some industries, however, especially those that carry a high risk.
2. Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
A limited liability company (LLC), often referred to as a limited liability corporation, is a business designation that offers liability protection to company owners. In this structure, owners are considered members of the company and are not personally liable for the debts and financial obligations of the business.
A partnership involves sharing business responsibilities with other individuals. Partners share duties and profits, which can often lead to increased success. Partnerships are a great idea when both parties share a similar vision and have complementary skills and talents. Poor partnerships can lead to disagreements, stalled growth, and business failure.
Complete Necessary Business Registration
In most cases, you will need to register your business in your state. Registration helps identify your business for tax purposes. As part of the registration process, you will probably be issued an employer identification number that will be used for state taxes. Contact the Secretary of State offices in your area to determine the steps and paperwork you should complete in order to register your business.
Find a Source of Funding
How are you going to pay the startup and operating costs of your business? In order to get your company off the ground, you should consider the projected expenses, profits, and funding sources before you begin. Many businesses can be started with minimal expense, while others might require outside funds to cover the initial startup costs. By having a solid business plan, estimated expenses, and projected profits, you will be more likely to gain the support of investors.
Create an Office for Your Business
Another important component of startup planning is to decide where your offices will be located. Many successful Internet marketing businesses operate entirely out of home offices, but consider outside office locations if a home office is not possible or practical. Determine how many employees you will need before determining the location that is best for you. Also weight the relative costs and benefits of leasing, renting, or buying an office location.
Keep Track of Your Finances
One of the final phases of startup planning is to establish accounting procedures to keep track of expenses, profits, and other financial obligations. Good accounting can help you better guide your business and measure the success of your current business plan. Poor accounting can lead to excessive spending, profit loss, and business failure. If you need help keep track of your businesses finances, consider hiring a bookkeeper or accountant to help you stay on track.
Carefully startup planning can make or break your Internet marketing business. By creating a solid business plan, choosing an effective name, and selecting the best business structure, you can greatly increase your chances for success. If you’re thinking of starting an Internet marketing business, these tips and guidelines can start your down the road to success.