Starting A Business Online

Learn the essentials of starting an online or brick-and-mortar business. Click the link below to learn more. 

Embarking on the journey to start your own business can be both exciting and daunting. Whether you're setting up an online business or a brick-and-mortar store, it's crucial to understand the foundational steps involved. 

This article provides a detailed guide on what you need before starting an online business, how to start a brick-and-mortar business, setting up an LLC, the benefits of creating an LLC, the best accounting software for small businesses, popular websites for online shop creation, and business ideas and tips on choosing the right business for you.

What Do You Need Before Starting an Online Business

  1. Business Idea: Identify a niche or product that has demand and aligns with your passion or expertise.
  2. Business Plan: Outline your business goals, target audience, marketing strategy, and financial projections.
  3. Domain Name and Hosting: Choose a memorable domain name and secure web hosting. Platforms like GoDaddy and Bluehost offer deals for new customers.
  4. Website Builder: Use website builders like Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace to create your online store. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial.
  5. Legal Structure: Decide on the legal structure of your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, etc.).
  6. Licenses and Permits: Research and obtain the necessary licenses and permits for your business.
  7. Payment Gateway: Set up payment processing systems like PayPal, Stripe, or Square.
  8. Marketing Strategy: Develop a plan for digital marketing, including SEO, social media, email marketing, and online advertising.

What Do You Need To Start a Brick-and-Mortar Business

  1. Location: Find a suitable location based on your target audience, foot traffic, and budget.
  2. Business Plan: Similar to an online business, create a detailed business plan.
  3. Legal Structure: Choose a legal structure and register your business with the appropriate state authority.
  4. Licenses and Permits: Obtain necessary licenses, permits, and zoning clearances.
  5. Financing: Secure funding through savings, loans, or investors. Consider SBA loans or crowdfunding.
  6. Suppliers and Inventory: Source reliable suppliers and manage inventory efficiently.
  7. Staffing: Hire and train staff if needed.
  8. Point of Sale (POS) System: Implement a robust POS system like Square or Clover to handle transactions and inventory management.

How To Set Up an LLC

  1. Choose a Name: Ensure the name is unique and complies with your state's LLC naming rules.
  2. File Articles of Organization: Submit the necessary documents to your state's business filing office.
  3. Create an Operating Agreement: Draft an operating agreement outlining the management and ownership structure of your LLC.
  4. Obtain an EIN: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
  5. Register for State Taxes: Depending on your state, you may need to register for state taxes.
  6. Comply with Ongoing Requirements: Maintain compliance by filing annual reports and paying any necessary fees.

Benefits of Creating an LLC

  1. Limited Liability Protection: Protects personal assets from business liabilities.
  2. Pass-Through Taxation: Profits and losses pass through to the owner's personal tax return, avoiding double taxation.
  3. Flexibility: Less formal structure and fewer compliance requirements than a corporation.
  4. Credibility: Enhances the business's credibility with customers and suppliers.
  5. Management Flexibility: Allows for various management structures and profit distribution methods.

Best Accounting Software For Small Businesses

  1. QuickBooks: Offers comprehensive accounting features and integrations. Often has discounts for new users.
  2. Xero: Known for its user-friendly interface and robust features.
  3. FreshBooks: Ideal for invoicing and expense tracking, especially for freelancers and small businesses.
  4. Wave: Free accounting software with essential features, suitable for small businesses.
  5. Zoho Books: Provides affordable and scalable accounting solutions.

Popular Websites For Online Shop Creation

  1. Shopify: User-friendly platform with a wide range of templates and features. Offers a 14-day free trial.
  2. Wix: Drag-and-drop website builder with customizable eCommerce templates.
  3. BigCommerce: Scalable platform with built-in sales tools and integrations. Offers a 15-day free trial.
  4. Squarespace: Known for its beautiful designs and ease of use. Provides a 14-day free trial.
  5. WooCommerce: A WordPress plugin that turns your website into an online store. Offers free and premium features.

Business Ideas & How To Pick The Right Business For You

  1. E-commerce Store: Selling products online through platforms like Shopify or Etsy.
  2. Consulting Services: Offering expertise in a specific field such as marketing, finance, or IT.
  3. Freelancing: Providing services like writing, graphic design, or web development.
  4. Subscription Box Service: Curating and delivering niche products to subscribers.
  5. Digital Products: Creating and selling e-books, online courses, or software.

How To Pick The Right Business For You:

  • Passion and Skills: Choose a business that aligns with your interests and expertise.
  • Market Demand: Research market trends and demands to ensure there is a viable audience for your product or service.
  • Budget: Consider the initial investment required and ensure you have the necessary resources.
  • Scalability: Assess the potential for growth and scalability of the business.
  • Competition: Analyze the competitive landscape and identify your unique selling proposition.