Starting your own business is nothing if not intimidating and downright scary. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while. You have a great idea, and you’re pretty sure you can take it to the next level and actually make money. But… the next step is a big one, and it can be hard to pull the trigger.
When you take your idea or hobby and make it a business, there’s a lot to do. Some of it’s fun, some boring, and some just plain confusing. That’s why we’ve got tons of info on all the parts of starting and growing a business, so you can jump right in this year.
To Co-found or Not to Co-found?
A qualified cofounder can help to fill in your skills gap and expose any blind spots you might have. They can also serve as a companion on your startup journey who understands exactly what you’re going through. That’s why we always advocate starting a business with a partner.
If no one comes to mind immediately, you can find cofounders online using websites like FounderDating and CoFoundersLab, or you can take it offline and check out meetups and startup events & conferences.
For more info on cofounding, check out The Quest for a Co-founder.
The Nuts and Bolts
The idea of incorporating, registering your business, and handling taxes might make you want to run for the hills. But all these are important parts of getting a business started. They’re nitty gritty, but you’re not the only one doing them. There’s lots of info out there to help you get through it.
The first thing you’ll decide is if you want to register as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or corporation. Next, you’ll choose which state you want to register in. Taxes, prices, and corporate laws will vary from state to state, so give this the consideration it deserves.
Now that you know what type of company you’ll be and where you’ll register, you need to get a tax ID number, so the IRS can recognize you as a business.
You can get more details on the pros & cons and processes in Nuts and Bolts: Nitty Gritty Details, Incorporating, and Taxes.
At some point, you’ll have to think about how you’re going to fund your new business. Will you bootstrap? Take out a loan? Work with investors and venture capitalists? There are benefits to each option, but if you can swing it, we always recommend bootstrapping. You won’t have to take on debt or give up equity and you’re forced to get a little scrappy.
Which type of funding you go with will depend on startup and operating costs, how much you can charge, and your expected revenue and profit.
To learn more about different types of funding and how to make them work, check out How to Get Investors and Funding for Your Business.
How to Get The Word Out
You can have an awesome product for a great price, but if no one knows your company exists, you still won’t sell anything. That’s why marketing and generating buzz are so important when you’re just starting your business. You have to get the word out – make sure potential customers know who you are and what you do.
There are plenty of affordable and free ways to generate buzz and get people talking about your business. The first step is learning to pitch your business. Once you know how to spur conversations, you can connect with writers, reporters, and influencers.
For more marketing insight, you can read Marketing and Generating Buzz About Your Business.
Starting your very own business is hard. There’s a lot that goes into getting a new company off the ground. Entrepreneurs wear a lot of different hats, so it’s nice to have resources that can help you through the process.
Our JUMP guide walks you through every step of the way, so you can worry about running your new venture:
JUMP: The Ultimate Guide to Starting and Growing Your Business