Does this sound familiar?
People often tell me that I dream and take way too many chances. What does that exactly mean? Through my early adult life, working for someone else has never appealed to me. Building something for myself, something to leave my family, in essence a legacy as been my goal from the beginning. Yes I AM a dreamer, a chance taker, but also a doer. I am an Entrepreneur – Serrieh
Believing in what you do is the most important step when creating a successful start-up business. But sometimes your great idea comes with little to no money to get it off the ground. Great credit for a business loan or a huge amount of money in savings is not always needed if you are able to start thinking outside of the box. Holding a drive and sense of creativity by using resources and networking ability you already have can tremendously impact the deduction in cost when legitimizing your business.
As a fellow Entrepreneur, I am personally speaking from recent experience as my husband (who is also my business partner) have begun not only legitimizing our business but we have also built an incredible team, along with a growing internet presence with little to no cost.
By using available resources and doing things ourselves instead of hiring someone else, starting our business has been much more cost effective then we expected. It did take more research and time, but we have been able to build a presence through social media and internet resources.
Building a strong internet presence is key to growing a start-up when you do not have the cash flow needed. Some say it is impossible to build a business without a steady cash flow, but I say it can be done. We are living proof that it can. Of course, as time goes on, new ways to generate income will be formulated, but the initial set up phase can be done with minimal cash flow. Here are some basic steps to legitimize your business at little to no cost.
- Obtain your EIN ( Employee Identification Number) from the federal government. It only takes a week or so to receive it and it is completely free. Before you file for your EIN you will need to know how to file your business, LLC, Corporation, etc.
- Incorporate your business through the Sectary of State’s Office. Most banks and businesses require or encourage this from any business they deal with. There is a fee and it ranges from $40-$300 depending what state, but it is worth every penny. Why Should I Incorporate is a great read.
- Always get a P.O. Box until you are able to get a storefront or business address. This keeps your personal information, personal. For some government paperwork, you will have to use a physical address (which can be your home) but dealing with team members and/or customers, a P.O. Box is recommend. They are very reasonable priced and the USPS usually has plenty available.
- Check licensing and zoning within your county and state.
- Check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make sure your company’s name is available for trademark.
- Trademark your company’s name. Application fees start at $225.
- Make sure your domain name is available, if it is buy it ASAP. This is usually fairly cheap as long as you keep it simple. Do not let the hosting company sell you extra products you don’t need. Please just research each product yourself before making the final decision. Remember, you can always call back and add more to your plan as your business grows.
- Once the EIN and State Incorporation has been received, it is great to get a retail or wholesale license as well depending on the needs of your business. Some offices depending on the state have an online version. Once application is submitted, the license should be issued generally within 14 business days.
- Make sure a thorough search of licensing required to operate your business and/or to sell products, food, merchandise, etc is completed. This is usually done with in the state department in which you or your business is located.
- Get all licensing required for your business.There usually is a fee, but it is a pretty wide scope of pricing depending on the industry. This is a must have in order to attract any serious investors.
- Create your website. Many hosting companies have website builders for a small fee that can really help newbies build a decent start up site. Remember simple is better if you are a beginner.
- It is time to create your Facebook page… this is very easy and very free. If you want to add a little pep to your page’s step, I suggest using FB to advertise your website and/or page which gives you much more visibility. For about $40 per month, web traffic and page traffic will increase by a few hundred. Of course the more you spend the more traffic you will receive. Note – It is important to keep current and fresh content daily.
- Twitter is a great outlet to get the word out about your business. It is easy to manage and is completely free. Just as with Facebook, it is important to keep current and fresh content daily.
- Instagram is not a must but if you like to take pictures, then it is greatly recommended. And just like Twitter and Facebook, fresh content is needed daily for your presence to continue to grow.
- Reach out to friends and family to spread the word on FB and any other social media outlets.
- It is always important to make Business Cards. Even if you do not have a logo yet, simple black and white cards will do. Vista Print seems to give some pretty good deals and have some great templates to choose from.
- There is nothing like good old fashion networking. Going to community events and getting the word out there about your dream, your vision, your business is a great way make a name for yourself. Let your natural charisma, the finesse of a natural born Entrepreneur inspire people to see your vision with as much passion as you do.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce
These are the first basic steps that were taken when we first started to establish Going 2 Natural. Each of these items cost little to no money but are fundamental when legitimizing a business with basic resources. When starting a business on a budget it is important to use all the free to low cost resources available. Why this task may seem daunting at times, with a little perseverance and a great deal of research, it can definitely be done.
Good luck with your future business endeavors!