4 Tips on How to Take the Lead in Starting a Business
Have you recently broken out of the corporate bubble and are ready to see if you can start all over with a startup? Always wanted to open a bakery or open a dance studio? Now is the perfect time to form the business of your dreams.
So now that you’ve made the concrete decision to get the ball rolling (the first step in starting your own company) what happens next? How do you begin to take the lead on your business beyond just knowing and saying that you’re ready for the plunge?
- Incorporate. Incorporate or form an LLC for your business to save on taxes and to protect your personal assets. When you’re new to the startup scene, business owners can easily forget that their business can face debt and liability, among other risks. By establishing a corporation or LLC, your business will remain separate from your personal assets; meaning that if anything were to happen financially or otherwise, you would have a corporate shield to protect your home and savings.
- Protect your intellectual property. Trademarks and copyrights can be some of the most valuable assets of your business. I mean, you wouldn’t want someone snatching your creative catchphrase or carefully designed logo would you? Protecting your trademark and logos by registering them with the US Patent and Trademark Office is one of the best first steps in starting your business because it ensures that much more protection for what is rightfully yours.
- Find a mentor. You’re new to the game and can’t go at it alone without some “been there and done that” advice from the pros. Find mentors who match your business style. When you’re a business owner you’ll receive advice from everyone and not all of it may match up to what you’re doing. It’s important to make sure you associate with people who genuinely want to help but also understand exactly what your field is like and have the right tips and tricks of the trade that you can really use.
- Get picky. If you’re a nice person running a successful company, everyone under the sun will pick up on that and try and sell you something. Insurance, accounting services, consulting, search engine marketing, call lists…the list goes on. Sometimes you’ll have a hard time saying no because so many of their offers or deals may truly work out for your benefit. But you’ve got to get picky with who you work with. Know that you can’t partner with everyone who wants you- it’s physically demanding and impossible. Go out for lunches with potential partners and invite members of your team along to see if the fit is right or not. If it isn’t, don’t get discouraged. You’re just starting out the business after all! When it’s right, you’ll know and so will your business.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO and owner of MyCorporation, an online filing services company that specializes in incorporations and LLCs. Find her online at mycorporation.com and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.