Local Business Startup Guide
Do you have a local business to startup?
JHartman Consulting has created this guide to give you a roadmap to get your business going strong from the start.
The goal of this guide is to help you increase your business’ visibility to clients, raise your credibility, boost your professionalism game, and help you put easily available and proven strategies to work early on in the life of your startup.
In short, the best way to prepare for success is to put your business on a trajectory for success. Follow this startup guide for your local business and expect to see measurable results.
Register Your Business
To operate as a business, you will have to officially register your business. We recommend most startup businesses register as an LLC. The LLC business structure is simple and has less legal compliance issues than other corporate structures.
A major reason many small business owners prefer LLCs is that the LLC does not pay federal income taxes. Net profits or losses are passed to the personal tax returns of LLC business owners or members, who then pay their LLCs taxes as part of their personal income.
You can get your business registered quickly with incfile. Pricing varies by state. Though the basic package is $49, state fees can be $40 on the low end to more than $200 for larger, more prosperous states. Remember, it is very important to add an extra $70 to get an EID Employer Identification Number/Tax ID.
This number is needed for opening business bank accounts and filing business tax returns. So, all told, business registration will cost somewhere between $160 to $320 on the low end, but you should expect to pay $400+ for added services like tax preparation and filing.
Setup a Business GMail Account
After dishing out half a grand to register your business, it will feel good to add immeasurable value to your operation at no cost by using Google’s services. This business email account will streamline your online marketing efforts.
Use this account as the hub for your online marketing tools, including MailChimp, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console. Learn More
Get a Dedicated Business Phone Number
A dedicated landline provides the clearest, most reliable phone service that you can find. Though you won’t have the mobility of a cell phone, how often have you ever dropped a call on a landline? Also, you can’t always answer every call–and when you can’t answer, it’s much more professional for the caller to either connect to a voicemail expressly for your business or an automated information hotline that can help field frequently asked questions.
If you’re worried about not having text messaging on your dedicated business landline, check out kall8. This service gives your business the ability to communicate with customers and clients via SMS messaging on your toll-free or local number.
Build an Awesome Website
Create a customized website to give your business a visible home on the web. Build out landing pages to help clients find you, easily learn more about your company, and choose the services that best fit their needs. Incorporate design that reflects the nature of your business.
Let the look and functionality of your website intersect with your professional practice. And build out your page with a CMS design with a responsive design for viewing on PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
On the web, content is king. Add great content, including a blog where you can build out pages for longtail keywords to increase the reach of your website while also providing more value to customers. By demonstrating that you are an authority in your niche, you will gain more credibility, which will, in turn, lead to more traffic and more revenue.
Setup an Email Campaign
One of the most proven ways to make sells and sustain business revenue is through building up and marketing to an audience through email.
Email marketing services convert so easily because customers generally only sign up for an email list after getting convinced that they want to hear more and have a reasonable interest in the offered services.
As long as you don’t spam the people on your email list, this is a great way to remind customers of what you can do for them. Write catchy subject lines that grab readers, showing them the value of your services, and you can see very good returns on your email campaign investment.
Sign Up for Social Media Accounts and Post Regularly
Social media posting is a major piece of web marketing. Social is vital to businesses because of the concentrated traffic that masses on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Blog posts, memes, and infographics go viral because of social media shares.
Hashtags and hyperlinks are today’s highway billboard, pointing to desired services just off the information superhighway’s exit ramp. Use social to analyze competitor strategies and find out what your potential customers like.
Grow your followers and increase your influence.
Invest a Small Budget in Google Ads or Facebook Ads
Done right, a small ads investment can give you an excellent return. We recommend starting at $500. Buying Google Ads and Facebook Ads ensures that the masses of users on these platforms see your content.
Google Ads is particularly worth the advertising dollars because you only pay when someone clicks on your add. It’s not unheard of for businesses to make $2 for every $1 dollar they spend on Google Ads.
After you’ve had success with a smaller budget, you can consider investing in a larger, more expensive ad campaign.
Secure a Way to Pay Your Employees
Your business will need a payroll solution as well as a program that can handle benefits and other HR related tasks. Gusto provides an easy all-in-one solution to all of these crucial operating needs.
Gusto avoids assigning your employees with all the expected tedious tasks of other accounting applications. It is an easy-to-use system that can handle multiple schedules and multiple pay rates, direct deposit, all 50 states, as well as federal and local taxes.
Gusto is easy to set up and saves you time.
Get Your New Business Rolling!
No matter if you’ve started dozens of businesses or you’re launching into completely new territory with your first ever business, the climb from the idea stage to presiding over a revenue creating machine is full of risk and requires hard work at every stage.
But you will minimize that risk and make all that hard work worth it by following these proven steps that strong companies have used and continue to leverage to get excellent results.