A Step-by-step Guide On Launching A Successful Startup
We’re living in the startup era, where hundreds of startups are registered almost every day. However, starting a company isn’t one of those “if you build it, it will work” situations. In fact, did you know that 90% of startups fail?
So much of getting a business off the ground is about time, strategy, and the market, so think about whether the economic circumstances are appropriate to start a firm and if your product can effectively penetrate the market.
To develop and manage a successful business, you must also design and fine-tune a business strategy, evaluate your finances, complete all legal documentation, choose your partners, study applications for startup growth, and select the finest tools and systems to help you get your marketing and sales off the ground.
Here’s an outline of everything you’ll need to know about how to start a startup, from registering with the government to spreading the word about your venture to making crucial financial choices.
Get An Idea
The success or failure of any startup usually depends on the core, which is the idea of the company. What do you want to sell? Is there a market for it? If yes, who is it? These are few of the many crucial questions you need to have solid answers for before you even think of becoming an entrepreneur. Here are some things to consider:
- Is there a real need for your product/service in the market?
- Who is your target audience?
- How many competitors do you have and what makes you unique?
- What is the best way for customers to get to know about you?
Once you have the answers to all of these questions, you should move to the next step where things are about to get serious!
Get Started On The Legalities
Once the company strategy is in place, you can move on to the less glamorous portion of the process: the paperwork and legal tasks. This involves things like establishing your company’s legal structure, deciding on a name, registering with the government, and obtaining a tax code, a business licence, and/or a seller’s permission, depending on your business structure and industry.
Furthermore, companies are governed at the federal, state, and, in certain cases, local levels. It’s critical to double-check what’s needed at each of those three levels. When you register your company with the government, make sure you cover all of the levels of registration needed for your firm’s location. If you don’t tick these boxes, your company won’t be a legal entity, hence you need to stay on top of it.
As this is a very crucial aspect when it comes to launching your business, we’ve covered some factors in depth to help you get a better understanding:
Business Legal Structure
The 4 most common business structures are:
1. Sole proprietorship
3. Limited liability company (LLC)
Register Your Business Name
Choosing a name for your company is a bit more difficult than creating a list and selecting your favourite. You must register the name you choose with your state government so that they are aware that you are conducting business under that name.
Here are some things you should consider while selecting a name for your business:
- Double-check that the name you choose is available in your state: Before registering, check to see whether the name you choose is available in your state. As business names are registered on a state-by-state basis, it’s conceivable that another firm with the same name as yours exists. This is only an issue if the name is protected by a trademark.
- Perform a trademark search: To prevent costly problems in the future, do a trademark search for your chosen name. The search will reveal if another company has registered or filed for the trademark you want to use.
- If you are a new company or LLC, when you register your firm, your business name will be immediately registered with your state: For new corporations and LLCs: When you register your company, your business name is immediately registered with your state, so you don’t have to go through a separate procedure. You may learn about the regulations for naming a company and an LLC here.
- Register a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name if you are a sole proprietorship, partnership, existing company or LLC: You’ll need to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name for sole proprietorships, partnerships, existing corporations and LLCs (if you wish to conduct business under a name different than their registered name). You may do so by visiting your county clerk’s office or contacting your state government, depending on which state you live in. Find out how to do it here.
- When you’ve decided on an original name, file for a trademark: Do you want to register your company’s name as a trademark? A trademark protects words, names, symbols, and emblems used to identify products and services.
Understanding Small Business Tax Requirements
Business owners are required to pay certain federal taxes, and the amount of those taxes is determined by the kind of business organisation that you create. Except for partnerships, all companies are required to submit an annual income tax return. Partnerships must submit what is known as an information return.
For example, any company that is owned and run in the United States requires an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for on the IRS’s website. Once you’ve registered, it’s time to find out which taxes you’ll be liable for. Most businesses at this point opt to outsource these processes to professional companies like us at CharterCPA. However, here are the three most common types of taxes you’ll have to deal with as an entrepreneur:
Self-Employment Tax (SE Tax)
A Social Security and Medicare levy on self-employed individuals, i.e. company owners. If you earned $400 or more from self-employment, you must file Schedule SE (Form 1040). (Note: There are specific regulations and exclusions for fishing crew members, notaries public, and others.)
When you have workers, you (as the employer) have specific employment tax obligations that you must pay, as well as paperwork that you must submit. Employment taxes include Social Security and Medicare taxes, federal income tax withholding, and the federal unemployment (FUTA) tax.
Excise taxes must also be considered based on what you sell, where you operate, and so on. In the United States, for example, there is a federal excise tax on some trucks, trailers, tractors, and buses operated on public roads.
Start Selling Your Services Or Products
Now that you’ve got the technicalities out the way, it’s time to focus on getting the money in. Here are some steps you need to take to start selling your services or products:
1. Establish your sales infrastructure
By taking the effort to build up your sales process from the beginning, you will prevent the difficulties that come with missing data later on. Begin with a CRM, which is a central database that allows you to keep track of all of your customers and potential prospects in one location. There are many choices available, and you should consider CRMs that cater to small companies. And, Excel does not qualify!
2. Determine your sales objectives.
Don’t be frightened by sales jargon like KPIs and ROI. All of this implies that you need to work out how much income you need to make ends meet and expand your business: how much revenue do you need, and how many items do you need to sell to reach that goal.
3. Recruit a sales representative
When you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to handle everything yourself, even sales. Making that first sales employee, on the other hand, is critical to growing — you need someone committed to knowing your customer and selling to them full-time. When searching for your first sales employee, seniority should be less of a consideration than how much front-line sales experience they have and if they understand your company’s target customer. Following that, you’ll need a strategy for developing your sales development team.
4. Maximize the effectiveness of your sales efforts
Efficiency is essential. Create a sales process, such as this useful 7-step sales process structure, that works regardless of the size of your company. You should also automate sales activities (such as data input) and set up alerts when a potential client makes an action. This allows you to spend less time searching through records and contacting the incorrect prospects and more time on strategy and real selling.
Starting a company has a number of moving parts, some of which are more thrilling than others. Have trouble coming up with a name for your company? Fun! But, it’s not so much fun filing your taxes. The key to effectively launching your company is to carefully prepare and arrange your materials, prioritize correctly, and keep on top of the status and performance of all of these moving components.
That being said, it’s not always easy to stay on top of everything. This is why you should consider choosing CharterCPA to outsource all your accounting needs. Right from helping you register your company to check your accounts and taxes, we’ll help you enhance your startup and reach the next level in no time! So, if you have a business idea in the works, schedule a call with our experts today.