You build an identity for your company. So each stage has to be developed to completion for the next stage to be steadily built upon. How do you do that?
It is not superficial. You can gauge a lot from a name. So make yours a rocking one. It must reflect you and your style – chic, elegant, understated, serious, funky, frivolous, fun… It also has to be memorable, fresh, and not too difficult to pronounce! It should ring with positive vibrations, not seem suspiciously seedy. E.g. for a bakery, isn’t Oven Stories much nicer than Cake Stop? The former is warm, cosy and full of promise, while the latter sounds like a milestone.
Create a website that’s functional, user, friendly, offers a good UX, and is inexpensive. It isn’t necessary to be flashy at this point. This is just a space where people can check you out, connect with you, and find out a little more about who you are and what you do. A simple, precise website with smart minimalistic design and that aims to orient customers, works marvellously, and saves you the effort and money for a jazzy one that does the same.
Keeping your personal accounts (e-mail id, contacts, bank accounts) separate from business accounts is textbook knowledge but still one of the most common mistakes made. You think you are going to separate the two later but it never happens until one day you are staring at a mountain. Have a separate e-mail id for you and your company staff – email@example.com. Save business contacts separately and maintain communications through this business id.
E-mails are great. But you can agree that the emotional connect, nuance and empathy that comes from a human voice has no reserves. Invest in a dedicated phone line and fax. Use cloud based service providers to primp up your professional image. To provide further business functionality focus on employee and department extensions, company voicemail, set business hours, and auto attendant.
An LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) makes your business a legal entity. More so, it helps protect your personal assets from liability. A lawyer can help you form an LLC by filing your paperwork. If you feel you aren’t taxed enough and need to micromanage everything you can DIY using the forms available online on the secretary of state’s website.
An Employer Identification Number is like a social security number for your business, and can be applied for online via IRS.gov. It is even more imperative to have one if you have partners, employees, or are a corporation. The other benefits of this is being easily able to open business bank accounts, apply for business loans or business credit cards, and most importantly, protecting you from identity theft and external access to personal accounts.
We have already stressed the importance of maintaining separate personal and business bank accounts. After obtaining the EIN, don’t wait to open the business’ bank account. When opening a business account, bring the signed Certificate of Formation from your LLC.
Once all this is done, you are legally an official stand-apart enterprise ready to storm your world of business!
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