10 Simple Steps
Your ideas are overflowing! Your products/services are going to be a huge hit! Friends and family are totally jazzed. But, let me ask you something, do you have an actual business plan? If not, consider ironing out the details step 1. These days there’s plenty of very savvy and intuitive software that makes the entire business planning process much more effective (and enlightening for new entrepreneurs).
Take Action: Sign up for our free email-based Business Planning Course we designed to get you from A-to-Z as quickly and smoothly as possible. Plus, we provide access to tons of other great tools along the way.
The next step is to come to terms with the exact type of legal entity, or business structure you intend on building in Georgia. Devote at least an hour to understanding the three primary types (not including non-profit) and how they will influence your brand. Once you’ve made your decision get the ball rolling on registration.
Take Action: As this aspect of starting a business is sensitive, we’ve developed quick and easy guides for each.
I know, few people dig the “T” word, but believe it or not there are a fair amount of upsides (incentives & credits) to following Georgia tax laws and regulations depending on your business structure. Besides, you can’t legally do business inside her borders until you get right with the state.
The red tape keeps coming, but once you get it out of the way it’s just an easy maintenance job. So your business structure is set and registered, you’ve got the tax balls rolling, now it’s time to figure out which licenses and permits you need to obtain depending on your location.
Your company needs its own account so that all your financials are in one place, clean and clear. Don’t make the mistake of mucking up your finances, and putting both yourself and your business at risk, by trying to combine personal/business accounts. You’ll regret it. Instead…
So, how about it, you settling around the bustle of Alpharetta? Maybe the industrious Garden City, or perhaps the entrepreneur-friendly community of Jesup? Regardless, where you open your doors is going to go a long ways towards determining the first three years in business. Don’t take the choice lightly and do your homework.
Take Action: We know picking a location can be tough if it doesn’t somehow happen naturally through your personal/professional networks. If you’d like to brush up on everything that goes into making this decision, refer to our guide on How to Choose the Perfect Location.
Thanks to modern-tech you have more access to, well, trillions, than any other human being at any other point in history. And that can be part of the problem…which will work best for your platform? CrowdFunding and Social Lending are still new, but growing by massive amounts. How about Georgia investors or VCs? The sooner you begin grappling with this the better it’s going to turn out when funding becomes a hurdle to growth.
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like bread and butter. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Whether all you need is a simple responsive one-pager with the basics of your brand, an agency-based site, or an ecommerce store, websites are no longer optional – part of the whole internet revolution thing. We understand it can be an undertaking, and websites are never “done” but considering the potential they bring to the table it’s a no-brainer.
Take Action: The first step is finding the right platform, which thankfully there aren’t too many. Head on over to this easy Business Website Builder Guide to get a head start if you don’t already have this in the bag.
Great, you’ve covered all the previous 8 steps. Now what? Getting the word out doesn’t happen overnight so don’t expect it to. Georgia is a friendly place with astounding demographics, culture, and networks so the most important thing you can do is get out there! Don’t be shy and don’t use the internet as a crutch to avoid real contact with your ideal market.
Take Action: Every business day do whatever it takes to make an honest connection with just one current or potential client/user/customer. Digital marketing is another animal altogether, but there’s no better form of marketing than what’s known as referral marketing. It’s everywhere you look online too!
While it can be somewhat easy to keep learning, staying inspired can be a challenge during the grind of building a business. Know what helps? Putting some of your daily focus on what other change makers in Georgia and elsewhere are going through.
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories directly from entrepreneurs like you.
Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Georgia, here are the two we believe in most. With IncFile and LivePlan, you'll take the first steps toward bringing your idea to life and having a solid plan behind it.
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