10 Simple Steps
For savvy startups their business plan is their central defining document where everything is laid out in detail – objectives, financials, forecasts, budgets, management, etc., as well as Executive Summary and Pitch which come in handy for a large variety of reasons. And don’t worry, there’s lots of help out there if you need it. The conventional days of exhaustive 40-page business plans are over.
Take Action: Seize upon our free and easy email-based Business Planning Course designed to get you from A-to-Z as pleasantly as possible. Plus, we provide tons of other great tools along the way.
The next step is choosing what kind of legal business entity best serves your goals and ambitions, or those of your company. Kansas is very startup-friendly, but take some time to understand whether your company would be better suited as a corporation vs. an LLC and so forth. Then once you incorporate many things will happen simultaneously, like for example securing your brand name by officially filing it with the state.
Take Action: As this part of starting a business can be rather sensitive, we’ve developed quick-guides for the most popular entities if you want to skip over to those.
Now it’s time to tackle the ways in which your company will interact and be treated by local, state, and federal tax systems. Will you be employing people in Kansas? What tax kickbacks, credits and incentives apply to your platform? Also keep in mind you’ll need to get your FEIN, or Federal Employer Identification Number to do business (often bundled into startup packages by incorporation providers).
Take Action: A good place to start if you’re Lone Rangering this part would be the Kansas Dept. of Revenue Customer Service Center. This is where you can manage your state business account, get your questions answered and seek additional help if needed or you’re not working with an incorporation provider.
Depending on your business structure and what exactly your business does or sells and where it sells it, you may have little to do aside from getting a common license. Or, on the flip-side, you may have a few holes to hop through, which again, are very simple when working with companies that helps startups and entrepreneurs go official.
This is probably the easiest step of all, and quite fun because you’re setting up your brand’s financial persona. It’s about centralizing them, securing them with a great institution and leveraging all the benefits they offer business clients. Just make sure to completely separate your personal and business accounts!
Yes, Kansas is pancake flat, but it’s got it all in terms of modern amenities and cities of all sizes – from iconic Kansas City and the bustle of Wichita to smaller/medium-sized treasures like Shawnee, Dodge or Garden City, or Colby up near Colorado and Nebraska borders. It’s really the people though and the culture that most relocate to Kansas for.
Take Action: We know picking a spot 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 friendly guide on How to Choose the Perfect Location.
Just like every other business under the sun, there’s going to come a point where you’ll need more funding than your personal bank account can handle. The good news is that Kansas has it all in terms of startup groups, networks, and programs to state/county-level funds, grants and everything else. The question becomes then, how ambitious and resourceful are you?
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like sunsets and flat land. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Arguably the last step to setting up a 21st century business (unless you’re ecommerce-based) is designing and publishing a quality website. And even way out in the sticks of central Kansas, people will want to see it. Yes, they have smartphones. Yes, they use tablets and other tech-accoutrements. To be taken seriously, give the world a way to investigate your brand and see what you’re about.
Take Action: If you could use some help in this department the first step is finding the right platform, which thankfully there aren’t too many yet. Head on over to this easy Business Website Builder Guide to get a head start.
After all that, well, it’s time to sell and expand. Don’t go off the handle and starting trying to move with the speed of a Kansas twister! Take it slow and strategic like a road trip across the 70. Start as close to home as you possibly can and extract as much feedback from your initial clients/customers/users as is humanly possible.
Take Action: Incentives. Learn them, embrace them and leverage their power to drive brand expansion, get your marketing content created for you, and better engage with your niche. The trick is finding the resources that get the best response and seizing upon them.
Yes, by all means keep your ears and eyes open for new exciting trends but never lose sight of where the real valuable information is at: fellow change-makers, ambitious creatives and innovators. Along with helping people access the savviest tools and software, we put a lot of focus on interviews around here because they’re so gosh darn valuable!
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories directly from ambitious professionals like you.
Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Kansas, 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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