10 Simple Steps
Would you invest in a company or product concept that had no professional business plan? Nope. No one in their right mind would which is why they’re required by most conventional lenders, successful VCs, investment funds, grants, and so forth. It’s about a structured game plan and the smart approach vs basically winging it.
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.
Now it’s time to establish a legal entity, officially incorporate it, and in the process secure your brand name by filing it with the state. The good news is that steps 2, 3 and 4 tend to blend a little. Modern incorporation providers often tuck lots of this red tape into their startup and entrepreneur packages because they’re a far less expensive option vs working with law firms.
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.
Okay, just breathe, there’s no reason to start knockin’knees. Ohio’s been represented as one of the nicest states in the Union to open up shop. Back in 2013 Site Selection magazine ranked them 4th and low overall tax burden is definitely a factor. Take your time and leverage as many incentives, breaks, and kickbacks as you can.
Take Action: Your best bet early on is to head on over to the Ohio Business Gateway, create an account and reach out if you need help.
Unlike The Great Serpent Mount of Adams County, Ohio’s regulatory environment is hard-or-easy relative to a) what type of entity you’re creating, b) where in Ohio you’re creating it, and c) what kind of specific business you’re in. Don’t be in a rush here, dot every t, and once it’s through you can chomp down a Frisch’s Big Boy Burger to put you right to sleep.
Your next step is to begin building your brand’s financial persona, it’s data-life, in a good banking institution with all the great bennies Ohioans get along with Cedar Point Amusement Park and Hocking Hills.
So it’s like this, either you’re north of Columbus, which makes you a Cleveland fan, or you’re south which makes you a Cincinnati fan. That’s pretty much how it goes. Regardless, regionally speaking your business is going to be perfectly situated in the heart of the northeast.
Take Action: Listen, 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.
No matter what you’re about, your business is going to require a steady stream of capital that if all goes well will be ratcheting up over time. Am I right? Good news is you’ve picked one of the healthiest places in the world when it comes to networks, groups, collegiate stuff, state-level programs galore and anything else you can think of including tons of CrowdFunders and Social Lenders.
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like Organic peanut butter and chocolate. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Originally our state-specific startup guides didn’t include this step because we assumed it was default by now, but, we’ve since learned to be more prudent. Yes, for those that don’t know yet for whatever reason, your brand needs a website. These days though you can have a great site setup for far less money and hassle than in years since past.
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.
Now after all that, it’s time to sell. It’s brand expansion time. It’s time to get out there and make as big a mark on Ohio as The Christmas Story movie. And from there, the world…but seriously, all it takes is a commitment to your customer. Don’t get too caught up in less personal aspects of digital marketing.
Take Action: Ohioans are a passionate bunch, which is one of the biggest reasons politicians go insane for them every few years or so. Once you set up shop, start as local as possible and work your way from there. Your first clients/users/customers are often the most helpful in terms of optimization.
As you continue growing as an entrepreneur, please consider Startup Savant as one of your reliable sources for valuable/useful insight and motivation from fellow change-makers. And, when you’re ready don’t be afraid to reach out and tell us about your journey in Ohio.
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories directly from ambitious professionals like you.
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