10 Simple Steps
Your first step building a serious brand in The Big Friendly is to come prepared. And don’t worry, the conventional 50-page plans of old aren’t necessary anymore. Startup Savant’s is about 15, broken into critical sections like our pitch, executive summary, financials (pretty graphs & charts), management setup, basic segmentation/demographics, etc.
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.
Okay, so once you’ve got your product/service/business idea and a viable plan on the table, to go to the next level you incorporate. This is where you choose a specific legal structure for your brand which gives it its own set of rights under the law, for example the right to enforce contracts/defend itself in court. In the process you’ll secure your brand name, register with the state, and if you work with an incorporation provider parts of steps 3 and 4 as well.
Take Action: As this aspect 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.
With a low cost of living, low business costs, and great earnings growth Oklahoma’s economy helps you get the most out of your money. It’s also exceedingly startup-friendly and easy to navigate. Should you work with a law firm? Sure, if you can afford it. Online incorporation providers are far less expensive though, and can definitely help get all the right paperwork so you’re 100% compliant lickity-split.
Take Action: If you’re doing this solo, you’re committed and can make it to the state, just leverage a free New Business Workshop through the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Otherwise bookmark their Businesses Section with links to tax types and the OkTap online system.
After registering your brand name with the state, incorporating, and syncing with the tax system it’s time to handle any licensing or permitting issues. Don’t worry, this part of the process is like a quick bull ride when it’s your first rodeo. As long as you’ve prepared and got your boots on, you’ll be fine.
Nice work! This is the easiest part. Do your homework and pick a great banking institution where you can set up dedicated business accounts for your brand. Then you link up your accounting software and you’re golden. Afterwards you can celebrate this red tape extravaganza with some Coconut Cream Stout from Battered Boar.
The state’s a pan with Oklahoma City sitting directly in the center. Everything else, aside from Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Norman are essentially suburbs. And again, everywhere you go you’ll find a great cost of living and lower tax burden than in many other states. Not to mention plenty of chicken fried steak and local brews.
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.
Here’s a quote from the Oklahoma Cherokee cowboy, Will Rogers himself, “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” Hard to argue with that. It’s the 21st century and Oklahoma is as good a place as any. Question is, how hungry are you and how much fruit can you carry? When it comes time to kick the capital levels up a few notches, you’ve got a hundred options at your disposal. Don’t be shy.
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like sunsets and ice cream. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
No one’s saying your business site has to be as engaging as a gentle float along the Bricktown canal, or afternoon strolls through Myriad Botanical Gardens…but your brand does need one. Maybe all it requires in the beginning is a simple landing page, or maybe a streamlined ecommerce theme? These days there are quicker, less expensive ways to get a great site up and running.
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.
Absolutely, we’re big fans of digital marketing around here and understand the power of tech-communication tools. But, we also haven’t forgotten the power of forming solid relationships with strategic partners. This takes more than blogs, social media updates, and paid advertising. It means getting clear of our comfort bubbles, reaching out, and forging bonds.
Take Action: Start getting involved and networking. Consider contacting the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center and taking them up on any of their services that sound good. Why not leverage marketing help directly from people who work with the local entrepreneurial communities?
At this point it’s about keeping your feet planted on the ground, your mind focused on objectives, rallying around and adapting your biz-plan, and staying motivated during the rough times. Please throw Startup Savant into your goodie bag because we know exactly where you’re coming from and we’re here for ya partner.
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories/interviews directly from ambitious professionals like you.
Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Oklahoma, 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.
IncFile is the most affordable online incorporation available. Since 2004, IncFile has helped over 75,000 entrepreneurs incorporate their business on a budget. For $49 + State Fee, they'll bring your business to life by registering whichever business structure you choose.Visit IncFile.com
One of the most important aspects of starting a business can also be the most tedious: the business plan. LivePlan is a business plan software that will walk you through the entire process as it has for 375,000 entrepreneurs across the world.Get 25% Off LivePlan