10 Simple Steps
The reason Yuengling & Son is the oldest brewing company in America, around since 1829, is because the beer’s amazing and they’ve enjoyed great management – where good planning begins. Your first step is to test your planning skills and see just how much you can get from your business idea. And don’t worry, these days there’s savvy-inexpensive software that can help make the process 10 x more effective is far less time.
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.
Sweet, (like Hershey PA’s chocolate factory), with your initial plan laid out and viability levels through the roof, it’s time to protect yourself and empower your brand by choosing a legal structure and incorporating it. Can you do this alone? Sure, but it would be better to work with either a business law firm or far less expensive online incorporation service. This way parts of steps 2, 3 and 4 all get folded into their startup packages.
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.
After creating a legal structure and registering your brand name with the state, the next step is establishing your brand’s tax identity. Online incorporation providers typically handle all the basics, including getting your ID number, sourcing the correct forms, etc. Relax, this is easy stuff. If you want hard, try an Olde 96’er Burger at Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub over in Clearfield.
Take Action: If you’re Lone Rangering this, bookmark the PA Dept. of Revenue’s e-Services Center page for businesses.
Unlike the complexities involved in trying to track a single fire fly at night amidst small armies of the beautiful insects, figuring out which licenses you need is pretty simple. PA is very business-friendly which is why so many of their companies are the oldest in America, like The Moravian Book Shop, Shankweiler’s Drive-in, Zippos, C.F. Martin Guitars, and on and on.
As simple as apple pie, just pick a wonderful banking institution and set up dedicated business accounts for your brand…completely separate from personal accounts of any kind. Leverage those incentives, and then all that’s left is to connecting you accounting software. After that the company’s financial persona will have officially begun begin its journey.
Oh boy, livability in Pennsylvania is off the charts. Did you know it’s one of the few “commonwealths” which is all about emphasizing the role people play in the state government? From Franklin Park and the area around Upper St. Clair, to the endless bustle of Pittsburgh, Allentown or Erie, what a wonderful place to set up shop. So much history and heritage, in every nook and cranny, you’ll love it.
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.
With all the online options to raise capital without much if any debt or high interest rates (CrowdFunding, Social Lending, etc.) set to one side, inside her borders you’ll also have access to small armies of entrepreneurs, startup groups, VC networks, angel investment funds, county/state-level programs, and more! 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 deep dish and beer. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Other than the Amish folk (highest population on earth), just about everyone else in Pennsylvania expects your brand to have its own digital presence. Without one it’s going to be hard to take you seriously. Maybe all you need is a simple one-pager, maybe a sleek and simple ecommerce design? Get’er done!
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.
Next time you think about digital marketing and use it to expand the reach of your products and services, remember that the first computer ever used was in Philadelphia, 1946. Pretty neat huh? The point here is that you should never cease getting out there and networking with the people. In many respects Pennsylvania is one of the beating hearts of American capitalism.
Take Action: Wherever you open your doors, start local. Begin generating buzz as close to home as you can. Get involved with your ideal customer’s lives and make yourself known through real contact vs. vapid internet methods before a relationship has been formed.
Last but not least, moving forward after you’ve done all that it’s about staying on top of your knowledge-base and skill sets, and keeping yourself/your team motivated. Consider adding Startup Savant to your goodie bag of reliable resources because if anyone knows and understand what you’re going through it’s our community. See for yourself as we’re constantly publishing content straight from fellow change-makers because they always have the best insight.
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories/interviews directly from innovative professionals like you.
Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Pennsylvania, 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
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