10 Simple Steps
Your first step to building a brand in what Forbes has called America’s #1 place for entrepreneurs, is coming prepared. Take the time to develop a strong pitch, a convincing executive summary, solid financial forecasts, market perspectives, and so forth. Without these insights in place, driving you and defining your objective, it’s going to be hard to compete.
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 incorporate and in the process get a fair amount taken off your plate in one fell swoop. Along with the legal/financial benefits of incorporation, you secure your name in the process by filing/registering with the state. Often modern incorporation providers handle tons of other stuff as well, like getting your tax ID, setting up registered agent service, and more.
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.
Home to the Pentagon and Mount Vernon (not to mention Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe…), Virginia’s tax code can get a little interesting depending on what type of business you intend on creating and under what sort of legal structure. Take a little time and leverage the countless resources you’ll gain – like Virginia Incentives.
Take Action: If you’re Lone Rangering this part, you’ll want to bookmark the Virginia Dept. of Taxation Business Section through Virginia.gov. It provides access to their forms, all the tax info you’ll need concerning your rights, localities, etc.
Did you know roughly 50-70% of all internet traffic flows through gargantuan data centers located in and around the Northern Virginia area? Point here is, depending on your situation you’ll either have plenty of regulatory red tape or a smidgen. You can weigh in with the titans of industry in the city, or keep it small out in the countryside. That said, you’ve got two options:
Of the countless “steps” you’ll take as an entrepreneur and startup owner, this is the easiest. All you have to do is familiarize yourself with the benefits of business accounts, find a great institution that has the best for your platform, then set up branded accounts completely separate from personal accounts of any kind. Centralize your financials.
From historic Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia is one of the most influential areas of the modern world. Whether you set up shop in Alexandria or Virginia Beach, or perhaps in a smaller gem like Vienna or Charlottesville, you’re going to have it all and be centrally located in the northeast. Oh, and it’s ever-so gorgeous.
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.
So, Virginia’s rocking a $462 billion dollar GDP folks. From local and county, to state-level programs, initiatives, networks, groups, and on and on you have no limits. Money flows through Virginia like the Salmon of Capistrano. Get out there and grab a slice! 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 streaking and ivy league frats. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Because of the whole internet thing we mentioned in step 4, yeah, no one in Virginia takes a brand seriously that doesn’t have a presence online. All you really need as a startup is a basic website, or even just a single landing page with all the pertinent details while you bootstrap. What matters is the world has a way to investigate you, share your news, and engage if they aren’t located in the Virginia area.
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.
Whether we’re talking about the digital sphere or the melding of cultures on the ground in Roanoke, where are your ideal customers/clients/users? Be as specific as you can, because each and every one of them are huge reservoirs waiting to be explored. There is no more powerful marketing asset than direct and honest feedback.
Take Action: Incentives drive effective marketing because they’re used to get your community to create valuable marketing for you, to give feedback, and they drive follow-through sales which typically account for the majority of positive margins. How are you using them to drive you brand?
The team here at Startup Savant humble ask you to keep us in your Rolodex of resources. Our focus is on savvy tools, personalized interviews with fellow change-makers, and motivational content to help you riding the learning curve in style, motivated by your potential.
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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