HOW TO SET UP YOUR BUSINESS – FAST!
This is the sixth lesson to Creating Your Own Lifestyle Business
This is the sixth lesson to Creating Your Own Lifestyle Business
There are two parts to setting up your lifestyle business. The first is getting set up online and the second is getting everything done offline.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, you need to have an online presence. It’s never been easier to get set up online than it is now. I’ll show you how you can have everything done in literally one day!
Getting set up online is made up of 4 parts:
The first step to getting up online is to choose your domain. The domain is the virtual address of your website. It’s the www.YourBusinessName.com thing. You can use a domain registrar like GoDaddy to register your domain name.
Ideally, you should get your business name with a .com extension. If you can’t get your exact business name with the .com, you can consider using .net or .co. You can also use a hyphen if you have a two word business name.
After you have your domain, you’ll want to get hosting. Many domain registrars, like GoDaddy, also offer hosting. I personally have used HostGator for about 8 years now.
Hosting is where all of your website files are actually stored. When getting started, you can use a shared plan which will only cost around $8 a month.
One key benefit with having your own domain and hosting is that you’ll be able to have your own company email. It will look something like this:
This helps with your overall brand and is just plain more professional.
With your domain and hosting in place, it’s time to build your website! Your website is a digital representation of your business. It must look professional!
On average, you have 5 seconds to impress a new visitor. When done right, it will provide you with a steady stream of new clients or customers.
The easiest way, by far, to build a high quality website is to use WordPress. With a couple of clicks, you can have a fully functioning website.
Among other things, WordPress is incredibly easy to work with, gives you full control of your site, is incredibly Google-friendly, and is easy to design.
Oh, and it’s free!
WordPress uses templates called themes. To find good WordPress theme, you can go to the following sites:
This is something that you want to spend some time on. Do your homework. Yes, a good theme will cost money but it’s a one-time deal. Choosing a good theme will make your job so much easier.
With your website in place, it’s now time to set up your business in all of the other online platforms. At a minimum you should set up the following:
Getting all of these platforms set up is really easy. It usually involves just listing out all of your company information and adding your company logo and branding. You want to be sure to have this consistent across all of the platforms.
Just because you have set up your business on all of these channels doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll use them in your business on a daily business. Based on your business, some mediums will be better than others.
With your business set up online, it’s time to make it happen in the physical world.
First, a disclaimer: all of the stuff I’m about to share is very general to any business. I don’t pretend to be a business tax expert of business entity formation expert in any way.
As always, if you have any questions for your particular situation, be sure to speak with a professional.
With that out of the way, here are the things you’ll need to do to kick-start your business:
Your lifestyle business is not a hobby. When you start to make money, there are certain things you need to do to make sure you’re doing business in accordance with your state or province and country.
A business entity is a legal structure for your business. You may have already heard about LLC’s, S-corps, and more. Creating a business entity is really designed to protect you and your business. In many cases, this is also what helps you out with your own finances – having your own business gives you more say in how you pay taxes and your availability to government incentives.
Having a business entity will help you as you make money to be able to keep more of your money. It also protects you legally should something bad happen. By creating a business entity, you’re turning it into a real asset.
The folks at LegalZoom.com make this super easy. It’s the easiest way I know of for sure. They provide every kind of business service you can think of including incorporating your business.
Based on your region, you might need to register your business and get all of the necessary permits to operate there. Some businesses, like those that handle food, have a bit more red tape than others. Just be sure to check with your local government to make sure.
With your new business set up, it’s time to open a new business bank account. This is different from your own personal checking or savings account because it’s primarily used for your business.
What bank you choose to use is up to you. Be sure to look for deals and other sign up perks. Banks all want your money so the smart ones offer various incentives. Be sure to do your homework on this. It really boils down to choosing the one you feel most comfortable with.
With your bank information handy, you can set up your payment processing. There are three primary ways to take payment:
The easiest and safest method, by far, is to accept payments online. This is especially true if your products or services are on a monthly, recurring basis. Taking cash can get messy and accepting checks are kind of a hassle. There’s usually a fee associated with taking payment online but it’s usually worth it for the convenience.
When getting started, I’ve found the easiest solution is PayPal. There are other solutions out there. In fact, your bank may offer an online payment solution. I’ve found however, that PayPal works perfectly.
It’s very well known and relatively easy to use. Additionally, their rates are pretty comparable to anything your bank will offer. They also offer a lot of great services like recurring billing, customized check-outs, and more.
Depending on your business, Gumroad may also be a good option to check out. If you’re selling anything digital, it’s especially nice.
When handling cash or checks, just be sure to invoice to keep your records clean.
When you take payments, you’re going to need to keep track of everything. In business, numbers rule.
The easiest way I know of to get started for most business models is to use QuickBooks. They have both software you can download or use their monthly service. Either one works great. It’s simple to use and is as complex as you need it. You’ll spend some time setting this up but once it’s up, it will become part of your monthly ritual and nothing more.
In the next and final lesson, we’ll talk about how you can scale your business, make more money, all while working less. Sound impossible? It’s not. I’ll show you how.
For now, go through the following to keep moving forward on your business.