Do you reside in Florida and would like to start a business, but just don’t know where to start? Did you know that starting a business in Florida can be achieved by following an easy seven-step process?
Step 1: Make a plan for your Business
Before anything, you need to make sure that you have a solid business plan. A solid business plan is what helps you remain focussed and motivated, it aids with securing funding as well as managing cash flow and more importantly, it allows you to track the progress of the business. When drafting the plan there are some key factors to incorporate into your business plan, one of which being that you are sure to have a unique selling proposition (USP), your USP will briefly outline the core mission of your business is. You will also need to outline who your intended target market will be, in other words, what services or products you intend on providing and more importantly what the most effective way will be to communicate to the said target market. Next important factor is considering what marketing platform will be utilized, what platforms are you considering and what is the allocated budget? Lastly consider noting some of your milestones, listing future goals are always wise, this helps you stay motivated and also allows for you to track progress and helps keep a record of progress as time evolves.
Step 2: Register your Florida Business
Next, you will need to register the business with the state of Florida. Before proceeding to this step, you will need to identify what type of business structure you plan to form, whether you opt for a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), C Corporation, S Corporation or Sole Proprietorship. What is a business structure? Business structure refers to the organization of a company in regards to its legal status. The business structure which you decide to form creates a legal recognition for your trade. Whichever business structure you choose will also guide the legal documentation that you will need.
Step 3: Determine your Business Licensing and Tax Obligations
Taxes, licenses as well as permit requirements vary depending on the nature of business, after all, no two businesses are the same, some instances can be quite complex and some instances can be simple and straightforward. Most countries in Florida will require for businesses to have a general Florida license. You will also need to be mindful that you might be required to adhere to industry specific requirements and licensing. Understanding upfront what might be required from you at federal, state and local level helps make the planning and preparation so much easier.
Step 4: Separate your Personal and Susiness Assets
Opting to have a dedicated banking and credit account is vital to ensure personal asset protection. To ensure personal asset protection it is smart business practice to establish your business as an independent entity. When you choose to mix your business and personal accounts, you run the risk of losing your personal assets (home, car or any other valuable assets) in the event of your business being sued in the near future.
Step 5: Fund your Business
You will soon realize that the costs for starting a business in Florida varies, depending on what kind of business you plan to start. Luckily enough, for those who might not have their own starting capital, or who just don’t know where to look, you will be happy to learn that there are so many funding opportunities out there. Businesses owners can opt to explore the angel investors route, microloans, trade credit, crowdfunding and so much more.
Step 6: Build your Businesses Brand
Now the next important step is to build your business brand. Two key factors to keep in consideration when building your business brand is your business logo as well as your business website. While working on this facet of the proposal, you need to be sure that you capture the essence of your business, be sure that the design you choose captures and reflects both the nature or mission of your business. Next, be sure to stand out from your competitors, choose a direction that makes you stand out. Then, capture the attention of your customers, be sure to leave a lasting impression. Lastly, consult with the professionals, investing that extra money might dent the budget, but having input from the industry professionals will definitely help your brand stand out when compared to your competitors.
Step 7: Market your Business
The opportunities for marketing are endless, as there are so many platforms and marketing strategies to consider. Some key factors to consider that will prove to be useful is to be sure to identify your target market, you need to identify who you will be selling or providing a service to. Also, note that more is not always necessarily best, yes there are plenty of platforms available, and often many businesses make the mistake of trying to explore them all at once, and this often results in failure. Be open to evolve, if something does not seem to work do not be afraid to try something new. Lastly, consider leveraging software, as there are quite a few free and inexpensive programs designed to assist entrepreneurs.