If you’re starting a business these days, you’re going to need a robust website. Due to the pandemic, a great deal of the U.S. economy has gone online, and people may not be willing to work with you if you don’t have a website. What else do you need for a startup to survive and thrive in today’s economy?
You’ll need to start by setting up the right business entity. This could be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or one of a variety of sub-types. Talk to your business lawyer about your goals, tolerance for personal risk, and management style to determine which entity is best for you. You will need to set up the basics like founding documents, employer identification numbers, and tax IDs.
To get started on that website, choose a strong domain name. According to Forbes, over 370 million domain names are already registered, so this could be a bit of a challenge.
Try to choose a domain name that matches your business name as much as possible. At the same time, you’ll want one that is relatively short, memorable, and easy to pronounce and spell. You may need to use hyphens or additional words to find something that is both available and useful. You may want a dot-com (.com) extension, or .org, if appropriate. If dot-com isn’t available, you may take dot-net, dot-us or dot-co instead.
Any new business needs a solid business plan. This may be a bit of a challenge with the economy in flux, because it’s difficult to project your potential costs and revenue as a startup. Your business plan should include at least these areas:
- A business description and value proposition
- A strategy with goals, a launch date and other timelines
- A projected customer base with demographics and a plan for reaching them
- An overview of your company, including your business entity, location and biographies of the major players
- A financial plan with projections for expenses, cash flow, potential sales and a break-even analysis
Keep this business plan up to date as circumstances change and you gather more concrete information.
Employee collaboration software could be crucial to your success. Many workers are handling all of their duties remotely and there is uncertainty about when and whether they will all be brought back into offices. If your employees could be working remotely, you’ll need business systems that support that. Consider project management software. Share files via Google Drive or Dropbox. Collaborate together with Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Keep in mind that businesses may need licenses for collaboration software that is free for individual users.
Your business law attorney can help you evaluate and set up these items.