The United States is known as the land of opportunity. People from all over the world travel to the US in search of various freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of civil rights, and freedom of opportunity. In the United States, everyone has the ability to take the job they want, and they also have the ability to create the job they want.
Many people in the US aim for the American dream and decide to start their own business. As a business owner, you don’t have to work for an incompetent boss, you don’t have to be stuck doing something you hate, and you can reap all the tax benefits and pocket the profits. In fact, so many people desire to acquire the American dream that there are currently over 23 million small businesses in the US.
While starting a business in the US is a dream of many, it’s also a lot of hard work, and this hard work keeps many people from achieving their dream. Many people think that starting a business simply means getting a loan and filing with the SBA, but it’s much more work than that. Before you quit your job in hopes of starting your own business and being your own boss, the following are four things nobody told you about starting a business that you absolutely need to know.
1. Gain complete ownership of the company name.
Before you can start a company, you’re going to need to have a name for that company. Some individuals choose a company name without thinking about whether or not that name is available. Getting a trademark for your company name will ensure that the name and the rights to the name belong to you. This way, other companies cannot start businesses with your name. Having multiple businesses with the same company name causes an array of confusion and can harm your online brand. The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is an online database that allows you to search the company names you’re considering to see if they’re already owned and trademarked by another company. Once you’ve found a name that would work, you need to apply for a trademark. You can do this online through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), and you can use the system to track your application throughout the process.
Along with the trademark of your company name, you should also check to make sure that the URL you want is also available. It’s always a good idea to take the URL that is the company name, but you can try other URLs that interest you or relate to your company as well. A good way to check the availability of a URL is to visit domain websites such as GoDaddy.com. Through this site, you can enter in the URL you are considering and search to see if it’s available. GoDaddy will not only let you know if the desired URL is available, but the site will also let you know what other similar URLs are available that may interest you as well. This is a great way to ensure that the URL you want is also available or to help you find a similar URL that could also work for your business.
2. Run the numbers over and over.
The biggest mistake that most business owners make is only focusing on the company’s finances. When you start a business, you have to remember that you need to not only cover the monthly expenses of the business, but also the monthly expenses of your own. You need to bring in an income to cover your mortgage payments, rent, household utilities, health insurance, car insurance and anything else you need to pay for on a monthly basis. When you’re calculating how much money your company needs to make and calculating the budget in order to stay afloat every month, don’t forget to include your monthly needs as well. Otherwise, you could end up keeping the business afloat but failing to keep your personal finances in order.
3. Don’t be afraid of change.
You have an idea in your head of how your company is going to run, how much money you’ll need, and how successful you will be, but it’s very likely that this plan is going to change. You’re going to need to make adjustments in order to please investors, to include enough of a profit for your personal needs, or to simply reach the right audience. Although you may have a detailed business plan, you have to understand that the business plan is going to change, and you cannot be afraid of this. Rolling with the punches is the only way that your small business is going to get up and running, so don’t be afraid to make the necessary changes in order to see your dreams come true.
4. Have all the right paperwork.
Starting a business is going to require a great deal of paperwork. It’s very important that you do your research to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork in place. Did you file your small business with the right organizations, such as the SBA? Do you have all the required permits for your town or county? Do you have the right safety requirements for your employees? You’re going to need to fill out a great deal of paperwork and keep it on hand in order to receive other benefits for your business, such as loans, lines of credit and insurance policies. In order to ensure you are covering yourself and your company, you may even want to consider having phone calls and in-person meetings recorded and transcribed as validation. Having all of this will help protect your company and ensure you followed all the correct procedures in order to get your business running.
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