Think you have a great idea for a new business? That idea is just the tip of the iceberg.
When it comes to starting a business, eager entrepreneurs quickly find out that a lot more goes into the process than they had originally realized. The idea is just the start of a long process to becoming a respectable business people can trust. Luckily, the Better Business Bureau is here to help. Building a business starts from the ground up, and there’s a lot happening below the surface that most people aren’t aware of. Follow these steps and prepare yourself, so that your business doesn’t capsize, Titanic style.
- THE IDEA
Congratulations! You have a business idea and you’re ready to take it to the masses, but first you have a few decisions to make. Choosing a name for your company may sound like a simple task, but there are many factors to consider. You should ask yourself: is it original, will it be memorable, and can it be misconstrued in any way? Your business name should be something you will be proud of for years to come.
You also have to think of your business structure. Will it be a corporation? Or are you seeking sole proprietorship? If you’re not quite sure what structure fits your business’s needs, be sure to look at all of your options for your business structure.
Of course there’s also the matter of making your service legal. Not sure what you need? The state of Illinois has you covered with all of the permits, licenses and certificates necessary to run your business honestly.
The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation may be able to answer any additional questions you have about business licensing and registration.
- MONEY MANAGEMENT
Now that you have tackled legitimizing your business, it’s time to take a look at one of the most pressing concerns for entrepreneurs: money. Funding a business is no small chip off the old ice block; it can feel more like chipping away at an entire iceberg. Luckily, there are many funding options to choose from including grants, loans and bonds, all of which are more thoroughly explained in finance section of our Small Business Help Center. Locate lenders you can trust at our BBB Accredited Business Directory.
- LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Once you have secured your funding plan, work towards locking down a location. Here’s another place your BBB can help! Search our directory of Accredited commercial real estate companies to find someone who can help you locate the perfect place for your start-up.
What should you be looking for when scouting out a location?
- Think about your brand, your image, and your target clientele.
- Ask yourself, is this an area where I want to represent my new business?
- Think accessibility.
- Is it easy to find?
- Consider the competition. Are there other businesses that sell a similar product or service as yours in the same location?
- Overall business growth: do you see your business expanding?
- Will your new space allow for your start-up to develop?
It’s important to consider all of these questions.
When you do choose your location, make sure it’s up to code for what you envision.
If you’re not sure what the latest requirements are, Illinois.gov has everything you need to know about building codes and regulations.
- BUILDING YOUR BRAND
After you’ve covered the absolute essentials, it’s time to get the word out about your new business. One of the simplest ways to do this is through social media. Spread the word about your service by maximizing your online presence. It’s also a good idea to create a website for your business. Follow these tips from your Chicago BBB for building and maximizing your online presence. Don’t know where to start when it comes to website creation? The BBB can help to create a website for you once you meet the qualifications and become an Accredited Business!
Becoming an Accredited Business is a great way to expose your company to new customers. Why? The Better Business Bureau is one of the top places consumers look for service providers they can rely on. We set high standards for our Accredited Businesses and promote their worth to consumers.
- BECOMING A BUSINESS TO TRUST
Our distinguishable and established seal of trustworthiness aligns Accredited Businesses with the BBB brand, signaling to consumers that they can turn to your businesses to fulfill their needs the right way, the first time. Become a business people can trust by signing up to “Be More” with Accreditation today!
Once Accredited, be sure to update your business profile and take advantage of all the resources BBB has to offer, including customer reviews, networking events, scholarship opportunities for your family and employees and much more. Visit bemorewithbbb.org to learn more about how you can benefit from BBB Accreditation.
Starting a business doesn’t have to be a struggle of Titanic proportions. Follow these BBB steps and you’ll be sure to smooth sail past any obstacles that may be lurking ahead.