Many entrepreneurs have found that our corner of Pennsylvania is an ideal locale to start a business. We’re home to a number of successful businesses, and there are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to put in the hard work. If you're thinking about starting a business, here are a few tips from the Cumberland Valley Business Alliance to help you get started on the right foot.
Coming Up with a Profitable Business Idea
A profitable idea is the first logical step in starting any business. What are you passionate about? What skills do you have? What needs does your community have that aren't being met? Once you've come up with an idea, it's time to start planning your business.
Writing a Business Plan
A business plan is a roadmap for your business. It outlines your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. Your business plan should also include a financial analysis, so be sure to do your research before you start writing.
The Benefits of Forming an LLC for Your Business
One of the best ways to protect your personal assets is by forming an LLC for your business. As you learn more about this business structure and how to start an LLC in Pennsylvania, you’ll see that an LLC shields your personal assets from debts and liabilities incurred by your business. LLCs are also relatively easy and inexpensive to set up.
Using a DBA for Your Business
If you're doing business under a name other than your own, you'll need to register that name as a DBA (doing business as). DBAs are relatively simple and inexpensive to set up, and they offer some legal protections for your business name. You can learn more about using a DBA for your business here.
Hiring Freelancers For Your New Business
There are a number of tasks that need to be done in order to get a new business off the ground, but you don't have to do it all yourself. MoneyQ&A.com notes that hiring freelancers can help you save time and money while still getting the job done right. When hiring freelancers, be sure to ask for samples of their work, check references, and agree on deadlines and payment terms upfront.
Using Accounting Software to Manage Your Business's Money
Keeping track of your finances is crucial for any business owner. Fortunately, there's no need to hire an accountant or bookkeeper when there are plenty of accounting software programs available that can do the job for you. When choosing accounting software for your business, be sure to compare features and prices before making a decision.
Marketing Your Business
Once your business is up and running, it's time to start marketing it. Entrepreneur Handbook points out that there are numerous ways to market your business, both online and offline. You can start by creating social media accounts and developing a marketing strategy that works for you.
Whatever type of marketing you decide to do, you’ll need eye-catching images that promote your products or services. A graphic designer is a great resource for this task, since you can collaborate on ideas and they can bring your vision to life. Keep in mind that if you’re emailing images back and forth, large JPG files can be difficult to send, but compressing them reduces their quality. Going from JPG to PDF is a good idea so you can more easily send high-quality files, and you can even use a tool to transfer multiple JPGs into one PDF file.
Starting a small business can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and execution, it can be done successfully. If you're thinking about starting a small business in the Cumberland Valley, use these tips as a guide to help you get started on the right foot. And remember, even if things don't go exactly as planned at first, don't give up – success takes time, patience, and perseverance!
Join the Cumberland Valley Business Alliance to connect with local entrepreneurs and resources that can help your business grow. Contact us today for more information! 717-264-7101
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