Once you’ve gone through the steps outlined in Session 1, you are all set up with a legitimate business! However, there are still a few loose ends to tie up before you start taking clients, so let’s go ahead and discuss what’s left.
1. Set up a business banking account
It's important to always remember to separate your personal account from your business account. Depending on the type of business structure that you set up, there are potential legal implications if you are ever audited and it appears that you are using your business for personal expenses. Starting a business banking account is typically free to start, and the bank can also help you get set up with a business debit and credit card.
2. Apply for a business credit card to help you make initial purchases that you need to get your office ready.
If you don’t have a business card yet, you can personally pay with your own personal accounts and indicate later in your taxes that you made a personal contribution as the business owner to your expenses.
Please note: Check with your accountant on how to appropriately indicate this on your taxes!
3. Get a credit card reader so you can accept payments through credit card or debit card.
Research the readers your bank has to offer and other well-known companies. Typically, there is a 3% transaction fee associated with each charge, and most readers can attach to your smart device (like your phone or tablet) and don’t require batching at the end of the day.
One great option is Square: they will send you a free reader and also have a great online invoicing feature if you want people to pay for a service upfront.
4. Set up a business email.
Having a professional business domain email is definitely recommended to help project your business image (i.e. @yourbusiness.com instead of @gmail.com).
5. Take professional photos.
First impressions are so important, so having high-quality photos that help potential clients see who you are will make your initial interactions more personable and relatable. Many websites now showcase more lifestyle photos, instead of head shots where you are looking directly into the camera. This helps capture more of your personality and helps them picture who you are in your element.
6. Set up a website
A web presence is usually one of the first places that people will look up to know more about your business. Getting a basic website up and running is a necessary component of doing business in this modern age, here are a few tips on your options:
- Click here to read the steps in building your own website if want to create your own DIY website.
- If time is an issue or you want to invest in developing a more polished brand on your website, consider in investing in professional web design. For example, WellSeek and our creative marketing partner LR Creative offer web design packages that can help you save time on getting a beautifully-designed, professional site built. Brand development is an essential component for having a cohesive website to target your ideal audience (which we talk about in Module 5). If you aren't able to spend time or money to develop your brand, at a minimum, get a basic website up first and improve it as you go. It will always be a work in process!
- Don't wait to have a full-fledged website in order to have a web presence! Create a single cover business page with some basic contact information, social media links, and form to capture email sign-ups of those who are interested in your business. You will still have a place for people to land on and stay up-to-date with your progress, even as you’re getting your site up and running!