Have you ever considered turning your passion project into a viable business? You totally can, but first you have to make sure your business and brand look legit – which leads to more sales. You want people to trust that you’ll deliver the goods, and the quickest way to start earning that trust is to establish your brand.
Here are some tips that will help you hit the ground running.
Start with the name: Choose a name and corresponding URL for your business, ensuring that it’s unique and available. Check popular domain sites like GoDaddy or SquareSpace to ensure the site name is available – and get creative if you need to (i.e., use a hyphen, put part of your business name in the URL). Poll your friends and family if you need to help selecting a name that fits.
Look the part: Once you have a name, create a logo and website that helps you stand apart from the competition and is a reflection of your business. Sites like 99designs can help you easily and affordably develop your brand identity and the collateral to look the part.
Make it legal: File for a business license with your province and get a tax ID number as a sole proprietorship. Or use a legal services site like Rocket Lawyer or Legal Zoom to create an LLC or S-Corp, along with a corresponding tax ID number.
Get paid: Open a business checking account to keep business and personal expenses separate, and leverage simple invoicing apps like Invoice2go, which save you from having to do paperwork on nights and weekends, while also enabling you to invoice your customers IMMEDIATELY so you get paid faster and improve cash flow.
Start networking: Update your LinkedIn profile, send an email to your network, start a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account for your company and start getting your business out into the world. Let people know what you’re doing!