5 Steps To Launch Your Business

Business

So you're ready to launch your business. Starting a business is exciting and overwhelming. You might be wondering where to start. There's so much to do. Keep reading . . . we've got 8 steps you need to start your business.

Before you start reading, grab your own copy of The Ultimate Launch Your Business Checklist. It's a 5-page checklist for everything you need to get started.

Decide What Your Business Will Sell

An obvious step one, but worth mentioning since there are a few things to consider.

You might have several ideas or none. If you have several ideas, use the chart below (made popular by Guy Kawasaki) to gauge which idea has the highest potential to be successful.

How to start a business


If you’re in the “I have no idea what to do but I want to have my own business” camp, here are some questions you can ask yourself to drum up some ideas:

  • What are you good at?
  • What energizes you?
  • What could you talk about for hours and never get bored of?
  • What do friends/family ask you to do for them because you’re good at it?
  • At work, what do you often get asked to do that isn’t directly within your job description? 

As you come up with ideas, use the chart above to see where they land in terms of uniqueness and value. Whatever lands in the upper right quadrant has the highest probability of success. 

Name Your Business

A lot of new business owners overthink how their business name sounds or if it has some abstract meaning to it and they underthink if it’s practical. Here are the necessary, practical considerations when naming your business:

  • Don’t use a misspelling. For example, “Your Trayner” instead of “Your Trainer”. No one is going to remember how you decided to spell a common word wrong. 
  • Do a google search to see if someone else in your field/industry has the same name. If you want to sell cookies under the same name as a manufacturer of fire retardants, go for it. But not if they sell cupcakes. Then check with the clerk’s office to make sure it’s not already in use by a company that’s nonexistent online (like a D.B.A.)
  • Check social media handles. Is the name available? If not, can you make something similar that can still be highly recognizable as your company?
  • Don’t let the name of your company box you in. If you sell cookies today, you might want to also sell cake pops in 5 years. If you named your company Debra’s Cookies, you have a problem. 
  • Don’t use numbers. You’ll forever be clarifying if it’s “5” or “five”.
  • Do a quick google search. What ranks for that word? You might learn that it’s also the name of a common disease. Have fun outranking that on Google. (True story.)
  • One word is ideal. Three is too much.
  • Make it easy to pronounce, easy to spell, and easy to say.

Purchase Your Domain

Your domain is your web address. When you purchase your domain, it gives you the right to put whatever your heart desires on that domain. It does NOT store your data. That’s called hosting and is a separate monthly cost. 

You can purchase your domain from a million places. GoDaddy, BlueHost, and Host Gator are all very common. Pick one. And don’t pay more than $20 a year for your domain. If your domain is listed for $2000, you’re getting taken by a domain squatter. Google that term for more info on that. 

Get Your Email, Mailing Address, And Phone Number

You need a business email address. Please do not use mybusiness@gmail.com. That’s not a business email address. Go set up an account with Google Workspace for $6/month. 

Then get yourself a business mailing address from iPostal1. Do not, I repeat, do not use a PO Box. Google will shadow ban you. I know. I learned the hard way. I had to beg Google to let me back into its graces. It flags you as a scammer. 

Last, get yourself a free Google Voice number. Done.

Make It Official. File For An LLC.

File for an LLC with your local office. The price varies from state to state. It hurts to pay a couple hundred dollars (or more) for a piece of paper. You need it. Do it. 

Remember this: an LLC is how you are registered with the state. It does NOT determine how you file for taxes. I won’t go into it here, but I do suggest going to the college of Google to learn the different ways you can file your taxes as an LLC. 

Request An EIN From IRS

EIN stands for employer identification number. While it may sound like you need to have employees to get an EIN, you don’t. It’s the same concept as a social security number. It’s a 9-digit number that IRS uses to identify your business. If you don’t have this, you have to use your social security number when you file for taxes. You want to keep personal separate from business. Trust. And, it’s free. 

Get Yourself A D-U-N-S Number

Also free. You get this number from Dun & Bradstreet. It’s super easy to request and is assigned in a matter of days. The beauty of a D-U-N-S number is you start building business credit. 

Get A Business Checking Account

Again, don’t mix personal with business. Keep it separate. 

And now you're ready for the next step of your business.