50 Tips for Starting Your Own Company

50 Tips for Starting Your Own Company

Starting your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s stressful and pretty much demands your complete focus. On the plus side, it can also be a fulfilling experience professionally and personally.Here are 50 tips on how to make your business come to life:

1. Do a self-inventory.

Not everyone has what it takes to start a company. That’s not to say that your idea is not brilliant, but are you ready for all the chores that come with it, like cold calling prospects and invoicing them until you’re paid when you start getting clients? It just means that you may not have the personality traits to handle launching a company of your own.

Before investing any time or resources, evaluate yourself and see if you have some the typical traits of an entrepreneur. Are you motivated, able to adapt and confident? Are you resilient?

2. Develop an idea.

Don’t just start a business because something is in vogue and you think commercializing it will make money. Develop a business concept that you’re passionate about related to something that you have experience with. From there, come up with a product or service that you believe can enhance the people’s lives.

3. Test the plausibility.

Once you’ve settled on an idea, figure out how you can make it become a reality. Is the product or service something that people want or need? Can you make a profit selling it? Does the product work?

4. Write a business plan.

A solid business plan will guide you going forward, even if your plan is to be just a solopreneur or freelancer. It’s also needed for presenting your idea to potential investors. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, an executive summary, a service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the cost of the operation. Learn about how to write a business plan at SBA.gov.

5. Identify your market.

Even though you may have detected some interest in your business, you need to do more homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to make a purchase. Perform a competitive assessment.

6. Determine the costs.

Do additional research and find out the standard cost factors within this industry. Not only will this help you manage your business more effectively, investors will want to know this.

7. Establish a budget.

Once you determine how much money you’ll have to work with, figure out how much it will take to develop your product or service and create a marketing plan.

8. Find the right investors.

You’re going to need some sort of funding to start off, whether from your savings, credit cards, loans, grants or venture capitalists. Find an investor who shares your passion, someone you believe you can work with.

9. Listen to investors.

Whether you like it, investors do have a say in your company. And you need to listen to their advice or suggestion. But that doesn’t mean you have to do what they tell you.

10. Set up a great support system.

You’re going to be investing a lot of time and resources into your new business venture. Be certain that your family is on board. They must be aware that this process will be challenging financially and emotionally.

11. Determine the legal structure.

Settle on which form of ownership is best for you: a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, an S corporation, a nonprofit or a cooperative. Find out more at SBA.gov.

12. Select a business name.

Decide on a name that best suits your business. Then check to see if the domain name is available online, as well as if it’s free to use in your county, state and in the country.

13. Register your business name.

If your proposed business name is available, register it with the county clerk, have it trademarked at the state and federal levels and secure a domain name.

14. Take advantage of free resources.

Numerous free resources can offer advice, training and assistance. SBA.gov is a great place to look at to find local resources.

15. Determine tax obligations.

Now it’s time to wrestle with the tax obligations. In the United States, four basic types of business taxes arise: income, self-employment, taxes for employees and excise taxes.

16. Secure permits and licenses.

According to NOLO, you’ll have to pick up a federal employment identification number(unless the company is a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company without employees.) Apply for state licenses. Pick up a local tax registration certificate. File for local permits, if required, such as a conditional use permit or zoning variance.

17. Buy insurance.

Make sure that you arrange for the proper insurance for your business. This will vary according to the type of business. If you’re working from home be sure that your homeowner’s insurance covers theft or damage to business assets, as well as liability for any business-related injuries.

18. Set up the books.

Figure out if you’re using a cash or accrual system, determine the fiscal year for the business and set up a recordkeeping system.

19. Choose a business location.

Select a location that best fits the needs of your business, one that offers an opportunity for growth, the right level of competition and proximity to suppliers. It should also be accessible to customers.

20. Don’t worry about an office.

If you’re not making any revenue, then don’t concern yourself with an office or warehouse ust yet.

21. A patent can wait.

Patents can cost thousands of dollars. Wait to pursue this route until you have a few customers paying the bills. A patent is less useful if you can’t enforce it or have the money to see it through.

22. Be flexible.

Chances are that your original idea will have to be modified. Being able to pivot and adapt to create what customers want will determine if your business will fail or succeed.

23. Share your ideas with friends and family.

Your nearest and dearest will most likely be the most honest with you about your business. Don’t hesitate to seek their advice and suggestions.

24. Ignore the naysayers.

At the same time, there’s a difference between constructive criticism and someone’s quick jab projecting that your business will fail. Follow the example of French Internet mogul Xavier Niel and ignore them.

Related: When Angel Investors Reject Your Plan

25. Don’t become angry.

If your idea is rejected by customers or investors, don’t just succumb to anger. Find out what they didn’t like, make adjustments and go back to them when you’ve made the changes. There’s the possibility that the timing was wrong as well.

26. Deliver the product or service fast.

Your business is a work in progress and if you launch your product or service quickly, you will be able to build a community of customers who can provide valuable feedback that can help you improve the offerings. In the words of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, “If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve released too late

27. Offer new products or services.

If you already have customers, be sure to hold on to them by providing new products or services.

28. Be patient.

Always keep in mind that success won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take some time before you make a profit.

29. Overdeliver at first.

Once you land a new client, be sure to go above and beyond the call of duty for at least the first month. You’ll have this customer hooked from then on.

Related: The Web Is a Content War. Here’s How to Win. (Infographic)

30. Blog all the time.

Don’t be ashamed to share both your triumphs and struggles. Customers will enjoy your honesty.

31. Avoid fights with partners

If you have disagreements with partners, then sever ties as soon as possible. In-house bickering will prevent you from focusing on growing the business.

32. Don’t worry about dilution.

So an investor has required a stake in the company. Recognize the fact that eventually at one point or another you’ll have to give up some control of the business. Accept it and move on.

33. Hire a copywriter.

Unless you’re an excellent writer, hire a copywriter to compose emails for highly targeted customers. A copywriter will also prove handy for press releases and other pieces to spread brand awareness or provide business updates.

Related: 7 Taboos of Business Pitching

34. Prepare for meetings.

When preparing for a meeting with a client, read up on everything that’s available, steeping yourself in information about the industry, that firm’s employees and its competition.

35. Don’t fear the competition.

Don’t bad-mouth the competition when talking to investors or customers. There’s no need to become an object of pity. In fact, talking in this manner might even point customers to a competitor who may offer a product or service that you don’t. Remember, when competition exists, there’s a market for your business. Use that knowledge as inspiration to outperform a rival.

36. Benefit from word-of-mouth.

Nothing beats some good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. Let friends, family members and influencers in your field spread the word about your product or service.

37. Network.

Don’t be afraid to get out there and show your face to the public, whether at a conference or just being out and about with friend on a Friday night. But try to stay local because travel can dwindle your budget.

38. Provide outstanding customer service.

Interacting with people is a big part of the job. Your business may gain new customers because you made them feel important. For example, Zappos wasn’t the first online store to sell shoes, but the company perfected its customer-service department and won over shoppers.

39. Be sure your website functions.

Potential customers want to know as much about your business as possible and they should be able to quickly access that kind of information on your website.

40. Don’t be overly concerned by the economy.

Some of the best businesses have launched during a recession. In fact, half of the Fortune 500 companies listed in 2009 were founded during such times, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

41. Make sure clients pay their bills.

Always be certain to receive payment for your products or services. Instead of being taken advantage of of, establish a time frame for payment. It also wouldn’t hurt to accept credit cards and have an online payment system set up.

42. Find the right employees.

Hire the right people for the job. Even though it’s your business, you won’t be skilled at every task, which is why you need qualified people to complete the work.

43. Assign responsibilities.

Eelegate attainable tasks to employees. This is all about effective management.

44. Know that honesty is the best policy.

If any issues with employees emerge, be sure that they are addressed. No one enjoys being talked about behind their back.

45. Remember that opposites attract.

Hire people with skills and personalities that are the opposite to yours. They’ll challenge you and will bring different skills and talents to the business that you don’t.

46. Say goodbye to your social life.

You’re going to spend a lot of time devoted to the business. Even if you plan a night out, you may leave early because a lightbulb just went off. Hopefully those closest in your life will understand.

47. Recognize that you’ll be the final person to be paid.

As the CEO, you’re the last to collect a check. That’s just how it works until there’s adequate revenue.

48. Arrive at a useful definition of success.

Just because your business hasn’t made you a millionaire (yet) doesn’t mean that your enterprise is a failure. If you’re able to make some sort of profit doing something that you’re passionate about, isn’t that a success story?

49. Realize when it’s time to move on.

Failure is inevitable. If things aren’t working out and you’ve done all you can, then put aside your pride and close up shop. Something like this is not easy to accept. But it’s for the best.

50. Don’t just rely on the advice of others.

Despite my offering up all of these tips for you, perhaps the most important piece of advice is something learned the hard way: While many people may offer a startup assiistance, recognize that in the end you’re the person running the show and the one responsible for the company’s success and failure. If you understand what worked and what didn’t, you’ll burnish the skills and knowledge to run your business.

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50 Tips for Starting Your Own Company



Concurso de Innovación con Nano Partículas de Cobre Chilenas, abrirá su convocatoria en septiembre

Concurso de Innovación con Nano Partículas de Cobre Chilenas, abrirá su convocatoria en septiembre

Nano Copper Challenge es el primer concurso nacional de innovación con nano partículas de cobre chilenas, iniciativa que busca promover la aplicación de nano partículas de cobre para el desarrollo de nuevos negocios con alto valor agregado.

Este concurso convocará a investigadores y emprendedores que estén desarrollando investigaciones, prototipo o productos en base a nano partículas de cobre con un claro fin comercial.


Como parte del concurso, en una primera etapa, los proyectos que resulten seleccionados recibirán apoyo de mentores vinculados a la industria capaces de resolver dudas técnicas y comerciales, además de US$ 1.000 en nano partículas para el desarrollo de los prototipos y pruebas técnicas.

Los proyectos ganadores recibirán US$10.000 equivalentes en nano partículas para que realicen su primera producción a escala comercial.

Esta iniciativa organizada por G Process y Nano Wings, comenzará su convocatoria en septiembre de este año y ya cuenta entre sus alianza estratégicas con el apoyo de importantes representantes del mundo startup y la academia.

Contacto: concurso@nanowings.cl

South Florida is No. 1 in the U.S. for new startup activity, study shows

South Florida is No. 1 in the U.S. for new startup activity, study shows

Step aside, Austin, Texas. Startup activity is bigger in Miami.

So says the Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 Index of Startup Activity, which measures new business creation. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area ranked No. 1 among the 40 largest metro areas in the U.S., after two years of following Austin, the report released Thursday showed. The Kauffman Foundation, based in Kansas City, develops and funds global research and programs in entrepreneurship.

For the annual ranking, Kauffman’s analysts parsed government data from 2016 to determine the rate of entrepreneurs opening businesses in any given month, including the self-employed, and whether they are starting businesses because of the market opportunity rather than out of necessity. The index also measure startup density, or the number of newly created businesses that employ at least one other person per 1,000 companies.

To take the top spot, the Miami metro area ticked up in opportunity share and rate of new entrepreneurs and ticked down in startup density since the year earlier. Still, Miami’s density was second-highest in the nation, behind Las Vegas. Kauffman’s index was significantly enhanced and expanded two years ago, but over the past decade the immigrant-rich Miami area typically has ranked in the top five nationally for new business creation in Kauffman’s research.

“We saw a big increase in the Miami metro area of people who are trying their hands at entrepreneurship full time,” said Arnobio Morelix, senior research analyst at the Kauffman Foundation and one of the authors of the report. “We also see an increase in opportunity driven businesses, though it is not among the highest in the nation for this indicator.”

However, this index solely focuses on new business creation and is limited in what it shows about the entrepreneurship ecosystem. “Taking a broader view, if you look at startup activity in Miami, its new venture creation, it’s incredibly high. When we look at growth entrepreneurship, pretty low,” Morelix said.

He is talking about Kauffman’s Growth Entrepreneurship Index released last June, which measured the rate of growth in companies’ first five years, the share of scale-ups that reached at least 50 employees by year 10, and high-growth company density, or the number of private businesses with at least $2 million in annual revenue and three consecutive years of 20 percent annual revenue growth. The results of the growth index for Miami were sobering: Instead of near the top, the area ranked second from the bottom for growth among the 40 biggest metro areas in that study.

“What the data shows us is that there is strong new firm creation but not a lot of those companies are reaching high levels of growth by employees or revenue,” Morelix said. “They are getting stuck … The gap between startups and growth is the most pronounced in the country. What it tells me is if I want to increase the entrepreneurship performance overall, I would be thinking a lot about the scale-up environment, including access to talent and access to capital.”

To be sure, several organizations are sharply focused on accelerating scale-ups, including the Knight FoundationEndeavor Miami, new accelerators and investment groups such as AGP Miami. South Florida universities have been ramping up entrepreneurship programs and focusing on priming the tech talent pipeline as well. And while these groups acknowledge that there is still much work to do, this year has brought an increase in fund-raising and news of two multi-billion deals: the acquisition of Chewy.com and the creation of Cyxtera. The next Kauffman growth index comes out in the fall.

In the 2017 Kauffman Index: Startup Activity released Thursday, following Miami and No. 2 Austin were Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, San Antonio, New York, Phoenix, Houston and Denver. Kauffman’s data is industry-agnostic, so the businesses created range from high-growth tech startups to mom-and-pop shops and eateries and small service businesses in all industries.

Nationally, the key finding was that new-business activity inched up after two years of sharp increases from the lowest level of startup activity in two decades, said Morelix. About 30 percent of all new entrepreneurs are immigrants in 2016, the highest level in two decades. “Immigrants are twice as likely as the native born to start new companies.”

While this report did not break out demographics on a metro area level, another recent Kauffman study showed the top five metros with the highest percentage of immigrant-owned businesses of all ages with employees are San Jose, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

As for state trends, Florida ranked third, following Texas and California, in the Startup Activity index. The Tampa Bay area ranked 18th, Orlando ranked 22nd and Jacksonville ranked 30th. But like Miami, the state also ranks poorly for growth entrepreneurship, as it did in last year’s Kauffman study and in Bloomberg’s 2016 U.S. State Innovation Index released in January, which ranked Florida in the bottom third of states.

The new report, as well as other indexes, are available at kauffmanindex.org.

What Makes New Orleans a Startup City to Rival the “Big Three”

What Makes New Orleans a Startup City to Rival the “Big Three”

Source: HBR.org

There’s a great irony when you consider that the “Big Three” cities for entrepreneurship — San Francisco/San Jose, Boston, and New York — are some of the most difficult places in the U.S. to live on the sort of shoestring budget that startups demand. Nonetheless, they are home to “about half the VC firms and an equal percentage of the U.S.-based companies that they finance,” according to a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. This gravitational pull has historically given these cities an upper hand, making it difficult for smaller cities to compete, but as the surge in entrepreneurial activity and migration of talent around the country continues, investors and influencers are starting to look elsewhere for great entrepreneurs.

With nearly every metropolis vying to become the next Silicon Valley, New Orleans would rather become a better version of itself: the next New Orleans.

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, New Orleans was a place where too many people accepted that the city’s zenith had passed over 150 years ago. After the storm, a group of young entrepreneurs and emerging leaders banded together, first in tragedy, then in rebuilding, and then in reinvention. New Orleanians new and old returned to their city with a newfound sense of urgency, and they began to look at some of those decades-old problems that had dogged the city with fresh eyes, whether in education, transportation, food service, or music. Katrina allowed one of America’s most historic places to reimagine itself as a startup city. This quickly attracted entrepreneurial talent eager to find their place in the Crescent City’s renaissance. Now, New Orleans is being recognized as a hub of innovation, with a rate of business startups 64% higher than the national average.

Considerable ink and air time have been devoted to analyses attempting to pinpoint the driving force behind the positive momentum, with the conclusions falling predictably into one of two categories: resilience or reform. Yes, both have played a role in making the city a less risky base for businesses. But these factors alone do not explain the dramatic turnaround.


Most established startup hubs have image issues. Millennials in particular see them as either prohibitively expensive, culturally devoid, or both. But New Orleans offers both culture and an affordable cost of living. With world-renowned food and live music scenes, New Orleans is a city of rhythms and rituals, all organized around a unique cultural calendar. It’s that lure that brings in eager migrants from all over the country, and when they arrive they find not only the fun-loving and diversity-embracing culture they’ve heard so much about, but also the newfound energy that’s characterized a city determined not to fade into history.

This, coupled with relative affordability, makes it a place people want to call home.

In 2011, demographer Joel Kotkin developed a list of the U.S.’s “biggest brain magnets,” cities where college graduates are flocking, and New Orleans ranked at the top. His analysis revealed that the college-educated were looking for affordability, with “many ending up in places with lower housing prices. Areas with the highest-price housing experienced college-educated growth at a rate only 60% of those with more affordable real estate.” According to a CNN Money cost of living calculator using December 2015 figures from the Council for Community and Economic Research, the cost of housing in San Francisco is 227% higher than in New Orleans, groceries cost 25% more, and transportation costs 33% more. Similarly, housing in New York is 368% higher, and Boston is 95% higher. College graduates looking to move to an established hub may find that they either cannot afford it or do not want to pay the price to live in those places.

New Orleans recently earned its place as one of the “20 Hottest Startup Hubs in America” in a report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The city’s new status is why Lucid, a software company and global data platform that completed more than $100 million of sample transactions in 2015, is in New Orleans, along with Kickboard, a technology company helping to create smarter schools, and Smashing Boxes, a creative technology firm known for creating a lasting experience through bold design and disrupting the status quo.

It doesn’t take too many conversations with locals to realize that New Orleans has no interest in becoming San Francisco — but rather than stymying innovation, it’s that fierce sense of identity that has driven New Orleans in the post-Katrina era. The city developed a new atmosphere of inclusion and collaboration and a sense of unified purpose in those years, and that same drive is now pushing the city to places it’s never been before. It’s resilience, yes, but there is something more. New Orleans is a city with the confidence to remain itself even in an increasingly homogenous country.

Tim Williamson is founder and CEO of The Idea Village, an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship in New Orleans. The organization is producing the 8th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week March 11-18, 2016 in downtown New Orleans.

Start-up Visa: Canada

Start-up Visa: Canada

Hola, si desean emprender en Canada, les sugiero lo siguiente:

Start-up Visa

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada that can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale.

Do you have an innovative business idea? If you can get support for your idea from one of the designated organizations, you may be able to immigrate to Canada.

There are many reasons why Canada is the best place to build your business. Canada’s advantages include:

  • a strong economy
  • low taxes and low business costs
  • excellence in research and innovation
  • a high quality of life

Determine your eligibility

Find out if you are eligible to get a Start-up Visa and immigrate permanently to Canada.


Follow the steps to apply for a Start-up Visa.

Check processing times

Find out how long it will take CIC to process your application.

After you apply: next steps

Learn what you should do after you apply to come to Canada as an immigrant entrepreneur.

Prepare for arrival

Be prepared and know what to expect when you arrive in Canada.