Is 2018 The Year You Launch Your SideHustle?

starting your own business

Many of us aspire to having our own business, or at least a sidehustle that brings in some extra cash. So why haven’t you started working on it?  Fact is, years seem to fly by ever more quickly.  So December 31, 2018 is going to be here in eleven very quick months. Eleven months that you’ll look back on and ask, “where did it go?”

Rather than find yourself at the end of 2018 and had yet another year of your life tick off with nothing to show but a pile of rent receipts and paystubs, maybe it’s time to act.  Now.  So take that budding business idea you’ve got and do something with it.  Here’s how to start.

Check Out Your Idea

It’s natural to think that your idea is the next big thing.  Or at least something that will be profitable. But is it, really?  Do some investigation by:

  • Asking friends if they’d buy it.
  • Checking to see if it’s been done, or is now being done.
  • Do a cursory check on similar businesses to see if your idea has already been patented or there’s someone else already doing it.

Once you’ve done these preliminaries, it’s time to take the next step.  Picking a business or product name.

Pick a Business Name

If you’re going to open a weekend shop at the local swap meet or craft market, this might be easy.  “Ashley Smith dba My Creations” might do.  If it’s a product or service that’s going to be more widely sold and used, you’ll probably want to do a little homework on name selection.

Check out what other similar businesses in other cities are named.  Remember, it’s generally okay to use a similar name as long as it’s slightly different.  So, for example, suppose you’d like to use “Widgets and Things” but it’s already out there.  Instead, you might use “Widgets, Wonders, And Things.”

Where ever you’re located, the local city, county, or state will keep a registry of businesses.  Once you have a name selected, registering a limited company, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship is just a matter of filling out the forms.  Those can usually be found online.

Get Necessary Licenses and Documents

Depending on where you are, and the form of your business, you’ll need to get applicable licenses.  If you’re anything  other than a sole proprietor, you’ll also need to decide on and often file with the government the document that legally create your business entity.

Decide whether you want to set up your business as a sole proprietor, a partnership, or some other business form that is used where you reside. Each form has distinct liability and tax implications.  You may want to consult a lawyer and accountant if you’re not sure what’s best for your situation.

Get A Web Presence

In today’s connected world of the internet and social media, there’s virtually no business that cannot benefit from having a web presence.  That doesn’t necessarily mean a website.  It might be as simple as a Facebook Business Page.

If you’ve got a large or even a modest number of Facebook friends, letting them know what you do is a great way to begin promoting your business. And having a distinct online business identity makes you look more professional to would-be customers or clients.

“Do It Now.”

Of course, there’s a lot more to starting and running a business, even if it’s just a sidehustle.  But these are the basics. What’s important is that you begin, today, to do what’s necessary to make your ideas and dreams a reality.

If not today, when?  It’s up to you.  Do it now!

Linda Allen

I'm a serial entrepreneur, with a resume that makes me look like a Jane of all trades. Pretty sure we are all reluctant Messiahs, travelling through life planting seeds where ever we can. Hopefully, most of mine have been good ones! MA from Miami University (Ohio, not Florida), BA from Cal State.

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