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Self-Employment 101: A Guide to Starting the Process

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Are you considering taking the path of entrepreneurship but feeling unsure where to begin? Well, you’re in the right place! Our guide below will go over some tips for starting the process of your self-employment journey and joining the 16 million Americans who identify as self-employed.

Keep reading to learn more about being self-employed.

Identify Your Passions and Interests

When you start a business, you have the chance to turn what you’re passionate about into a profitable venture. First, you will need to take some time to do some self-reflection. Think about what activities you enjoy and what you’re truly passionate about.

Also, think about the problems you enjoy solving, either for yourself or others. Most businesses emerge from addressing certain challenges. So, if there’s a problem you’re passionate about solving, this could be your starting point for your business venture.

Once you have some things in mind, it’s time to conduct some market research. You want to explore niches and industries that already exist. The goal is to find any gaps where your idea can fit in and help others.

Create a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is a critical step in starting any business. Briefly describe your business idea, its unique value proposition, and the problem it solves. Outline your short and long-term objectives and what you aim to achieve with the business.

You also want to define the purpose and mission of your business. Think about the legal structure of your business. The most common choices are sole proprietorship, LLC, and partnership.

It’s also important to analyze the industry your business will operate in and its current trends. Define your target audience and their specific needs in your business plan. You will also have to do a competitor analysis, where you evaluate who your competitors are along with their strengths and weaknesses.

Your business plan will need a section where you write all the details about your product or service. Highlight what makes your business product unique and different from anything else out there.

There should also be a section for your implementation plan. Create a timeline for launching your business where you include key milestones. Write down the tasks and responsibilities for you to implement the plan.

Keep in mind that the business plan you create will continue to evolve as you get started. You want to revisit this and adjust the plan as needed. Think of this plan as your roadmap that will help with day-to-day operations and even securing funding.

Legal and Practical Considerations

Once you have a business name and have decided on which legal structure is best, you will need to register your business. Depending on where you live, there are certain local, state, and federal authorities you will need to follow to stay legit. This is also where you have to see if your industry or location requires certain licenses or permits to operate legally.

For example, if your business deals with food, public health, or hazardous materials, you might need specific health and safety permits. If your business impacts the environment, then you will more than likely need environmental permits.

You can’t forget about Uncle Sam because self-employment taxes are a must to avoid any fines or legal issues in the future. You will have to keep track of all your income and expenses. It’s also a smart idea to estimate quarterly taxes because it will help you not fall behind when tax season comes around.

We recommend setting up an accounting system to help you manage all the money that comes in and out for business purposes. If you don’t have the time or are not good with finances, then you might want to consider hiring an accountant. There’s also the option to use accounting software that is linked to your bank account that does most of the sorting for you.

If you have a brand name, logo, or product that you feel people can easily use as their own, you might want to consider protecting it through copyrights and trademarks. Also, if you deal with sensitive information, then you want to use confidentiality agreements to help safeguard your data.

Marketing and Branding

The foundation of your business image is your brand identity. Part of your brand identity is your business logo, name, typography, and color scheme. The more consistent you are with these elements, the more you will create a strong and memorable presence where people start to associate your colors with your business.

For example, most people think of Target when they see red circles or Starbucks when they see a certain shade of green. The reason is that these brands have been very consistent with their color scheme throughout the years.

When you are working on your marketing, you want to identify what your unique selling proposition (USP) is. These are the things that set your business apart from the competition. When you highlight your own USP, it will help customers understand why they choose your products or services instead of your competitors.

You have to understand your target audience so that you can speak to them through your marketing. During your research, you have to identify where your target audience likes to spend their time. The goal is to show up where they are hanging out so that you can reach them.

This includes speaking to your target audience through social media platforms. This is a great place to meet and speak to your target audience.

Now You’re Familiar With Starting the Process

Taking on the task of becoming your own boss can be both exciting and challenging at the same time. Sometimes you will find yourself working a lot more than a 40-hour work week, but it’s satisfying because you are doing it for your own company instead of growing someone else’s company. As you can see, starting the process doesn’t have to be complicated.

Did our article help you out? We have more helpful guides, so make sure you check out the rest of our business section.

This article is published by NYTech in collaboration with Syndication Cloud.

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