Starting a business can feel quite overwhelming. In this episode, Rowell and I share how we got started, what we have learn from going through the process and give you guys some tips on what needs to be done when starting up a consultancy business.
What to do to start
Here is a list of things you can do before registering the business:
- Perform a market study to help you study the competition and see if there is a place for your on the market you are targeting
- Choose a name and make sure that there is an available relevant domain name
- Have an idea of how you are going to be making money
- Work on a basic business plan. It can be basic at first and it will evolve in time.
Here is a list of things to do to register the business:
- The process varies depending on where you live
- In Ontario, Canada, you can do it online via third party companies. They take care of doing the paperwork and it costs about $400 CAD. I registered my business as a corporation. (Inc.)
- In California, dba is needed to start as a sole proprietor. You can expand further to an LLC. Registration process can vary per state.
- LLC in California costs $800/year
- Filing fee is $20
- Then there are additional permits
What to do once the business is registered
Here is a list of things you will have to do once the business is registered:
- Open a bank account
- Separate your personal and business finances
- Apply for a business credit card. They will ask you for your personal credit score.
- Don’t take on a loan if you don’t absolutely need it. If you start a consultancy business, you will probably not need it.
- Insure your equipment
- Insure your business (Liability insurance & Errors and Omissions) (about $60mo)
- Health insurance (Optional)
- Leverage your spouse’s health insurance
- Learn how to do the books at first
- CPA is a must when you start earning more income
- I use a company called Legalshield. I pay monthly and have access to a lawyer whenever I need. Additional charges may apply for some advanced services.
- Rowell: Used a company called Incfile.
- Finance Software
- Keep track of invoices
- Keep track of taxes
- We use Quickbooks
- In the US, take advantage of SBA and SCORE
- SBA: Small Business Administration offers free small business consulting and other free resources
- SCORE: offers free small business mentors and education
Work on the branding
Here is a list of things you can do work on the branding of your new company:
- Define your business values: Find 3 core values you want your business to be known for
- Stick to these values in everything you do!
- Business Branding
- Work on your company website
- Work on a logo
- Work on a graphical color chart
- Work on a document template (Word, PPT)
- Doing charity work or volunteer work
- Social Media
- Create your pages on relevant social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
- Try to publish regularly (leverage tools such as buffer to automate it)
- Personal Branding (in case of a consultancy business)
- Social Media
Here are some books we have read along the way and had helped us in different form along our journey of being a business owner. The links below may be affiliate links. If you’d like to support the Podcast, a portion of the sales, if purchased through our link, will come back to the Podcast.
- The Business Plan Generation by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
- The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek:
- Outliers by Malcom Gladwell:
- Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
- Never Split the Difference by Michael Kramer
- The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business by Elaine Pofeldt
- Company of One by Paul Jarvis
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
Finally, here is the presentation I gave a couple years ago at WLPC talking about working as an independent consultant:
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