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Phase 2: Business Startup For Minorities & Women

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Phase 2: Business Startup – Make Your Presence Known

Now, that you have completed all of the steps from the previous phase, we’re going to move on to Phase 2: Business Startup.  In fact, in this phase, you will create an actual physical and virtual presence for your business.  After all, creating a business presence not only separates the business from your personal activities; but gives your business a professional appearance.  In additional, it will result in others taking your business serious.



Business Address and Phone Number

Indeed, gaining a business address is one of the essential steps to establishing your business.  In fact, this is one of the first piece of information other companies, customers, clients and financial institutions look at when reviewing you company.  For example, banks will thoroughly investigate your business when applying for business credit; starting with your business address. Indeed, this is just one example of how your company address affects your business.

Actually, you want to create an image of a well put together business; and this can be done whether you are new or been operating for years.  Furthermore, there a several options when choosing a business address.  Of course, if your venture has a physical location ( store, restaurant, etc); that location will naturally become your business address.  However, for those who are more virtual with their services/products, you may need to be more creative.  Here are some adequate solutions:

Virtual Phone Number

A virtual phone number is a telephone number not directly associated to a telephone line. These numbers are often programmed to forward incoming calls to one of the pre-set telephone numbers chosen by the client; either Landline, Mobile or VoIP.  With a virtual phone number you can customize your greetings, create extensions and map out your IVR.  This is a great cost effective option.  But, I would not suggest services, such as Google Voice, Talk a Tone, etc

  • Phone.com – Plans start as low as $9.99/mo with over 40 standard feature. Plus 10 premium add-on features; including a live receptionist.
  • UniTel Voice – Starting at $9.99/mo with tons of standard features and the option of local, vanity and toll-free numbers

Virtual Address

Allows you to use an business shipping address to receive mail and other business deliveries.  With this option, you may not have an actual office space at this location. This is a great option if you are simply looking for a business mailing address and not looking for office space.  However, it would be best to stay away from mailing service locations, such as, FedEx store, P.O. Boxes, UPS store, etc.

iPostal1 – Virtual mailing address plans start at $9.99/mo and receive 2 FREE months when you purchase an annual plan.  Real U.S. business address and 24/7 digital access to mail items

Virtual Office

In short, a virtual office gives businesses a physical address and office-related services without the overhead of a long lease and administrative staff.  You have the corporate appearance without the high cost.  Not to mention, this option can grow as your business grows.

Opus Virtual Office – An All-Inclusive program with over 650 office location throughout the U.S. and plans as low as $99/mo. Plus, receive 1 FREE month when you purchase any 1 year plan

Co-working Space

Generally, a larger space with workstations rented by remote employees, freelancers, gig workers, consultants, and anyone else who may not have a central office—one space for one individual.  In most cases, the space offer amenities, such as, conference room, internet service, workstation, etc

Regus – Offering coworking, virtual offices, and office space solutions. Regus has a worldwide network of workspaces; serving all company sizes.

Domain/Website

Next, we need to create your online presence by claiming your company’s domain and building a website.  Claiming your domain and purchasing web hosting service is one of the most effective method of establishing an online presence.  Besides, web hosting generally includes the ability to create private emails with your purchased domain.  And believe me, when you are conducting business and corresponding with your private email speaks will volumes about your company. Also, a website can serve as the mecca of you company; servings multiple objectives.  For example, the website may be the initial contact someone will have with your company and can serve as the company’s first impression.  Therefore, you want to make sure you use resources to help you put your best foot forward.  Plus, the website effectively inform your audience the highlights of what you are offering and who you are as a business.

Namecheap – One of the leading domain registrar and web hosting companies.  Namecheap offers services at a very reasonable rate.  Web hosting included private emails

Wix – Offering domain registry, web hosting and private emails



Business Bank Accounts

The next step after creating your website is to open both a business checking and savings accounts.  There are several reason this step is imperative.  Opening a business definitely helps to separate personal from business expenses and can be used to analyze your revenue flow.  Furthermore, building a rapport with a financial institution can become beneficial at some point in your venture.  Lastly, you must have a business account before you can move forward in  obtaining your business certifications.

Huntington Bank – Huntington Bank has a very progressive small business program, with a number of services gear to assist in your business success.  Plus, Huntington is the #1 lender for the Small Business Administration

Obtain Your D-U-N-S Number 

The Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S Number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses.  Your D‑U‑N‑S Number is used as the starting point for any company’s Live Business Identity.  Ultimately, D‑U‑N‑S Numbers are often referenced by lenders and potential business partners to help predict the reliability and/or financial stability of the company in question.  In other words, treat your D‑U‑N‑S number and Dun & Bradstreet as you would your social security number and the three credit bureaus.  When applying for your D-U-N-S Number you will begin to see why completing the previous steps are so important.  You will definitely need to have your business address, phone number, email, website, etc to properly apply for a D-U-N-S number.

Online Business Registries (Optional)

Although online business registries are optional, they can absolutely be beneficial to your business.  Essentially, you are submitting your business location, contact information and website address to services such as, Google Maps, Yahoo, Bing and Yelp.



Conclusion

To sum up Phase 2: Business Startup, this phase is solely dedicated to creating a presence for your business.  You want to make sure you cover all the basis in providing constructive notice your business exist and insuring your business has it own identity.  Once again, I must stress the importance of following these steps and completing each step prior to moving on to the next phase.  In the next phase, we will outline how to obtain your business certifications and how they can be used to generate new revenue opportunities.

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