Why You Need a Business Plan

For a startup, it’s not enough to have concept for a company or an idea of what the next big product will be.

You need a business plan.

The Internet is ripe with different viewpoints on what should go into a business plan.  The plan itself should be customized to fit your business and you, the business owner. A business plan is not just a tool to help you get a loan, although it’s almost always a requirement for any lending institution or financer.

The essence of the idea that will drive your business’s success should be contained amongst the executive summary, business model description, charts, graphs and analytics, executive team intro and anything else that the gurus say should be included in a sound business plan.

In short, you should write the business plan for yourself.

A business plan gives you a practical roadmap for the life of your business. It forces you to think about the future, including how your business will grow, how you’ll deal with competition and how you’ll deal with lulls in business.

As a communication tool, it helps you to express your ideas and goals with employees, vendors, customers and mentors. This can be vital to your success because it gives them a practical outline of how you intend to achieve success in business.

Entrepreneur.com has a page with a ton of information about business plan basics, including samples and how-to’s, perfect for someone just starting out in business.

Of course there are other issues you should look into before starting any business. We make it our mission to make starting a business as easy as possible.  If you need information on incorporating your business, visit our website.

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Using Social Media to Position Yourself as a Thought Leader.

Recently, I came across an entry by Brad Feld on Huffington Post that changed my perspective on social media. The line Focus on becoming a thought leader in your space.” was the real takeaway for me.

In the old days (the 1990s), you’d have to be famous to be a thought leader. With some social media acumen, it’s fairly easy to get yourself found, read and positioned in your niche, which is a great opportunity for a new business owner.

The advent of blogs several years ago gave everyone the chance to become an author, and the evolution of social media gives every business owner a chance to promote their business. You can take it to the next level, though, by focusing your effort not on promoting the business, but becoming involved and driving conversation.

Focusing on why you do things is more important than how you do things. Social media is a great way to monitor conversations about your business and your industry. If you’re out there, responding to people, interacting on a consistent basis, you will attain that status as a thought leader.

A lot goes into starting a small business. We make it our mission to make it as easy as possible.  If you need information on incorporating your business, developing a website or creating a logo, visit our website.

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Incorporating in Illinois.

starting a business in IllinoisOur state incorporation series today focuses on the Land of Lincoln. Our website includes summary of our services, and what you’ll need to know to incorporate a business in Illinois.

 

Did you know?

Quick facts about Illinois business:

  • Illinois is the #1 state in machinery manufacturing.
  • 33 of the companies listed on Fortune 500 are located in Illinois.
  • 31.6% of all privately held firms in Illinois are owned by women.

Benefits of incorporating in Illinois

Illinois prides itself on business innovation and environmental issues, ranking #6 in installed wind power capacity, according to a report by Business Facilities.

According to the Small Business Administration, small business in Illinois accounts for 98% of the state’s employers and 48% of its private-sector employment.

Time and cost to incorporate in Illinois

The ease and speed with which a business is incorporated in Illinois can vary based on the company name and category of business activity. When incorporating an ordinary corporation or LLC, the average processing time is 15-20 business days. For an additional fee of $112, the state will expedite the process in three business days. The state’s fee to incorporate either an ordinary Illinois corporation is $175; an LLC is $500.

Direct Incorporation’s Illinois incorporation services

We offer three packages to assist you with incorporating in Illinois, with prices ranging from $149 to $773. For more information on our Illinois incorporation services, click on a link below.

  • Standard Package
  • Premier Package
  • Venture Package

Do you have questions about incorporating your business in Illinois? Please leave a comment below and I will try to answer them. Thanks!

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Incorporating Your Franchise.

Becoming a franchise owner can be profitable, if you have the right mindset. Buying into an established business plan with a recognizable name has both advantages and disadvantages.

I found an interesting article about franchises in Entrepreneur that advises asking 10 questions before entering into a franchise agreement.

In particular, the one thing that stood out was the part about the total cost of the franchise, which wisely pointed out costs of incorporation and legal fees. Each company is different, and you need to understand you will spend money franchisers will not discuss with you in any great detail.

At the risk of buying the lead, the most important thing you can do is incorporate a franchise properly. It is vital to protect yourself and your assets. Different states have different regulations, and your home state may require something vastly different that the state in which the parent company is located. Although those companies are established, and they feel comfortable in thinking their franchisees will succeed, history is no indicator of future success. Protect yourself.

If possible, speak with other franchise owners prior to committing to a franchise contract. Have your lawyer review the franchise agreement. Know your rights entering into the agreement.

Of course there are other issues you should look into before starting any business. We make it our mission to make it as easy as possible.  If you need information on incorporating your business, visit our website.

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Incorporating in Pennsylvania.

Doing business in PennsylvaniaWe’re visiting The Keystone State in our state incorporation series today. Our website includes a summary of our services, and what you’ll need to know to incorporate a business in Pennsylvania.

 

Did you know?
Quick facts about Pennsylvania:

* Pennsylvania is the world’s 15th biggest economy, ranking ahead of Australia and Switzerland.

* Six of 10 of major U.S. markets are within 500 miles of the state capital, Harrisburg.

* It ranks #3 in the country in number of colleges and universities, and is home to four of the top 50 universities in the U.S.

Benefits of incorporating in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a state that prides itself on business innovation and environmental issues, ranks #8 in installed solar capacity, and #6 in biotechnology strength, according to a report by Business Facilities.

According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses in Pennsylvania account for 98% of the state’s employers and 49% of its private-sector employment.

Time and cost to incorporate in Pennsylvania

The ease and speed with which a business is incorporated in Pennsylvania can vary based on the company name and category of business activity. When incorporating an ordinary corporation or LLC, the average processing time is three to four weeks. The state fee to incorporate either an ordinary Pennsylvania corporation or LLC is $125.

Direct Incorporation’s Pennsylvania incorporation services

We offer three packages to assist you with incorporating in Pennsylvania, with prices ranging from $149 to $773. For more information on our Pennsylvania incorporation services, click on a link below.

Do you have questions about incorporating your business in Pennsylvania? Please leave a comment below and I will try to answer them. Thanks! – Becky

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All work and no play? Here’s a fun game + 3 tips to coming up with a good business name.

By Becky, Public Relations at Direct Incorporation

We’re not all work and no play here at Direct Incorporation. That’s why I’m sharing a little game we found called “The Brand Game.” How many brands can you decipher from literal symbols? Share your score with us.

Okay, back to work. Here are 3 tips to coming up with a good business name.

  • Think like a customer. Choose a name that will appeal to the kind of customers you are trying to attract.
  • Think positive. Choose a name that conjures up good memories in consumers’ minds.
  • Think short. Delete names from your list that are long or hard to say.

For more helpful tips on naming your business, check out Entrepreneur’s article.

Need a logo for your new name? Contact Direct Incorporation for cost-effective logo creation services. Thanks!  – Becky

 

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Incorporating in New Jersey.

Start a business in New JerseyBy Becky, Public Relations at Direct Incorporation

Today for our state incorporation series, we’re visiting The Garden State to learn about what you need to know to incorporate a business in New Jersey.

Discover the benefits of incorporating in New Jersey.
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses in New Jersey account for 98% of the state’s employers and 51% of its private-sector employment. A state that prides itself on business innovation and environmental issues, New Jersey ranks #2 in installed solar capacity and #10 in biotechnology strength.

How much time and what is the cost to incorporate in New Jersey?
The ease and speed with which a business is incorporated in New Jersey can vary based on the company name and category of business activity. When incorporating an ordinary corporation or LLC, the average processing time is about two weeks. The state fee to incorporate either an ordinary New Jersey corporation or LLC is $125.

About Direct Incorporation’s New Jersey incorporation services.
Direct Incorporation offers three packages to assist you with incorporating in New Jersey, with prices ranging from $149 to $773. For more information on our New Jersey incorporation services, click on a link below.

Do you have questions about incorporating your business in New Jersey? Please leave a comment below and I will try to answer them. Thanks!  – Becky

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Direct Incorporation Press Release: Deep discount offered on Comprehensive Trademark Search & Report

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 20, 2011 — Direct Incorporation is offering a 30% discount on their Comprehensive Trademark Search & Report from now until the end of the year.

Clients who sign up before the end of the year will receive their Comprehensive Trademark Search & Report for the reduced price of $173, down from $243.

CEO Shannon Stahlin says he is reducing prices to make this service more accessible to new entrepreneurs. “Knowing whether your name is already being used by someone else is the first step to launching your product or service. We want to make sure our clients are starting off on the right foot”.

Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs find out that they unable to expand to a new area with their business or brand name because someone already has Common Law Rights to that business name. A Trademark Search will reveal this issue up front, before time, money and effort is put into building a trade name or brand.

Even if the name is available in the company’s home state, a Trademark Search will reveal if someone is using the name in any part of the country. This is an important step for entrepreneurs looking towards the future and expanding their business.

This special offer is available at this link: http://www.directincorporation.com/trademarks

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Baby boomers fastest growing segment of entrepreneurial growth.

Business Start-UpBy Becky, Public Relations at Direct Incorporation

Although high-profile businesses started by twenty-somethings get a lot of press, boomers make up the fastest growing segment of new business developers in the U.S.

There are several reasons why a seasoned professional would want to attempt a venture in mid-career.

* They’ve been shut out of a business or industry due to economic downturn
* They’re victims of age discrimination
* They’re turning a hobby into a business
* They’ve discovered a new passion and a way to make money doing it

These new entrepreneurs may have the drive and know-how to make it happen, but they may not know exactly what goes into creating a new business from the ground up. This is especially true of people who are entering into a new industry.

New business owners are so involved in making their business go, they don’t have time to dedicate to some of the legal and research issues that are also vital to the success of the business. And not to scare you, but those are the things that you shouldn’t let slide when entering into the world as an entrepreneur.

While technology makes everything faster, it also makes it impossible to keep up with what’s trending in business; the intricacies of incorporating in each state; ensuring the business is protected; how to promote; and the list goes on and on.

Our company’s mission is to make it easier to start a business. If you’re one of those people in start-up mode and need some advice on incorporating your business, visit our website for a complete list of our services.

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Incorporating in Georgia.

Incorporating a business in GeorgiaBy Maryann Lawrence, Startup Rep, Direct Incorporation

Today for our state incorporation series we’re visiting the Peach State to learn about what you need to know to incorporate a business in Georgia.

Discover the benefits of incorporating in Georgia.
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses in Georgia account for 98% of the state’s employers and 46% of its private-sector employment. It also ranks #5 in the Economic Growth Potential and #2 in Workforce Training Leaders, per a report by Business Facilities. The Georgia Department of Economic Development ranks Georgia #1 in the U.S. for Entrepreneurship, # 6 for best state in the U.S. in which to do business and #8 best state for business, careers and regulatory environment.

How much time and what is the cost to incorporate in Georgia?
The ease and speed with which a business is incorporated in Georgia can vary based on the company name and category of business activity. When incorporating an ordinary corporation or LLC, the average processing time is only 6-8 business days. The state fee to incorporate either an ordinary Georgia corporation or LLC is $100.

About Direct Incorporation’s Georgia incorporation services.
Direct Incorporation offers three package to assist you with incorporating in Georgia, with prices ranging from $149 to $773. For more information on our Georgia incorporation services, click on a link below.

Do you have questions about incorporating your business in Georgia? Please leave a comment below and I will try to answer them. Thanks!  – Maryann

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