ABCs of Small Business Industry – M is for Marketing

We are onto M in our series, and this week we are looking at the marketing and public relations industry. Marketing and PR is often seen as a hard industry to break into. There are a lot of rival firms – some big and some small – and new businesses often have trouble figuring out how to stand out. But with a good amount of experience, the right contacts, and enough work ethic, it is possible for a company to succeed in the growing marketing and PR industry. marketing industry

What do you need to start a business in the marketing industry?

Most experts say that the most important factor to a new firm’s success is marketing experience. You need friends and contacts to really succeed. And while it is totally possible to build a successful business with no experience in the marketing industry, it’s really, really hard. There are a lot of lessons you learn about marketing and PR by working within the industry, and a major part of that industry is who you know. Networking is much more effective than cold-calling.

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Start your business for $11.11 today!

Ever wanted to start your own business? Well, today is your lucky day! We are celebrating 11/11 and Veteran’s Day by offering a deal to new and aspiring entrepreneurs. Today only, you can get a basic incorporation and limited liability company formation package, which is normally priced at $69, for just $11.11! Just use coupon code LUCKYBIZ when you check out.11/11 Promotion

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ABCs of Small Business Industry: I is for Insurance

This week we decided to cover a relatively broad small business sector – the insurance industry. Now, the insurance industry is a heavily regulated, slightly complex field to work in. There are tons of hoops that independent agents and brokers have to jump through before they are even allowed to open their doors. Insurance Industry But it is a vital industry – in some cases insurance is required by law – so a business could do quite well within it. So how do you start a company in the insurance industry? And is it worth all of the effort?

How do you get started in the insurance industry?
Insurance is a regulated field, which means you need to be licensed before you can begin. You also usually have to take some sort of course as well before the state will issue you your license. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: G is for General Contracting

This week we’ve chosen to cover a very important sub-sector of the construction industry, general contractors. Now we did previously cover construction companies in an ABCs of Small Business Industry post. And you may be asking yourself if there are any differences between the two – don’t worry, there are. General contracting is a very specialized industry, with its own host of regulations and policies to follow. So how do you start a general contracting firm? general contracting

First, you need to be a licensed general contractor

Contractors are licensed, typically by the state. And without that license, you can’t offer your services as a general contractor. Licensing requirements vary from state-to-state, but most states maintain a database of active licenses, which the public can search through. Most of the companies looking for a general contractor will also want to see some sort of college training. Continue reading

Business Basics: Reasonable Compensation

This week we are looking at reasonable compensation, a legal necessity for anyone running a Corporation. Reasonable compensation is connected to one of the most fundamental parts of working for a company – getting paid – and yet it’s so widely misunderstood. When you form an Corporation, you create a separate, legal entity that ‘earns’ money. You then pull your wage from those earnings and pay whatever payroll taxes you owe. reasonable compensation

In order to close a loophole wherein those running the corporation could ask for an extremely low salary, pay next to no payroll taxes, and then close the wage gap with distributions, the IRS requires that all corporate officers and executive be paid ‘reasonable compensation.’ But what constitutes reasonable compensation is a little more murky.

Who needs to be concerned with reasonable compensation?

Anyone that is runs, or helps run, a C-Corporation or S-Corporation must be reasonably compensated for their work. Continue reading

Announcing our New Partnership with Paychex!

MyCorporation has spent the last fifteen years working tirelessly to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams and start their own businesses. Our mission has always been to make the lives of small business owners just a little bit easier. And it is with that mission in mind that we are proud to announce our new partnership with Paycheck Accounting Online℠!

payroll services

Paychex

Since its founding in 1971, Paychex has been a proven leader in payroll outsourcing, and today Paychex helps over half-a-million businesses to easily monitor and handle payroll, benefits, and human resources.

And now MyCorporation customers can start using Paychex for only $4.99/month for the first 3 months, with the rate increasing to a mere $19/month after that. All you have to do is sign up through this page and complete your business profile, and Paychex will start helping you handle your payroll, allowing you to focus on what you do best – running your business.

We are really excited for this partnership, and know our clients will love working with Paychex.

ABCs of Small Business Industry: C is for Construction

The construction industry has had a rough few years. After the economy dipped and the Great Recession began, a lot of construction and housing projects were suspended or shut down, and the industry was easily one of the hardest hit. Because of this, many are apprehensive to start their own construction firms, and while construction is slowly picking up, one of the biggest concerns entrepreneurs in this industry have is how to protect themselves if the economy dips again. Construction IndustryBut if you start off on the right foot, and take a few precautions, you can run a successful business in the construction industry.

How do you start a construction company?

Construction is a bit different than other industries. For one, you can’t just file for a ‘Doing Business As’ name and start building houses. Continue reading

Six Tips for Working with Designers To Get Awesome Results

Website DesignGood design can do so much to communicate complex information about your brand or company. It serves a purpose, sells an idea and can cut straight through to the target audience. So how can you ensure you get great results on your next design project? Well, being a great communicator is a great place to start.

At DesignCrowd – the design community I help manage – we’ve launched thousands of design projects and the most successful ones were a result of clear, concise briefs and regular feedback. Here’s how you can work smarter not harder with a designer to get a great result for your design project!

 Don’t miss the mark, get clarity - If your goals are not clear and your requirements are confusing, designers will find it hard to decipher what you want and you’ll end up with a design that misses the mark. Share as much as you can about your business or organization (describe your products or services), who your target market is and what key messages, ideas, emotions or attitudes you want the design to convey.

Get technical – You’re crowdsourcing design online so be as precise as you can about specific branding colors (CYMK, Pantone); and where your design will end up being viewed – is it online or in print? Tell the designer your requirements for size, format, resolution/pixels, file types, font types. If you want it, ask or it.

Be present and responsive – The best client-designer relationship is reciprocal. Try to give regular, concise feedback about the designs you receive. You can use email, instant messaging, Skype or online feedback tools to give feedback on style, color palette, typography, and layout of the design concept. If you don’t like a concept than eliminate the design so that the designer can move on and you can focus on getting the design you want.

Visualize your ideas – Designers are hyper-visual. Talk their language by getting ‘moody’.  In other words knock up a quick presentation that displays samples of design concepts you do like. Include patterns, shapes, colors, styles to packaging design, logo design, imagery and more that captures your idea. Useful presentation tools include apps like Pinterest, or you can go old-school and create a PowerPoint to share your ideas with designers.

Communicate concepts to avoid – Telling designers what you don’t want seems counter-intuitive but if you think about it there are probably a bunch of design trends, colors, styles, and more that you want designers to avoid. State this clearly in your brief or include a section in your mood board that includes ‘don’t likes’ – and don’t worry, constraints are good for creativity and innovation.

Leverage the talent – Your designer should be the first port of call for advice and tips if you have hired them directly.  If you’re crowdsourcing design, email or phone the client support team for support, and utilize these support channels if you get stuck.

If you want to refresh your brand or perhaps you have a new design project in mind, following these six tips will ensure you get a design you’ll love.

We also encourage you to take advantage of the special deal that we have prepared for MyCorporation members.  Click here to unlock the deal!

Josephine Sabin is the community manager at DesignCrowd, a crowdsourcing marketplace with offices in San Francisco, Sydney and Manila offering professional logo, web and graphic design – powered by over 400,000 designers and artists from around the globe.

ABCs of Small Business Industry: B is for Business Services

This week we are looking at an industry very near and dear to MyCorporation – Business Services! This is a fairly broad industry, but essentially companies in it help other businesses. That could mean filing paperwork, providing tech support, processing data… the list goes on and on. Businesses helping businesses – what could be better? If you’re considering forming your own company in the business services industry, we’re here to help you out!

business services

Where do you start?

Since business services is such a broad category, it’s kind of hard to answer this question. At the very least you need a ‘Doing Business As‘ name, and should consider filing for an Employer Identification Number. You’ll also need to have all your permits and licenses in order. Unfortunately the ones you need really depend on what other industries you fall into. A tech support company, for example, would need different permits and licenses than a remote office administrator service.

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Business Basics: Return on Investment (ROI)

Welcome back to business basics! In case you’ve forgotten, every week we take a look at a basic business concept in order to try to help new business owners better understand it. This week, we are covering Return on Investment, or ROI – a fairly straightforward, but often misunderstood, part of running a business! Though you may think you know all about ROI, you could be using it incorrectly. But first… ROI

What is ROI?

Return on Investment, or ROI, is pretty easy to grasp – heck, the definition is right in the name. It’s whatever return you get after your invest in some part of your business. So if you hire 2 new salespeople, a basic measurement of ROI will be the money they bring in, minus their wages. Continue reading