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  • Starting a business takes time. However, some business-building tasks can be completed within a day. Read on to discover how you can start a business within the framework of an eight-hour day.

    9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. — Select Appropriate Business Ideas

    Brainstorm business ideas related to your hobbies, lifestyle, and interests. Do some market research and list any relevant skills you have.  

    10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. — Choose Your Ideal Business Structure

    Most businesses are one of two entity types: an LLC or a corporation. Corporations are more complex, requiring a board of directors and shareholders. LLCs, or limited liability companies, have less paperwork and are more flexible for entrepreneurs just starting their businesses. Solopreneurs can create an LLC and still enjoy the benefits of having personal assets protected during major legal events. Setting up an LLC has different requirements depending on where you live; be sure to look up how to start an LLC in Indiana before you apply, or contact a formation service to avoid complications and potential legal fees. 

    If you’re interested in a corporation structure, look into an S corp Indiana filing. While some benefits of this entity, such as pass-through taxation, won’t be available until your business has grown large enough to have shareholders, many entrepreneurs benefit from them right away. In particular, they offer reduced self-employment tax rates along with the option of claiming tax deductions on financial losses.

    10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. — Write Your Business Plan

    Drafting a business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider following a leaner startup version at first, then move to traditional. The most important objective is for the business plan to fit your needs now. Traditional plans have nine sections; feel free to use the ones that make sense for your business, such as:

    • Executive summary. Explains why your company will be successful; includes basic information such as products, services, and other details.

    • Company description. Provides details about your business, including any problems it can solve or types of clients it serves.

    • Organization and management. Note your business's entity type and whether you intend to change that as your business expands.

    12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. — Register Your Business and Get Federal and State Tax IDs

    Registering your business will depend on your state government and chosen business structure. Your business is a legal entity once you register your business name. Obtaining a federal tax ID number is free and helps you pay state and federal taxes.

    1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. — Open a Business Bank Account

    Business bank accounts are professional and practical ways to protect your business. Apply once you have your federal EIN, or use your SSN if you’re a sole proprietorship. Some banks will allow you to open business checking at the same branch as your personal accounts, but it's always a good idea to shop around for the best features.

    2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Market Your Business: Finding Your Customers

    There are many ways to find and market to potential customers. You can build a website, establish a social media presence, and advertise coupons or discounts through a newsletter. 

    3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. — Outsource to Freelancers

    If you need to delegate certain tasks to freelancers, you can find some on job platforms such as Toptal or Guru. You can also peruse social media for candidates. 

    Happy Hour Before You're Done for the Day

    Building your business's foundation can be done in a day, but don't forget about your future finances. 

    Membership in the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce provides networking opportunities and other valuable resources to local business owners. Join us today!

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