Did you answer "Yes!" to the question under the title of this blog, are you a branded entity waiting to happen? Does the global pandemic have you feeling stuck and unproductive? Has sitting in the house taken it's toll on you? Do you feel limited in your abilities, but you have a hunger become more in life? Are you self-driven? Well, I am just the person to tell you how to stop waiting and get going! Here are four key steps to drive your idea to value:
1. Create a Name for Your Company - If an idea for a name of your company hasn't come to mind, there are ways to tap into your ingenuity and come up with a creative, relevant, and innovative name for your company. Do you have products or services to offer that solve a problem? The name of your company could be centered around the items you are offering.
Do you have products or services to offer that solve a problem? The name of your company could be centered around the items you are offering. For instance, my husband and I created a product for our pets, based on something we saw our pets needed, didn't have and isn't very popular in the pet industry.
For instance, my husband and I created a product for our pets, based on something we saw our pets needed, didn't have, and isn't very popular in the pet industry. We designed the product and realized we're not the only pet owners who could use the product. I used Bing and Google search engines to do some online research, specifically looking to learn if anyone else has thought of the idea, if the product has already been created, and how many models have been created. My findings led me to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at www.uspto.gov.
Applying to patent or trademark a product is the most secure way to protect your idea as intellectual property, when you're a citizen of the United States. If you want to know if your product is applicable for a U.S. patent or trademark, watch this USPTO video, "What Every Small Business Should Know, Now Not Later" https://youtu.be/qHDRV2NTSEk
From there, I began to think of more products we can create, for more than just our pets, and my brain went from the supply and demand for the pets inside our home to an abundance of goods for pets all around the world. Pets are like children and anything that gives a pet joy and happiness is worthy of becoming a household name, like ours "Perfect Pets Playthings".
If you don't have a problem-solving product or service, don't fret, sometimes the idea for the name of your company will come to mind beforehand. That's what happened with the name of my parent company, "Collins & Ziegler & Company". A name I established years before functioning as business that provides goods and services to my business associates, in exchange for payments. All I had was an idea of what my corporation would be and what I would do to help people and that was all I needed to evolve into the name you now know as, "Collins & Ziegler, Inc." A company that once represented a slogan that said, "The house that builds economic stimulus!", now stands as, "The house that builds wealth, in communities worldwide!" Where did I get the name of my company? Simply, thinking about being more and doing more in service to others, without overthinking, it's a combination of my maiden names.
2. Register Your Company Name with IRS - As soon as you have produced a great name for your company, don't wait to take action, move forward as more than a name that came to mind, process the thought, write it on a piece of paper, speak it loudly, and let it marinate by meditating on the idea. Close your eyes and try to envision the name of your company on the outside of a building and on social networking sites all around the world. When you can do that, you are prepared for step two. The image above of the PowerPoint presentation, I created while visualizing my company as a household name. That is still a solid plan, with respect to how my business operates, how I help other's, and how I create financial freedom.
Every business that generates profits must be established as doing official business with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Even if you don't have employee's, you could be penalized if you don't complete an application to register your business with the IRS, or calculate your own taxes based on the rate of sales tax in your state and submit the information using the IRS W-9 form. You can complete your application for an EIN online, obtain the mailing information to apply for an ITIN and find the I-9 form, among other forms on the IRS website at www.irs.gov. The most challenging part of the application is choosing what kind of legal entity your business should be registered as. If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will respond accordingly.
3. Open a Business Checking and Savings Account - Registering your company with the IRS is what makes this step available to you and this is not optional when you have products and services that are creating income from sales. You can only open a business account when you have an EIN or an ITIN to put on your application. If you already have a regular checking and savings account with a bank, that is not enough. With a business account you will be able to account for the amount of cash flow you are making from your sales. If ever you decide you want to apply for any type of business loans, the success of your business account will help you in the long run, when the bank can justify your need for a loan, using your deposits as the income your business is bringing in and withdrawals as the amount you are putting back into your business.
Two of the most important reason for having business accounts is, to balance your budgets and to aid you with the principles of accounting. For those reasons, you want to keep the profits from your sales separate from any other sources of income. Whether you choose to hire an Accountant, there are many to choose from and as an accounting major myself, I can honestly say, my bookkeeping skills are only as good as my financial records. It is of the utmost importance that you find a viable way to keep track of your revenue and expenses, in relation to business transactions, to transfer to financial statements for tax purposes. I recommend keeping all receipts from business related purchases in one place. Receipts also come in handy as proof for tax deductions. I use planners, calendars, and organizers to write and journal what income is received and what is spent. If you shop around, you can find some specific to recording business finances. At the end of the fiscal year, I use my receipts and records to add the information to an Excel spreadsheet, that I use to prepare and file my business taxes.
4. Build Your Professional Portfolio and Increase Visibility - As someone who loves the whole entire concept of branding and marketing, this step is the one that I love and have the most fun with. This is the point where you can give your creative abilities the freedom to flourish, grow your audience, and increase the chances of people who want to purchase your products and services or simply work with you to help you build the success of your business. If you're not sure about how to create things that will enhance the look of your business, such as a logo, business cards, a website, products with your logo on it, or a simple online post, you can do-it-yourself or hire someone to take your vision to the next level for other's to see. Building a business should be fun, even at the most challenging moments, keep creating!
Being a Brand Manager is another unique service that I provide to my Business Associate's. The responsibility of supervising other's brands and professional portfolios', develops my wealth-building skills and strengthens my abilities, as a Marketing Strategist. As a help to other's, I provide my Business Associate's with any items that can be used to promote their products and service, increasing their visibility with their prospective audience. Of course, I do the same for myself, as I currently have six websites, I am designing and publishing myself. Creating products and services is only the beginning, with these four steps you are a start-up!
Okay entrepreneur, now that I have given you the keys to get you going where you might not have ever been, you should be revved up to go! I'm believing you already have a name for your company and you are on your way to applying yourself to the ride of your life! If you're someone who appreciates reading informative blogs, make sure you put your email address in the box below and subscribe! I'm open to any comments and feedback you have! Thanks!