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4 Ways to Successfully Build and Run an Online Business

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how to build an online business
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Starting a business online is the go-to model for entrepreneurs, startups, and more established businesses. There is a myriad of benefits to running a business online; you’re not restricted to hiring locally, you can keep your overhead low, and the flexibility that an online business offers is extremely attractive to today’s top talent.

Running an online business is amazing. But how, exactly, do you do it successfully? Let’s take a look at how to run an online business below:

1. Build the right team

The key to running a successful online business? The right team. Hiring the right people to work for your online business can mean the difference between your business taking off or it crashing and burning.

Business2Community says, “Getting to understand your potential team is essential in all hiring situations, but even more so for virtual workers. You aren’t going to get to know them at the water cooler or on a lunch break, so that element of familiarity will be gone. This distance can lead to some difficulty in accurately assessing character.”

Not everyone thrives in an online environment, so it’s important to find people who can work independently, hit deadlines, and can be trusted to get things done without you looking over their shoulder.

If you want to make sure you’re hiring the right people, ask them to work with you on a project basis before you bring them on; that way, you can see what it’s like to work with them and if they can handle working 100% online before you put the time, energy, and resources into training them.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

2. Outsource whenever possible

One of the major benefits of running an online business is you’re not limited to talent in your local area. You can higher people 10 miles away or 10,000 miles away, which is why outsourcing is so popular with online business owners. By leveraging the differences in the global economy, you can hire top talent at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay domestically (without having to sacrifice quality).

Outsourcing is a great way to support your business if you have a small or solo team or if you want to keep your overall costs low. Some areas of your business that are a great fit for outsourcing include customer service, virtual assistants, scheduling, lead generation, and technology support.

3. Sell online

If your online business is in product creation, it’s important that you get up to speed on ecommerce – the process of buying and selling online.

Back in the early days of the internet, ecommerce was a challenge. People were afraid to share their personal information, like credit card numbers online. But now, shopping online is second nature to most people. In fact, consumers are now shopping more online than they are in stores, which presents a huge opportunity for online business owners to cash in on the trend.

If you’re a product-based business, you’ll want to build an online store to sell your goods. Shopify, a popular ecommerce platform, is a great option – they make it easy to set up an online store, collect payment information by connecting Paypal to Shopify, and ship your products. And the best part? Setting up a Shopify store requires minimal coding skills, which will save you time and money on backend development. And with Shopify apps you can boost your store and sell more. With best review apps for Shopify you may automate the procedure for gathering reviews of your store.

If you do decide to create a custom coded ecommerce shop, just make sure you place a heavy emphasis on security; a data breach could be catastrophic and lose you a large percentage of your customer base.

“Focus on having the maximum impact in every client interaction.”

4. Use technology to connect

There are plenty of benefits to running an online business, but when you’re running a business from your laptop, things can get a little… isolating (both for you and your team). Just because you and your team aren’t in the same physical space doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) feel connected.

There are tons of workflow software tools out there that can work wonders in creating an online working environment where you feel connected to your team. Use a video conferencing tool like Zoom to hold regular team meetings so everyone gets a chance to interact face-to-face.

Schedule trainings over Skype so you can see who you’re working with and use their screen-sharing feature to share your slides or training materials. Use Slack to manage your workflow and make sure everyone on your team is communicating on a regular basis.

There’s a lot that goes into running an online business, but when you know how to build the right team of employees, you will know how to manage that team in a way that creates a communicative and vibrant online work environment. Running an online business is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to build a wildly successful empire.

Are you interested in running an online business? If so, let us know some of your concerns and how we can help you!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Parker Davis is the CEO of Nexa, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology-enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Nexa achieved record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Follow him @callnexa and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Entrepreneurs

How Entrepreneurs Are Harnessing LLCs to Launch Successful Startups

LLCs have unique advantages for starting up and growing a successful business

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why you should set up an LLC

In my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve learned that LLCs have unique advantages for starting up and growing a successful business. But, before delving into the advantages, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of what an LLC is and how it operates. 

What is an LLC?

An LLC is a hybrid business entity that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship. This unique blend provides entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds: personal asset protection and simplified taxation.

One of the most significant advantages of an LLC is its limited liability feature. This means that as the owner, my personal assets are shielded from any liabilities or debts incurred by the business.

In the event of lawsuits or financial obligations, only the assets of the LLC are at risk, offering me peace of mind and protecting my personal wealth.

Advantages of Forming an LLC

Flexibility in Management and Structure

Another aspect of the LLC that appealed to me was its flexibility in management and structure. Unlike corporations, which have rigid hierarchies and formalities, LLCs allow for a more relaxed approach to governance. As the founder, I have the freedom to structure the company in a way that suits the needs and goals of my startup.

For instance, LLCs can choose to be managed by their members (owners) or appoint a manager to oversee operations. This flexibility enables me to maintain full control of the business or delegate management responsibilities to trusted individuals while retaining ownership.

Additionally, LLCs are not bound by strict meeting requirements or extensive record-keeping obligations, reducing administrative burdens and allowing me to focus on building and growing the business.

Pass-Through Taxation and Financial Efficiency

One of the most attractive features of an LLC, particularly for startups, is its pass-through taxation. Unlike corporations, which are subject to double taxation (taxation at both the corporate and individual levels), LLCs pass profits and losses directly to their members’ personal tax returns.

This tax efficiency not only simplifies the filing process but also allows for greater flexibility in managing cash flow and reinvesting profits back into the business. As an entrepreneur, minimizing tax liabilities and maximizing financial efficiency are critical components of long-term success, and the pass-through taxation feature of an LLC aligns perfectly with these objectives.

Enhanced Credibility and Professionalism

Establishing an LLC can also enhance the credibility and professionalism of a startup. Unlike sole proprietorships or general partnerships, which may be perceived as informal or less legitimate, an LLC provides a formal business structure that instills confidence in customers, investors, and partners.

By operating under the umbrella of an LLC, I can present my startup as a reputable and established entity, which can open doors to opportunities such as securing financing, attracting top talent, and forging strategic partnerships.

This enhanced credibility can be a significant advantage, particularly in competitive industries or when seeking to differentiate my startup in the market.

Protection of Intellectual Property and Brand Assets

For startups built around innovative ideas or unique intellectual property, protecting these assets is paramount. An LLC offers an additional layer of protection for intellectual property and brand assets, safeguarding them from infringement or unauthorized use.

By registering trademarks, copyrights, or patents under the name of the LLC, I can establish legal ownership and enforce my rights more effectively in the event of disputes or infringement claims. This protection not only preserves the value of my intellectual property but also enhances the overall stability and longevity of the startup.

Steps to Form an LLC

Let us now look at the general steps to form an LLC for your business:

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

Selecting a unique and distinguishable name is the first step in forming an LLC. Ensure that the name you choose complies with the rules set by your state’s LLC division. Typically, the name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or an abbreviation of these terms.

Additionally, the name should not infringe on the trademarks of existing businesses.

Step 2: Designate a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or entity appointed to receive legal documents, such as lawsuits or subpoenas, on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent must have a physical address within the state where the LLC is formed.

For instance, if you are forming an LLC in Texas, ensure that your registered agent has a physical address in Texas.

This role is crucial for ensuring that the LLC remains compliant with legal requirements and maintains good standing.

Step 3: File Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization, also known as a Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization in some states, is a document that formally establishes the LLC. You’ll need to submit this document to the appropriate state agency, usually the Secretary of State or Division of Corporations.

The articles typically include basic information such as the LLC’s name, address, registered agent details, and the purpose of the business.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

While not always a legal requirement, drafting an operating agreement is highly recommended for LLCs. This document outlines the ownership structure, management roles, voting rights, profit-sharing arrangements, and other important aspects of the LLC’s operations.

Even if you’re the sole owner of the LLC, having an operating agreement in place can help clarify expectations and prevent disputes in the future.

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your LLC for tax purposes.

Even if your LLC doesn’t have employees, obtaining an EIN is necessary for opening a business bank account, filing taxes, and conducting other financial transactions.

Step 6: Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

Depending on the nature of your business and its location, you may need to obtain various permits, licenses, or certifications to operate legally. These requirements can vary widely from one industry and jurisdiction to another. Common examples include business licenses, zoning permits, health permits, and professional licenses.

In my entrepreneurial journey, the decision to establish my startups as LLCs has been instrumental in mitigating risks, optimizing financial performance, and positioning my ventures for long-term success.

By harnessing the advantages of the LLC structure, I’ve been able to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship with confidence and resilience, laying the groundwork for a bright and prosperous future.

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Entrepreneurs

Build a Strong IT Team with These Smart Hiring Tips

Without dedicated IT staff, your company may not be able to function as efficiently or effectively

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Hiring tips for tech industry

The role of IT staff in your company is not only essential but also ever-evolving. As your business grows, so does the need for qualified IT staff and more robust recruiting solutions.

After all, from maintaining and troubleshooting the computer systems that keep your business running smoothly, IT staff also help employees stay connected and productive by providing technical support at all times. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

5 Important Legal Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

With a firm commitment to legal knowledge, you pave the way to grow your business sustainably

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legal tips for entrepreneurs

Embarking on the entrepreneurial path is a courageous venture that calls for a diverse skill set to achieve enduring success.

While creativity, drive, and strategic vision are paramount, integrating legal insight into your entrepreneurial toolkit can be a game-changer.

This comprehensive guide delves deeper into the five critical steps that can empower you to navigate the intricate legal landscape and propel your venture toward prosperity. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

6 Hacks to Boost Your Productivity as a Business Owner

To improve how much you get done each day, it’s smart to establish routines and use careful planning

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productivity for business owners

Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to get more done with the time and resources they have. Business owners can use clever productivity tricks to break these limits and make the most of their projects. (more…)

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