Are you tired of working for other people? Want to make your own hours (within reason), and think you can manage a successful team? Many people feel the same way in Utah, and starting a business is often what they do to break free from those doldrums. If you own your own business, you can make some money while having the freedom to live your life how you want. However, as exciting as the thought might be, it’s also most likely going to be hard work. To be successful you will have to take certain steps and get some details right. Here are some tips for starting a business in Utah.
Have an Idea
This one might seem obvious, but you might be surprised to learn that many people decide to do something without a great idea behind it. They think they will sell t-shirts, for example, without thinking through why people will want to buy their t-shirts instead of the ones they’ve been buying all along. If you are going to sell something, be creative and identify a gap in the market that you can fill.
Let’s use t-shirts as an example. Every clothing store sells them. What will make yours different? Do they have very clever or funny sayings? Do they have a design style that is fresh, exciting, and trendy? Or maybe you have a source for materials that are great for t-shirts but haven’t been used in that way yet. Whatever it is, do not just repeat what others have already done. Find your place in the market and exploit it.
Build a Team Before You Start
Most people think about the staff they will hire once they have their business ready to go. However, you also need to build a team ahead of time to get even the preliminary stages of your business started. There are several professionals and experts you will need to advise you on how to move forward, build, and plan. Hiring a chartered accountant is always a great idea. They can provide you with some financial advice regarding where and how much it would be smart to invest, and how to conduct your accounting.
A real estate agent can help with locations, a broker can assist with insurance, and you may need a lawyer who is familiar with Utah law to make sure that you are meeting all state, federal, and municipal legal requirements. If you try to do all of this yourself, you could sink yourself before you get started with just one mistake.
Don’t Skimp on Insurance
There are probably several places where you can avoid investing until you are up and established. Insurance is not one of them. Do not take the chance that you won’t need protection when you are starting out. It’s already hard enough to build a business to success, and it would be even harder if you are having to pay for lawsuits and judgements against you. In fact, it might be impossible.
Starting a business is stressful enough. Why make it harder by not having a security net under you? If you are going to have staff, then you need to have workers’ compensation, as per state law. You should get all applicable types of business insurance in Utah, including commercial auto insurance, commercial property insurance, and errors & omissions insurance. Make sure that you are fully covered so you don’t get burned by a mistake or a single negative incident.
Determine Your Licensing and Tax Requirements
You may have to get a Utah professional license for certain types of business. You can check with Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to see what licenses you might need. They also offer a detailed guide on how to apply for each type of license. Registering for your taxes is very easy in Utah. At the same time as registering your business you can also register for all state and local taxes. One stop shopping to make it simple.
Find a Great Location
Depending on the type of business you have, your location could be the most important decision you make. If you have a retail outlet, then you will want to be in a place that is accessible for a lot of people and hopefully has walkup traffic as well. If there are other stores that sell similar products, then you may want a location that is far from the others. You may also need a lot of space for your inventory, or utilities like natural gas. Your ideal location will heavily depend on your target market, the type of business, and your budget. Picking the wrong location could spell disaster very early in your venture.
Develop a Website
The last thing you want to do is try to compete without a website. You might think it’s a waste of time or not worth the effort, but it is an absolute must. If you don’t have a website, not only will it be harder to find you with web searches, but you will lose credibility if you don’t have one. Make sure that your website is optimized so that it will appear as high as possible on search rankings.
A website isn’t just a place to have information about your latest sales. It is a hub for your brand. Your social media postings will link back to it, and customers can check your site for extra information and customer service support. If you are operating without one, then you are missing out on a large portion of your market.
If you think it’s the right move, then by all means start a new business in Utah. You can have the potential of making more money than you do at your 9 to 5, and you can have the freedom of being your own boss. However, starting a business is tough, and anyone could use as much help as possible. Use these tips to help you get a headstart on building your business up to the success you want it to be.