Since I’m writing about business development, I suppose the topic of business start-ups is relevant. And, since I’m now experiencing the process of starting my own business, I can speak from some experience. Naturally, you need to determine what business you’ll be starting, what it will be named, and from where you’ll operate it. I’m starting a Strategy Consulting firm. I’m naming it MGFournier (my first and middle initial along with my last name), as I feel it’s important to put your name behind your work. I’ve rented an office near my home in Brandon, FL, as I chose not to run the business out of my house.
I got lucky to find an office so close to my home and one that provides the professional environment I need. I get a nice office, and access to: 2 professional conference rooms, a kitchen, nice restrooms, Internet access (included), a business phone (the phone, a private number, voicemail, local and long distance calling all included), a business mailing address, and electricity (included). My office is in a building that partially serves as executive offices for small businesses. It is located in the Alafia Oaks Professional Center. For more information on these offices, or other commercial real estate, contact Carl Stickeler (TURNER COLE COMPANY, Real Estate Services, email@example.com).
Once you have your office in place, you’ll need: office equipment (computer, desk, chair), supplies, a printer, business cards, etc… You’ll need an Internet presence (website, email, blog, social media, etc…). You’ll need software to organize your business. This need will vary depending on your business. I need equivalents to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I considered the free solutions (OpenOffice and LibreOffice) which are compatible with Microsoft Office file types. I stumbled on Microsoft Office 365, and I’m test-driving a 30-day trial of the Office 365 Small Business Premium package. If I choose to buy it, which I expect to, it will cost me $150 per year. This gives me the full Microsoft Office 2013 suite (downloadable and installed) on my laptop, an intranet for team sites (via SharePoint), public website editing software (via SharePoint), public website hosting (included) which utilizes my business domain name, and business email utilizing my business domain name. In addition, the Office 365 interface is a cloud-based portal which you log into from anywhere, access email and manage your business documents and sites. It’s proving to be quite a powerful package, and all inclusive. The only other related cost is to reserve a business domain name, which ran me approximately $14 per year.
You’ll find more needs and expenses as you go. You’ll have to determine the structure of your business (sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, etc…), and get appropriate licenses. You may want to hire an accountant, attorney, printing company, etc…