4 Steps to Starting Out Strong as an Entrepreneur

While it isn’t easy, becoming an entrepreneur can set you up for one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers possible. You can make a living from your passion. You can build something that makes you proud. You get to call the shots. The perks go on and on.

But no matter how original you think your business idea is, chances are someone else is being inspired by the same cultural forces that influenced your concept. Should you give up on your idea? No. But you shouldn’t rush into it before you’re ready, either.

The key is to take your idea and figure out how to serve your target market uniquely. And you have to handle a lot of administrative tasks along the way. Fret not —  the International Information Technology Team shares four tips to prepare you for a strong start!

1. Confirm Your Idea   

First of all, you need to ensure that your business idea will give you a good shot at success. Here are a few tips for kick-starting your business:

Research and Brainstorming   

Even if you have one, two, or more ideas that you are excited about, take time to research the market and brainstorm other ideas thoroughly. If you plan to sell to a worldwide audience, you will need to focus your research on a specific industry. If you hope to cater to locals, find out what kinds of products or services residents need the most.

Your business idea must promise a profit, or you will not be able to keep your business for very long.

Target Market

Defining your target market is one of the most important steps you can take as an entrepreneur. You may modify who you are trying to reach over time. Still, your initial decision about your target customer will set the stage for product or service development, marketing, and much more.

Research potential competitors to see who they cater to, and analyze your product or service to determine what type of customer will most likely use it. You also should choose key demographics to target and learn as much as you can about customer behavior.

Business Plan

Once you are confident in your idea, you will need to write it into a business plan. Here are a few components of a solid business plan:

  • Mission statement
  • Core values
  • Product or service description
  • Target audience
  • Marketing strategy
  • Financial forecasts
  • Funding requirements
  • Milestones

There are many business plan templates online to help get you started. Once you have created the document, you can use it as a roadmap for decision-making and to secure funding.

2. Get the Legal Tasks Out of the Way 

Most entrepreneurs are not crazy about the legalities of starting a business. Still, if you don’t take every step necessary to keep your company on a firm legal footing, it can cost you dearly down the road.

Business Structure

First, every business owner needs to choose a legal structure. Many new entrepreneurs decide to operate as sole proprietors because it is the easiest to form and manage. However, consider creating an LLC or a corporation if you wish for liability protection, tax perks, and other benefits.

Employee Identification Number (EIN)   

Businesses need an EIN, also referred to as Tax Identification Number (TIN). This number is what the IRS will use to identify your business and track your payroll taxes. Acquiring an EIN will save you time and stress when filing state and federal taxes.

Licenses and Permits

Depending on what type of business you are starting, you may need to apply for federal and state business licenses and permits. Specific licenses you need to obtain will depend on your industry and location. To get an idea of the licenses you should acquire, turn to the Small Business Administration, which offers a list of standard business licenses.

3. Organize Your Finances     

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you probably know how important money is for your goals. Let’s discuss a few money management factors that will play a critical role in your success. 


Depending on your available resources and the type of business you want to start, you might consider bootstrapping your venture, meaning that you pay for the startup costs out of your own pocket. If that’s not an option, consider asking friends and family members to contribute or starting a crowdfunding campaign.

You have many other options for getting money for your startup. Research the various small business loans, grants, and investment opportunities available.


Securing funding is one thing; managing your money well each day is quite another. And few things are more complicated as an entrepreneur than maintaining business operations without going broke.

Unless you have ample experience in accounting, consider hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper with small business experience. You can also tap into the various online accounting software; many tools can help you manage your finances yourself.

Cash Flow

Part of managing your money well includes maintaining a healthy cash flow for your business. Essentially, cash flow refers to all the money going in and out of your company. You will need to learn how to keep track of your expenses and income while leaving money in the bank for investing back into your business. There is plenty of software available to help you do just that.

4. Build Your Brand       

Now, to the fun part! Though it requires a lot of work, building a brand is often the most exciting aspect of launching a company. Let’s cover the essential elements of developing a world-class brand.

Branding Package      

Your first step will be to create a branding package that includes all the elements for your marketing materials. Create an eye-catching logo representing what your business offers and helping your brand shine among rivals.

Take time to choose the typography and color schemes you will use on your digital and traditional marketing materials. And if you don’t know where to start with all this, consider hiring a brand specialist. Or, if you have a bit of extra time, look to online logo makers and other branding tools to do it yourself.


Once solid branding is in place, it’s time to build a website. Your site is what all of your marketing will revolve around. It needs to look good, load fast, and provide users with an easy and seamless experience.

All of your pages should be easy to find, and you should only fill them with high-quality photos and relevant content. You can use an online website builder to get started or hire a professional web designer and developer to do the leg work.


Marketing is a broad business area that seems to have a million little pieces working at all times. But to break it down simply, here are a few marketing strategies to focus on as you prepare your company to launch:

  • Social media
  • Email
  • Content writing
  • Paid ads
  • Local print media
  • SEO


Okay, while it’s not a major component of branding, it’s important to remember that severe cybersecurity attacks can threaten your business and tarnish your brand. Not to mention that it can adversely affect your clients and customers. Nobody wants this.

There will always be a risk of a data breach, attack or some other malicious encounter, so it’s an absolute must to have an IT security plan in place. Even if you’re just a brick-and-mortar business. Working with a dedicated IT firm that specializes in cybersecurity and recovery will ensure you stay as protected as possible and that you can quickly mitigate any fallout from an attack.


All it takes is a unique idea to spark a new business. But once you have confirmed that your idea can bring a profit, the work is only beginning.

Remember to handle all the necessary legal tasks and learn as much as possible about money management. Then, you can start building a brand like the world has never seen. Understand that there is much more to becoming an entrepreneur that succeeds long-term. So, your best chance of success lies in committing to a lifetime of learning.

Gloria Martínez