Business is Business

Bright IdeaIs there a difference between an Online Business and a traditional Offline, Bricks and Mortar Business? The answer of course is yes and no.

I am assuming that you want to set up a proper long term Business that will operate effectively for many years.
Here are the main considerations that apply to all Businesses they are the basic infrastructure on which to found your Business.

  1. In most countries you need to register with the relevant Tax Authority.
  2. You need a Bank Account, preferably a Business Account separate from your Personal Accounts, this needs to be a Current or Checking account able to send and receive payments.
  3. A Book Keeper to help keep track of your day to day activities. Optional to start with but essential to keep you out of trouble once you start needing to charge sales taxes and pay them to the Revenue.
  4. An Accountant to advise on Tax Law, prepare and submit end of year accounts, ensure that you pay the minimum amount of tax that is legal, to talk to the tax authorities on your behalf, they understand each other, if you try and do it yourself complications will arise. Try to use a recognised properly qualified and registered Accountant. They are a bit more expensive but will save you time, money and a lot of problems in the long run. Uncle Charlie “Who Knows a lot about Business” simply will not do.
  5. A Business Address. You can use your Home address to start with although your Local Government Authority or Landlord may impose restrictions on the Business activities that take place. In the long term you will probably reach a stage when you want to use a separate Business Address.
  6. A way to communicate with your Customers. Normally a Telephone, a landline is best, it is more reliable and It gives Customers more confidence in you and your Business. Many people do not trust a Business that only publishes a Mobile (cell phone) number or none at all. It is a good idea to have a separate number for your Business and keep your Home Number for private and family use.
  7. Working Capital. Absolutely Crucial. You need money to get started even if it is a small amount. How much will depend on your particular circumstances. Ask your Accountant for advice, although you will need to pay them, or ask your Bank Manager for advice, usually free. You should know your Business better than either of them so you can probably work it out for yourself. Do your best estimate, then double it. I am speaking from experience here!
  8. Something to sell. Obvious? You would be surprised at the number of people who start up a Business without a clear idea of what their Product or Service is going to be.
  9. Someone to sell it to. Identify your Market and do some research. I have several friends with Garages full of Fire Extinguishers, Water Softeners and Cleaning Products.

We will discuss the specifics of an Online Business in another Post in the meantime remember.
You are not In Business till you make your First Sale