10 Startup Filings You Should Know About
You want to start your own business! Wonderful! How exciting! But, as a new entrepreneur you will encounter uncharted territory as you navigate all you must do to create your legal business entities.
Today, I'll give an overview of various state and federal forms to give you a better understanding of the startup documentation you may have to complete. What I offer here is not financial, tax, or legal advice—it’s purely for informational purposes. Also, budding entrepreneurs should consider consulting an attorney for legal advice on what paperwork and filings apply to them.
Anyone who wants to incorporate their company must complete this formation document and file it with the state’s Secretary of State office (or a comparable government agency). Filing articles of incorporation registers a company as a corporation in the state, making it a separate legal and tax-paying entity from its owners...
I read a lot of Seth Godin. That's why when I found this in a box of books I was unpacking, I was surprised to realize I hadn't read it yet. I have a lot of books like that. My 'to read' stack is always very high.
But, as soon as I realized I had missed this one, I sat down with it.
Now understand, he wrote this book back in 2008, but the concepts, ideas and advise rings just as true today as it did then, if not more so.
'The Web can do amazing things, but it can't provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals-people just like you who have passion about something. Anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at her fingertips.'
So, pick this one up and give it a read.
Is everyone happy and engaged in the business?
If you don’t answer yes to this question for you, your employees, your customers and any other stakeholders, you have some work to do.
Owners need great people both in the company and outside of it. Your investors, your suppliers, your customers your advisors and of course your employees.
When I am in any setting, being networking, coaching communities, anywhere. The top two issues are people and cash.
How do you know when you need to make changes with the people in your life? Ask yourself these two questions.
Are you happy? It’s a basic and straightforward question. Do you like coming to work? Do you look forward to coming to work? Or do you have a particular leader or manager not getting the job done. Are you have issues with a business partner? Is someone disrupting everyone daily with drama. Do you have a large percentage of your revenue tied up with one customer who behaves like he is your only...
Continuing our conversation about Strategy, and understanding the base of strategy in The Core, which is your values, which we discussed last week. Your Purpose, which is what we talk about this week. And next week, we round the Core with Competencies.
If the Core Values are the soul of the organization, then the core Purpose, or what some call ‘the mission’, gives it heart. When you ask ‘why’ you get up every morning, why the company exists, why you created the business, the Purpose is the answer. Why does what we do matter? Why do our customers care if we are here or not? What difference in the world are we making?
And while making money is a great idea, it isn’t going to rally the troops around you and convince them to pour their enthusiasm and energy into showing up every day ready to make a difference. And ask yourself, do you want someone showing up for a paycheck, or do you want someone showing up to help you achieve this big idea you have? Which...
Core Values are the rules and boundaries that define the company’s culture and personality. They answer the questions of ‘Should we or Shouldn’t we’. They are the test for all the behaviors and decisions for everyone in the company.
When your top managers and the founder understand this and lead by this example, when their decisions and behaviors are led by the Core Values, that will flow down to the rest of the company.
When the Core Values are felt and lived by through the entire company, the upper manager, leaders, founders don’t get dragged down into the day-to-day decisions and operations.
The Core values are like the North Star. When you have strong Core Values and they are shared with and instilled into every person in the company, they become the ‘rules. So, when someone comes to ‘ask permission’, leaders can respond with ‘consult the Core Values’.
Now management can trust employees to make the right decisions...
When I was researching this topic to better explain this concept that I have naturally lived with my whole adult life, I was surprised to find the amount of information out there trying to do the same thing.
From Peter Drucker declaring strategy was only about competing on price in the 50’s and 60’s, moving on to Michael Porter mapping out competitive forces in 1979, only to update it in 2008, to countless articles in Harvard Business Review, there is no shortage of opinions on what strategy is.
Strategy is a topic that makes the eyes of even very smart business people glaze over.
I know too many clients and business owners who simply roll their eyes and announce, “Who cares?! Let’s just get the work done!”
However, as your business matures and grows, how do you keep the train on the tracks and keep all your people on the same train? That is where Strategy comes in.
So, yes. We have to care.
Once you understand what strategy is and apply it...
The statistics are disheartening. So many businesses never make it to $100K a year much less $1MM.
There are 30 million firms in the US and those with no employees have an average annual revenue of only $46,978 per year.
Owners only make an average income of %450,347 per year.
And 86.3% of firm owners make less that $100,000 per year in salary.
So why bother starting a business?
Because you love what you do, you don't want to work for anyone else and you know you can make this business successful. You just don't know why you can't break through.
There are 3 reasons you aren't able to push forward.
With growth comes complexity in communication. Remember when it was just you and one other person. It was a lot easier then, but even communicating with one person can be challenging. Think marriage!
But add another person. This can be a customer, vendor or staff. Now the communication complexity has increased by 6 times. Ok, what if you add...
Just because you own a business, doesn’t mean you have the answer to every question and opportunity that comes along. No matter what your staff or spouse think. Making decisions for your company can be painful. We can agonize over these decisions to the point that we never actually make a decision in hopes that the issue just goes away.
The problem with that is, it doesn’t go away. And sometimes, by delaying the inevitable decision, the issue becomes larger and often costly to the company.
We need new opportunities and ideas to continue growing. But with new ideas comes a constant shift in priorities. As a result, deadlines get missed. Customers become confused and unhappy. Goals and targets go missed and fall by the wayside. You and your team are now in reactive, firefighting mode. You try to finish the work that wasn’t completed on time or up to the customers standards, but now you have an unhappy customer.
Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, said it...
Are you on target for your 2021 goals, at the very least your 2021 first quarter goals? Do you remember when we talked about the after-action review. This is where you actually put it into practice. If you haven't put those steps into practice, this is the fantastic opportunity to take a look back in January. So as a review of the after-action review, has four steps.
State what you wanted to have happen. That's the battle plan, your objectives, your goals. What are your goals for 2021 specifically your goals for the first quarter of 2021? This is your battle plan. Your objectives.
Acknowledge what actually happened. This is the distance between your desired goal and your current reality. We are looking for the distance between your goal, your object, your battle, objective, and your current reality.
Learn from the experience. What did you learn? What was missing? What was a pleasant surprise? What actually happened? What did you learn from what...
Face it, most founders aren’t doing anything new or unique in their business.
And that’s okay as long as you continue to provide your customers and clients with value in some unique way. This will set you apart from your competition and keep your customers and clients loyal to you. We live in a world of instant global communication, having a new idea or something unique is very rare.
So, what that means for most business owners is that you are going to have strong competition that’s been in the game for a long time before you even got started.
Some of these competitors may have even been in the business long before you even thought about entering the race.
So how do we set ourselves apart from these apparent titans and differentiate ourselves and stand out in that crowd? I’m going to give you five tips that will help you do that.