Business License: The In’s and Out’s of Getting One

Applying for a business license is something you should do as soon after you decide to start your business as possible. There are different requirements for getting a business license at the federal, state/city and county levels. Each location is different in those requirements and there are even some locations that may not require you to have a business license, but you need to determine what your business requires by following and completing the steps below. 

Find information on starting your business, including applying for a business license by visiting the site of the Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov).   

There you will find links to help you determine, what if any, licensing requirements there are for your business based on the type of business you own. 

A few common licenses include: 

Basic Business License

This license allows you to conduct a business in your locality. Some places require it, others don’t, so check with your local and state taxing authorities to determine your individual case. 

Occupational & Professional License

There are certain professions that require you to carry a special license or certification to conduct business. Some of these businesses include:  

  • Accountants
  • Doctors
  • Barbers
  • Security Professionals
  • Other Professionals
  • Real Estate Agents 
  • Licensing Based On the Type of Products You Sell such as Insurance or Real Estate. 

Tax Registration

One of the biggest reasons a business license is required is for tax purposes. The type of business you run, along with other factors, will determine your tax rates at the state and federal level. It will also help to determine if you are exempt from taxes, such as sales.  

Trade or Doing Business As (DBA) Name

Many states require a special license if you are a sole proprietor doing business under a name other than your real name. You might also need to post a public announcement of the name in a printed media.  

Employer Registration

If you have, or plan to have employees, you’ll need an Employer identification Number (EIN). Check with your states Department of Revenue or Department of Labor. 

A business license is something that, if you’re required to have one, you should acquire as soon as possible. Some states can and will penalize business owners who operate a business without the proper license, so don’t delay in finding out what your business needs. The Small Business Administration (SBA) often hold business workshops to help business owners know what’s needed to operate the business. Check your state or http://www.sba.gov to find a SBA location near you.

Are You Doing Business Or Just Being Busy?

Business women generate cash in their business. In fact, to stay in business generating a cash flow is necessary. Sure, it’s necessary to think positive about you and your business and charge the right prices. But the bottom line is that to operate a sustainable business you must know how to earn profit.

If you are not generating cash profits, you are operating a non-profit organization – and that is not what a real business woman wants to do.

As an entrepreneur, you have to know how to conduct a business. It takes time, planning, and knowledge to get the business started in the right direction.

A business woman needs to put certain systems in place along with other required business elements. But once you know these basics, you can develop your business.

So are you developing a real business? Let’s be honest; it’s possible that what you do everyday is not really a business. Maybe you’re great at the technical part of what you know – gardening, designing a website, bookkeeping, etc. – but you find you’re not attracting clients and making money.

You certainly intend to be in business, but the reality is that you might only be doing busy work. That’s why you start and stop new projects every few weeks and see few results.

The truth is, it might not be your fault. Really smart, dedicated people fall into the trap of thinking creating a business and especially creating on online will be a fast easy fix to financial woes. That comes from reading so much of the hype that’s out there about what it takes to do Internet business.  And that hype if simply not true.

Business experts say that one in five businesses will fail within just a few years of starting. The actual numbers are probably quite a lot higher. You don’t want to fail. You want to succeed. When you know the top reasons why entrepreneurs fail, you can better prepare your business for years of success.

I’m going to be sharing some of the top reasons why entrepreneurial ventures fail on a regular basis next time.

Join an Online Community to Get Ahead in Business

If you want to join an online community rather than build your own, it’s important to look at several communities to ensure that you spend your money and/or time wisely before getting too involved. It’s pretty easy to tell quickly if a community is one you want to stay involved in if you know what to look for.

* Uses Real Names – You don’t really want to waste time in a community where everyone is anonymous. You want to make real connections with real people with whom you can conduct business. When you are dealing with a lot of anonymous people that isn’t going to happen; instead you could end up scammed.

* Has Active Discussions – The owner of the group should be working hard to ensure that discussions stay active and productive. If no one has started a new discussion in the last week other than to spam the group, it’s probably not a very good community.

* Offers Plenty of Content – You want to be part of a community that offers informative content to the audience that is helpful to their business. If the content and information that is available is old and outdated, it might not be a community that you want to waste time on.

* Has a Podcast – A really good addition to any online community is a podcast where the host interviews members and also experts in the niche. This keeps everything new and fresh for the members and keeps them coming back.

* Community of Customers – The best community you can join is a community full of potential clients for you. For example if you’re an author’s VA you might want to join a community of authors.

* Community of Colleagues – Alternatively, you might want to learn more about your niche by joining a community full of your actual competition. It can be very enlightening to learn from others who are doing what you are doing.

* Notice Who Is Commenting – When a discussion starts, who is starting it and who is commenting on it? You may notice that the same people are always involved in the discussions. That is okay as long as the comments are well formed, intelligent, and there aren’t a lot of disagreements without someone checking the discussion.

* How Many Blatant Ads Appear? – Some measure of promotion is okay because it’s their community that they started likely to promote themselves, but you want the promotions to be well thought out and not the only thing the community is about.

* Do They Offer Live Events? – Webinars, teleseminars, Twitter parties, and even in-person live events speak to a well-organized and established online community that will continue to grow and thrive.

Choosing an online community to become a regular part of is an important thing to consider, because it takes a lot of time and effort to create value from the experience. You don’t want to spend your time in the wrong place. To join a community of Christian women who mean business and intend to be successful, join The Lydia Circle.

How to Use Scaled Content in Your Business

Business women need to learn how to use content in their business. Content is truly the lifeblood of online business, giving your a presence for your target audience. Content comes in many different forms from video, audio, text and everything in between. There are many different types of strategies you can use to develop your content. One is to create scaled content.

What is Scaled Content?

Scaled content is information developed on the same topic but used in different ways to reach different audiences or the same audience multiple times. Scaled content is all about creating the right content for the right audience and delivering it with the right technology. You’ll want different content for product pages, email messages, and marketing collateral that all describe the same thing, and you’ll want to use different words and sometimes different personalities to fit the form and technology you’re using.

In addition, scaled content allows you to continually evaluate how it’s working. For example, do you have a way to tell whether or not the memes you pushed out through Twitter converted to leads or sales? Scaled content requires the technology to be in place to evaluate the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the content.

Finally, scaled content requires that you have teams in place that can be trusted to make good content decisions – whether it’s real-time content marketing or planning for content being pushed out months from now based on product marketing material. Scaled content is visionary, builds relationships, and is assertive in that it just keeps on presenting your message in an effective manner.

Increasing the reach and impact of your content is difficult. But, if you put the right content into the right hands you can increase your reach across marketing channels. One way to do this is to offer affiliates editable content that they can use in their marketing efforts. Another way is to provide content like that to everyone who works in your company that they can use to get the word out. Or you can get colleagues and associates to share your information.

If the content is clear about what your objectives and goals are, while adhering to your company values, then it will work well to do what you want. The point is that you provide awesome content for sharing and commenting and you end up turning the content into more than it was to start with, because more eyes will see it due to more sharing and commenting. If your content is top-notch, they’re going to feel proud to share it.

Focus not only on content creation but on content curation, too. Content curation happens when you sort through large amounts of content, bring it together in a summarized form, and present it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information.You want to become the hub of the information that flows from all directions about your product, service, and audience. Your affiliates can use the content that you’ve created and add their own voice, as can your co-workers, virtual workers and brand ambassadors. By making it their own, it’s not duplicate, even if the messages are the same.

How to Scale Content

To scale content, you can:

* Curate content
* Revive your original content
* Send one message on multiple platforms
* Provide editable content to affiliates and associates

It can be hard to be relevant multiple times per day on multiple channels when you only have so much time and money to spend on content. But, if you get help via affiliates and those who work with you, as well as from colleagues and friends, then you can make your content work that much harder. Essentially scaling content is about getting the most out of the limited amount of content you can afford to produce.

Who is Leading Your Work?

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Being a good leader in your business is something every Christian business women should strive to do. I love the topic of leadership. I studied women’s leadership styles when earning my top degrees and continue to work with women in leadership today.

But when it comes to leading your business, many steps can be shared about how to go about this task; what to do first, next and so on. The question a Christian business woman must ask herself however, is who is really leading my business? It is often important to just stop to be sure you are listening to the right leader in your life. Make that leader your Lord.

Leading on your own without spiritual guidance can be a recipe for disaster. I know too many women who get so busy and stressed out they forget to pray even once during any day.  Before soon, they are struggling to keep themselves calm. Some even find themselves in a real fix with workers, bosses or clients. Tempers may flare, bad decisions could be made, anxiety might reach an all time high.

Instead of falling into traps set by the world, schedule prayer into your day. Actually write a time on your daily calendar when you will stop to bow your head in prayer. You might figuratively bow while doing something else. The point is to take concentrated time to talk to your real leader.

I do this in the car on the way to and from work and when I go to between meetings during the day. What a great time to talk to the Lord. When things get rough or a difficult decision needs to be made, I turn to the real boss of my life.

It didn’t come naturally to do this; thinking about prayer first isn’t what’s taught in most business schools. It’s up to you as a woman of God to do the right thing?

And why wouldn’t you? It’s having the privilege to walk right into the top CEO’s presence whenever you want to ask a question, sit to talk or to just express yourself.  The CEO is the one with the answers, He’s the one to let you see the big picture when you get stuck in the small stuff.  You get to rise above the world and see things from a spiritual perspective that sheds light on the material natural world. Why pass up the opportunity to go right to the head person? Yet too many women do so on a daily basis, ending up feeling all alone without a friend, mentor or guidance.

Make prayer a part of your daily tasks. You can just talk about your day, express how things are going, talk as if to your best friend. I challenge you to try this starting today.