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FAQs

A:

Here are 6 ways you can improve your website's organic search ranking. There are a lot more methods, but let's start with these 6 tips.
(1.) Content on social media - Post content (e.g. articles, tips, promotions) on your social media pages with links to your website.
(2.) Resources page - Create a resources page on your website with links to other websites your customers might find interesting. Then reach out to those organizations to see if they will link back to your website.
(3.) Blog - Create blog posts at least 2x a week on your website. Use topics and keywords you want to rank for in your content.
(4.) Guest Blogger - Become a guest writer for blogs that relate to your industry. When writing the post, insert a link to a page on your website that fits the topic. Ask the blog to list your website link in the "about the author" section of the post.
(5.) Partnership - Form a partnership with a local organization (e.g. chamber of commerce) and ask they link to your website on their resource or member page.
(6.) SEO Crawler - Use a free tool that crawls your website (e.g. Screaming Frog) to look for broken links, missing metadata, duplicate pages, internal links, oversize pictures, etc.

A:

First, create a list of domain names. Google "tips on choosing a domain name" for ideas.

Second, have a credit card or PayPal account ready to pay a registration fee for the domain. You will receive the right to the domain name for a year and ability to renew annually for the same amount. Do you already have a web host? If yes, get the names of their primary and secondary nameservers. This information you need to point your domain name to your website. If no, you don't need to worry about the nameservers at this time and your domain name will mostly likely be parked automatically until you're ready.

Third, go to a credible domain name registrar to register your domain directly. This will make sure you are registered as the owner, administrative, and technical contact. An example of a domain name registrar is GoDaddy.com. It offers .com names in a range of prices. The domain name industry is highly competitive and prices change all the time. Examples of other domain name registrars are iPage, NameCheap, BlueHost, 1and1, HostGator, and many others.

A:

If your idea is truly unique, get a patent for it. Go to www.uspto.gov for more information and to register. You may get some protection through copyright or NDAs, but it usually is not a lot.

A:

It depends. If you're starting out your business and it is only you as the owner, you probably can take care of most of the legal tasks yourself such as researching and reserving a name for your corporation or LLC, registering a domain name for your company website, applying for your business employer identification number (EIN), or leasing commercial space. There are even online legal services such as LegalZoom.com or RocketLawyer.com that can help. On the flip side, if you have partners involved with your start-up or a major environmental issue comes up when buying a business then it is highly recommended to seek out a small business attorney. Overall, it is usually a good idea to have an experienced business laywer on your team who has advised many start-ups.

A:

It depends on your business type. You want insurance coverage for every risk your business might face. Discuss business risks, cost of coverage, and types of insurance available with your insurance agent or broker. Most businesses may need the following insurance:
• Business interruption insurance
• Commercial auto insurance
• Commercial property insurance
• Data breach insurance
• General liability insurance
• Health insurance for employees
• Home-based business insurance
• Key man life insurance
• Product liability insurance
• Professional liability insurance
• Worker’s compensation insurance

A:

Keep clear records that show the income and expenses of your business. Include a summary of your business transactions in your business's books, too. Research an affordable and easy to use accounting software program to help you capture and organize all the information. Example of records you should keep for your business are as follows: Financial statements; Employee records; Tax filings; Invoices; Contracts; Bank accounts; and more. To get a full list on what records small businesses should keep, visit the IRS web page, https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/what-kind-of-records-should-i-keep.

A:

First, brainstorm a bunch of different names. Second, search the names on Google to see what is already taken to eliminate your choices. Also, conduct a trademark/tradename search on the name on USPTO's website. Make sure the company name is easy to spell and fits with your product or service. For example, "Regency" sounds more like a movie theater than a maintenance service company. Make your company name interesting! Don’t pick a nonsensical name where people won’t have a clue as to what you do. After all this brainstorm and search, make sure you can get the domain name. Completely stuck or indecisive? Consider hiring a name and brand consultant.

A:

If you have decided to set up an LLC for your business, go to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institution website at www.wdfi.org and click on "I want to File" and choose "Domestic Limited Liability Company". The site will walk you through the process from there. Filing for an LLC and your associated Articles of Incorporation does not require the use of an attorney, but it is always advisable to get professional advice.

A:

If you don't write a business plan, there are other ways to organize your thoughts around the execution of your business idea. Consider writing a business brief, a short 2-3 page summary that you can use to contact potential investors, colleagues, and partners. Or set up your thoughts on a site like trello.com to organize your product road map and company strategic goals in a way that is easy to share, organize and update as things progress and change.

A:

It’s useful to come up with a business plan to think through what you want to do and how you want to execute the development of the product or service, marketing, financial projections and more. Then get input from trusted business/finance advisors. But don’t go overboard with a 50-page business plan. In reality many start-ups have to deviate from their plan.

A:

Writing a business plan can be a long, tedious process; but if done correctly and with real planning, is a powerful document to start your business. There is not enough space in a FAQ to fully flesh out writing a plan, so here are two great links to producing a business plan: (1) https://www.score.org/event/writing-winning-business-plan; (2) https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/write-your-business-plan

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