Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in Indiana (IN)

There are so many great reasons to open up your own business these days. Whether the idea of being your own boss appeals to you, or you want to create a product you are proud of and reach out to like-minded people, opening a business can be an amazing step forward in life.

Opening that business in Indiana comes with some specific benefits. Indiana is 3rd in the nation as far as the lowest cost of living goes, and 5th in ease of doing business. They are also 7th in lowest business startup costs, on average.

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Indiana’s Most Popular Businesses

To open a business, you’ll first need an idea of what you want to sell or offer your customers.

In Indiana, there are many ways to go about this. Businesses like dog breeding, drive-in movie theaters, clothing boutiques, and lawn care are considered very popular in the state. These types of businesses, or variations of them, might be a great step in the right direction towards opening a successful business.

Planning Processes

As you start to figure out what kind of business you want to open, the next steps will be opening the store and making sure you are doing it by the rules of Indiana.

1. Pick a name

If you have your business idea, you may have already thought of some catchy names for your store. Catchy and unique names can be a great way to stand out from the crowd and help your store become memorable. The more memorable your store and your store’s experience are for the customer, the better word of mouth you can expect. Your customers will go off to friends and family with your name in mind. Choosing a name also means that you are putting your own vision and values into the naming process. While being catchy is great, you also want it to mean something to our business.

In Indiana, there are some rules to keep in mind while creating a business name, but don’t let that stop your creative process or make your business a reality.

2.  Conduct market research

This step lets you see your future customers’ wants and needs from a store like yours and plan accordingly. You can also look at your possible competitors and learn from them as well.

3.  Choose a structure

To help make your business more credible and less likely for risks or liabilities. You could choose from an LLC, corporation, non-profit, sole proprietorship, or partnership, depending on the goals of your business.

Registering in Indiana

Once you can pick a business structure that represents your business perfectly, it is time to register it in Indiana. The state may ask for information such as the name, formation documents, employer identification number, and your registered agent who will handle your taxes.

Depending on which structure you choose, the state may ask for different documentation or certifications to legitimize the registration.

It’s All About Location

When you are opening a brick-and-mortar store, the location you choose can be a crucial decision. You will want a place with high foot traffic, where you believe your wanted audience will be, and high word of mouth. Cites like Indianapolis and Bloomington could be great places to look into. If you are planning to open a fully online store in Indiana, this will be more flexible.

Focus on Banking

Once you plan on opening your business, you will also want to open a banking account specifically for the business. This will keep transitions separate and make tax season a bit easier.

This can also be applied to a business credit card. Having a separate credit card can keep track of spending and create a credit score for your business as well. To help make tax season and business banking even simpler, getting an accountant (whether using software or an in-person accountant) can be extremely beneficial. This allows someone else to handle your finances, letting you focus on other things.

Insure Your Business

Opening a business also opens your store to many risks and liabilities that can come along with it. To help against those, acquiring a form of insurance can help keep the business, you, and your employees protected. This could be Workers’ Compensation Insurance, General Liability Insurance, or Professional Liability Insurance. In Indiana, if your business has one or more employees, it is required that you have a form of Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

Hiring Employees

Hiring employees for your store can be an exciting step in your business. This shows growth and that you are doing an amazing job selling your product that you now need some helping hands.

To ensure you are hiring them right, you’ll want to make sure you are registered in the IRS for employee taxes while also reporting new hires to the state of Indiana.

Branding

One of the key components to help your business stand out is the use of proper branding. By branding your business, you create an experience for your customers, show your values, and make a space you are proud of.

What do you want your brand to represent?
How do you want to be seen by your customers?

Questions like these can be a great way to help yourself figure out just how you want to brand your store.

Another step to branding and standing out can be the use of a good logo. This logo will represent your company on price tags, bags, a website, and business cards. It is important that this logo has the perfect pictures or words to showcase your business properly.

Get Online

We live in a very digital day and age, being online can make a huge difference to your store’s growth. Creating a website could be the first step. A website can help show off your brand, your vision, information about your store, and even the products you sell. It is a way for customers to find you outside of being in the physical store.

Being on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok, can be a great way to showcase your store whether you plan to sell online or not. In addition, looking into marketplace selling through eBay or Amazon can open your store up to even more new potential customers.

Online Business

A website might have already crossed your mind if you plan to open a fully online store instead of a brick-and-mortar. If you need help creating an eye-catching website or selling online, companies like Ecwid could be a great resource to make your online business dreams a reality.

They are able to help create a website, or help improve your current one and also help you sell on other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Once you are able to sell on multiple sites, you will have higher virtual traffic and more sales as a result. Ecwid offers a simple dashboard to help keep track of your sales on every site as well as your inventory to track what you need to restock and when. Ecwid could easily become your best friend if you plan on opening an online store.

Marketing

Getting online is one thing, but marketing is when you will see your sales grow. Whether you are planning online or offline marketing strategies, you should have a budget of $250 to $1,500 set aside, depending on the size and goals of your business. This could also go towards some offline marketing resources such as business cards, pamphlets, signage, or community events you want to attend.

On the other hand, if you want online marketing, that money can go pay for ad space on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube. It can also be used for photography or videography of your products. While online, Google My Business is a great way to help connect with local customers and give them a rundown of your store and offer. It’s also a free sign-up to do so. We don’t want to forget the tried and true email or text message subscriptions, either. These can help get repeat customers and keep people interested.

Everyone has their own reason for wanting to open a business, but not everyone will have the same empowering ideas as you. If you have a dream of starting your own business in Indiana, now’s the time to take the plunge!

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Check out our blog series all about starting an online store without prior experience. It‘s sort of like our own ecommerce reality show—starring Nicole.

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Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

Start Selling Online

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