Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in Louisiana (LA)

If starting a business is a step you’ve always wanted to take, don’t be afraid to dive into your dreams today. If you’re looking to start a business in Louisiana, some great benefits can come along with your chosen locale.

Louisiana is 4th in lowest in the country in labor cost as well as 9th in lowest business costs. On top of that, Louisiana carries the 14th lowest tax burden in the US.

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Louisiana’s Most Popular Businesses

To open up a business, you must first have an idea of the product or service you would like to provide to your customers. Louisiana does have some trendy businesses that do well with the visitors and residents of the state. For example, clothing boutiques, inflatable bounce house rentals, lawn care, and drive-in movie theaters are all popular at the moment.

Planning Processes

Once you choose what type of business you want to run, you can start the process of opening the doors. Here are some things to keep in mind along the way:

1. Pick a name

Of course, a no-brainer to opening a business is to choose a proper name to represent your store. You want to choose something that can showcase what your business provides and a sneak peek at the experience the customers can expect. This may take some inner questioning of what you want your business to portray, but once you figure that out, you can start to make a list of possible names.

In Louisiana, there are some rules to keep in mind while going through the naming process, however, don’t let those stop your creative process or final choice. 
More than likely, your desired name is still okay in the state of Louisiana, and you can open your dream business with your dream name on the front of the building.

2.  Conduct market research

Through market research, you can learn what your desired customers’ wants and needs are from a business like yours. You’ll also be able to see what your competitors are offering to them, to know how you can potentially make your store even better than what’s out there.

3.  Choose a structure

One of the ways you can help make your business more credible and fight against any possible liabilities is to choose a business structure. You can pick a structure that properly represents the goals and vision for your store. This could be an LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or non-profit.

Registering in Louisiana

After you’ve chosen the right structure for your business, you will need to register it in Louisiana. To do this, the state may ask for information such as your business’s name, employer identification number, formation documents, and your registered agent that handles the business’s taxes. Depending on the structure you chose, different documents or certifications may be asked of you.

It’s All About Location

If you are planning to open a brick-and-mortar store, you will need to choose a location. To help your business be profitable, you should look for areas with high foot traffic, where your desired customers will be, and high word of mouth. In Louisiana, you could start your search with Baton Rouge and New Orleans. If an online store is more up your alley, then you have some more flexibility in Louisiana, as you can base your store anywhere you’d like.

Focus on Banking

A way to keep both you and your business safe from any risks or future liabilities is to open up a separate bank account for the business. This will help keep your personal assets separate, and you can track the business’s transactions easier.

This can also be done by getting a credit card solely for the store. By doing this you can also create a credit score for your business. To make it easier, you could hire an accountant, or download software to help keep track of your business’s spending and help during tax season.

Insure Your Business

Getting insurance for your business can help protect against risks and allow your business to grow with little to no issues. You could get a form of Workers’ Compensation Insurance, General Liability Insurance, or Professional Liability Insurance. In the state of Louisiana, if your business has one or more employees, you will need to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance no matter what.

Hiring Employees

Hiring employees can be a very exciting step in your business. This shows amazing growth and profits within your store. It gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people as well as people who can help properly represent your company. While that is very exciting, you want to ensure you are hiring them properly. This could mean making sure you are registered with the IRS for Employer Taxes and that you are reporting all your new hires to Louisiana.

Branding

By having good branding, you are giving your customers an experience through your store and showing them your visions and values as a business. Branding is the perfect way to help show off the amazing qualities of your store.

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

Asking yourself questions such as these could help you narrow down what type of branding you should look into and what your motivations are.

On top of that, the creation of a logo can show off your store and branding with a simple picture or set of words. This may be the first or last thing your customers see so you want to make something that properly represents your business.

Get Online

Being online in the world today can help people find you with ease and even connect to people outside your local area. The first way you could do this is by having a website. This site can showcase your branding, values, information, and even products if you wish to sell online as well.

Whether you want an online store or to stick with brick-and-mortar, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok could be your best friend. You are able to show off what your business is and stands for while also giving updates to deals and promos all from your page.

Online Business

If your dreams are to have a fully online store, this might have already crossed your mind.

To build an enticing website, sell your products, and even connect your business with other marketplace platforms, companies like Ecwid are there to help.

Ecwid helps put your products out on sites like Facebook and Instagram along with the website they can help create for you. With being able to sell from multiple places, you can create more virtual foot traffic for your business. Ecwid is also able to help track your online sales from every platform and show inventory changes. With your motivation mixed with the help from Ecwid, your online store dreams can be made a reality with a click of a button.

Marketing

Having an online presence is one thing, but the marketing is done for your business is what gets you the sales. Depending on the size and goals of your business, you could have a monthly budget of $250 to $,1500 to go to online and offline marketing strategies.

If you are hoping to stay offline, you could spend this money on business cards, signage, pamphlets, or community events you want to attend.

If you want to do it online, however, your spending may look different. That budget could go to paying for ad space on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube. You should also have business pages on these sites.

A good middle-ground for those two options could be Google My Business. A free online program that allows you to connect with your local customers and give information.

If you are looking for a tried and true option, email and text message subscriptions are also a great way to create return customers.

Don’t be afraid to take that next step in your life. Open that business you have been dreaming about in Louisiana.

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Transform it into an offline business later.

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Learn the basics

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So you’re ready to start selling online. Now the million-dollar question… where do you start?

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Read real stories

Get Yourself Ready
For Surprises

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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We’ll help you navigate through the market and find the most profitable channels.

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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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