Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in Ohio (OH)

Ohio has the second-lowest cost of living in the country. It also has the third-largest access to funding and the seventh-largest economy. We know there’s a common joke that Ohio isn’t real, and with those stats, it certainly does seem too good to be true!

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Best Business Ideas for Ohio

  • Lawn care business
  • Grocery store
  • Drive-in movie theater
  • Gas station
  • Stingray breeding business

Whatever you decide, you’re going to need a solid business plan.

Planning Processes

Drafting a business plan can be daunting, we get it. That’s why we have a step-by-step instruction guide to drafting your business plan.

1. Playing the name game

Choose a name for your business that is straightforward and doesn’t leave your customers wondering what you sell. While there are some rules and regulations for naming your business, don’t let that discourage you. For example, Cupid’s Stinger is an excellent name for your stingray breeding business.

2.  Conducting market research

It’s crucial that you get to know your market. Do search engine optimization research. Hold focus groups. Conduct surveys. You may discover surprising things! Cupid’s Stinger found out it may not have the market it originally thought it would.

3.  Structuring your business

LLC, corporation, nonprofit, partnership, sole proprietorship: which is best? It depends on your final goals. Registering as an LLC has favorable tax treatment, while a nonprofit is funded by donations, as opposed to investors. Cupid’s Stinger would likely work best as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

Registering in Ohio

Get all the info you need about your business, including your business’ name, employer identification number (EIN), and the name of your registered agent, then file those formation documents. Depending on the structure you choose, you may need different documents.

Congrats, Cupid’s Stinger, LLC is now an officially recognized business in the state of Ohio!

Best Location for Your Business in Ohio

Before you decide where to put your business, you have to make sure your space will allow for everything you intend. Will you have enough space for growth? Do you need foot traffic? For instance, if your business will rely heavily on foot traffic, you’ll need to ensure your office is in a heavily populated area, like Akron or Toledo. Cupid’s Stinger, LLC needs a lot of space for its stingray operation.

Banking and Accounting

It’s very important to make sure you have a separate banking account for your business. This not only makes it easier to manage your business transactions but also ensures that your personal assets are protected should your company get sued. You should also look into opening a credit line in your company’s name, as establishing good credit makes your company more attractive to potential lenders. We suggest hiring a business accountant. They may be able to save your business thousands of dollars!

Ensure Your Business Is Insured

Business insurance is crucial to growing your small business in Ohio. It’s a way to ensure your business avoids any unknown risks, like an employee stubbing their toe on the property or a white-tailed deer deciding it needs to have a cute little stingray for a pet, wait times be cursed. In Ohio, any company with one or more employees is required to have worker’s comp insurance. However, this does not include the owner.

Permits and Licensing

To operate your business legally, you’re going to need to determine which licenses are needed. The best way to do this is to search for permits and licenses needed is to conduct a search on a federal, state, and local level. To best assess which licensing is necessary for your local area, we suggest calling your local clerk and asking directly. Hiring a professional to help you with this step can be a great stress-reliever.

Hiring Employees

Hiring can be an exciting time in a new business’ life. Curating the perfect team to represent your company can be one of the things to make everything seem “real.” However, it’s important to ensure your hiring practices are legal. This includes ensuring you’re registered with the IRS for employee taxes and reporting your new hires to the state of Ohio. It’s also important to ensure you’re registered with Ohio State Taxes, withholding tax, and unemployment tax. We recommend starting a payroll system to ensure your employees are getting paid on time. It also helps you to better manage your time!

Branding

Branding is fun for some, miserable for others. First, let’s start with the logo. Make sure your logo is representative of the brand and what you offer, and make sure it’s visually pleasing to your customer. Cupid’s Stinger thinks aquatic colors with a fluid font work best to express what they do. You may decide muted, calming colors work best for your brand. There is plenty of software online that can help you if you’re stumped, too.

Branding also requires you to think about what your values are as a company. Do you believe there aren’t enough stingray breeders on this side of the Mississippi? Do you think there is no room for stingray breeders in the US because stingrays have caused enough problems? This might seem like an odd example, but it’s necessary to make it clear to yourself as much as to your customer the values your company holds itself to and what it can offer to your customers.

Do some personal reflection and truly embrace what your company believes in. Making sure these points strike home will ensure that your customers are in it for the long run.

Online Presence

In the day and age of social media, having an online presence for your brand is very important. While this can look like having a website and online store (if applicable), this also means you need Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok accounts. One of the best things you can do for your business is to follow trends on social media. It makes you look hip and in touch, and it will help your business flourish. Get creative!

Marketing

Having an online presence is great, but what about marketing on those platforms? All legitimate businesses have a website. And if we’re being honest, the less legitimate ones do, too. Unfortunately, social media profiles are not a replacement for a website. Having a professional website makes your brand seem trustworthy and reliable, plus it offers all-around better branding.

If this seems to be way too much, don’t worry! Companies like Ecwid help your store grow and succeed. They can help you create a beautiful, easy-to-navigate website while allowing you to market your products on other online platforms mentioned above. Ecwid even allows you to track your digital sales on a dashboard, where you can see your inventory. They’ll help make sure your business runs smoothly.

Start Your Business Online

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

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Start Selling Products & Services Online

You don’t have to worry about the office or warehouse if you choose to sell online. Save your time and money.

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Learn the basics

Starting an Online Store Business is Easy.
We’ll Show You.

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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Find a product

Looking For Things
To Sell Online?

Discover best-selling products and how you can start selling them online and make money.

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Select sales channels

Catch Your Customers Where They Are

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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