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Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in Virginia (VA)

Virginia boasts caverns, fields, and some pretty promising statistics for potential entrepreneurs. Virginia ranks 3rd in ease of doing business nationally, and 7th in both population growth and overall quality of life. Sounds pretty good, right? Does it make you want to start your own small business in Virginia? If so, follow our step-by-step guide!

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Best Business Ideas for Virginia

If the only thing you know about your small business is that you want to start one, that’s ok! Here are some of the best small business ideas for Virginia:

  • Drive-in movie theater
  • Clothing boutique
  • Bank
  • Security guard company
  • Disco-themed physical therapy practice

Whatever you decide on, it’s important to draft 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 up 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 exactly you do. While there are some rules and regulations for naming your business, don’t let that discourage you. For example, Move It or Lose It is an excellent name for disco-themed physical therapy practice.

2.  Conducting market research

It’s crucial to get to know your market. Do search engine optimization research. Hold focus groups. Conduct surveys. You may find out surprising things! Move It or Lose It found out it may not have the wide customer base it originally thought it would.

3.  Structuring your business

LLC, corporation, nonprofit, partnership, sole proprietorship: which is best? It depends on what your goal is. Registering as an LLC offers favorable tax treatment, while a nonprofit is funded by donations, as opposed to investors. Move It or Lose It would likely work best as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

Registering in Virginia

Get all the info you need about your business. Get your business’ name, the 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, Move It or Lose It, LLC is now an officially recognized business in the state of Virginia!

Best Location for Your Business in Virginia

Before you decide on an area to set up shop, it’s important to decide what your goals are and what is necessary for maintaining your business. For instance, do you anticipate growth? Then operating in your bedroom may not be the best idea, unless you sell primarily online. Will your business rely heavily on foot traffic? If so, you may want to consider getting an office space in a heavily populated area such as Hampton or Richmond.

Move It or Lose It may not rely heavily on foot traffic, but it would be a good idea to locate it in an area that is easy to find.

Banking and Accounting

When it comes to mixing business and pleasure, don’t. Make sure you have separate accounts for your personal and your business banking. This will not only help you to stay on top of your business expenditures but will ensure your personal assets are protected in the event your business is sued. It’s also a good idea to investigate opening a credit line in your business’ name, as having established credit looks more attractive to potential lenders. We recommend hiring a business accountant, as their services can help your business save thousands!

Ensure Your Business Is Insured

Business insurance is crucial to growing your small business in Virginia. It’s a way to ensure your business avoids any unknown risks, like an employee stubbing their toe on the property, or an American black bear deciding it wants to get his groove on. In Virginia, businesses with two or more employees (not including business owners) are required to have worker’s comp insurance.

Permits and Licensing

Depending on what kind of business you’re opening and where you’re opening it, you’re going to need different licensing. To determine what is needed, we recommend conducting a search on a federal and state level, then calling your clerk’s office and directly asking what is needed on a local level. We strongly suggest hiring a professional for this step to ensure you don’t skip over any necessities to operate your business legally.

Hiring Employees

Hiring can be an exciting time in a small business’ life. It can be the first time entrepreneurs see their dreams coming to fruition. However, it’s important to ensure your hiring practices are legal. This includes ensuring your business is enrolled with IRS employee taxes, reporting new hires to the State of Virginia, and registering for Virginia State taxes. Once you’ve built your dream team, we recommend utilizing a payroll system. This will not only ensure your employees get paid on time, but it helps you manage your time.

Branding

Branding is fun for some, miserable for others. How do you want to make an impression on the public? First, let’s start with the logo. Make sure your logo is representative of the brand and what you offer, then make sure it’s visually pleasing to your customers. Move It or Lose It thinks bright, fun colors and funky font work best to express what they do. You may decide dark, muted graphics 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 needs to be more fun for people going to physical therapy? Do you believe physical therapy is serious business and there’s no need for a disco-themed practice? 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 needing Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok accounts. One of the best things you can do for your business is 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, and it offers all more opportunities for branding.

If this seems to be way too much effort, 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 monitor your inventory. They’ll help make sure your Virginia small business is headed for success.

Start Your Business Online

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

Try now

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Go online

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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