Ecwid for Small Business
How to Start a Small Business in Washington (WA)
You may know Washington State as the home of Bigfoot and Seattle, but did you know it has the top overall quality of life in the nation? It also ranks 4th in quality of education, and it has the 5th best access to venture capital, nationally. These stats make it a natural place for you to think of as a base when thinking about starting your own business. If you’re interested in starting a business in Washington, we’re here to help you get started.
Best Business Ideas for Washington
If all you know about your small business is that you want to own and operate it, that’s ok! Here are some of the best small business ideas in Washington:
- Bait and tackle shop
- Bakery that only sells crumbled up cookies
Whatever you decide on, it’s imperative to draft up a solid business plan.
Drafting a business plan can be daunting, we get it. That’s why we have a
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, The Way the Cookie Crumbles is an excellent name for your bakery that only sells crumbled up cookies.
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! The Way the Cookie Crumbles found out it may not have the broad customer base it originally expected to.
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. The Way the Cookie Crumbles would likely work best as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship.
Registering in Washington
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: The Way the Cookie Crumbles, LLC is now an officially recognized business in the state of Washington!
Best Location for Your Business in Washington
Before you decide to sell your cookie dust out of your bedroom window, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Does your location allow for potential growth? Will your business rely heavily on foot traffic? If so, it’s a good idea to set up your business in an office space in a heavily populated area, such as Seattle or Vancouver (no, we don’t mean the one in Canada). Whatever you choose, it’s important to ensure you have the proper documentation.
Banking and Accounting
It’s a good idea to ensure you have a separate account for your business. This will not only help to stay on top of business expenditures, but will protect your personal assets in the event your business is sued. It’s a good idea to open a credit line in your business’ name, as having established credit makes your business more attractive to potential lenders. We recommend hiring a business accountant or accounting software, as they can help to save your business thousands.
Ensure Your Business Is Insured
Business insurance is crucial to growing your small business in Washington. It’s a way to ensure your business avoids any unknown risks, like an employee stubbing their toe on the property, or an Olympic marmot deciding it really needs some cookie crumbs. In Washington State, businesses with one 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’ll need different permits and licensing in order to operate it legally. The best way to determine what your business will need is to conduct a search on a federal and state level, then call your local clerk’s office to determine what is needed on a local level. We suggest hiring a professional for this step to ensure you aren’t missing any important permits or licenses.
Hiring can be an exciting time in a small business’ life. Curating a group of people to represent your small business can be thrilling! However, it’s important to ensure the excitement isn’t preventing you from following the proper laws. This includes ensuring your business is enrolled with the IRS’ employee taxes, reporting your new hires to the State of Washington, and registering for both business & occupation tax and unemployment insurance tax with Washington State.
Branding is fun for some, miserable for others. How do you make your business competitive and unique? 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. The Way the Cookie Crumbles thinks bright, fun colors and funky fonts 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 need to be options for cookie crumble bakeries? Do you believe cookie crumbs are crumby and the traditional whole cookie is superior? 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.
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 maintaining an active presence on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. One of the best things you can do for your business is follow trends on social media. It makes you look hip and
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
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 Washington small business is headed for success.
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