Starting your business in Alaska is very similar, in many ways, to getting it started in the lower 48 states. While it is the nation’s coldest, biggest, and most remote state, it boasts of having the America’s second-highest rate of new entrepreneurs. Therefore, if you don’t mind the cold, Alaska could be the best place for setting up base of your new business venture; and here are seven easy steps to get you started.
Step 1: Have a Business Plan
Before opening shop in Alaska, make sure you have a well-documented business plan. This document is critical for securing funding, managing your business cash flow, and tracking progress as the business evolves. Some of the things to include in your business plan are a one-page summary of your business idea, its unique selling point, the target market, a marketing plan, and milestones you hope to achieve.
Step 2: Register the Business
Now that you have your business formed, it’s time to get it registered with the state. It is pertinent that you choose a company structure that best suits your circumstances; the main options available include registering the business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), S Corporation, C Corporation, or a Sole Proprietorship. However, before registering it, make sure that the business’ name is not currently used by another business through online resources like the Alaska Secretary of State Corporation Search.
Step 3: Licensing and Tax Obligations
You’ll need a business license to operate in Alaska. However, depending on your business niche, you may be required to get special permits, professional licenses, and handle special taxes too. It’s critical that you consult online resources like the Small Business Association, IRS, and the Alaska Department of Commerce for specific information on what your licensing and tax obligations are.
Step 4: Create a Business Account
One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a business is running it out of their personal bank accounts. To start on a good foundation, make sure that your personal and business expenses are kept separate. If you’ve already made this mistake, there is still time to remedy, simplifying your taxes and getting all the benefits associated with getting a business bank account.
Step 5: Financing Your Business
Trade credit, microloans, crowdfunding, angel investors and many others are just a few of the many funding opportunities you can get. The method you choose is dependent on the size of the business, financial security level, whether you have an established line of credit, among other factors. Resources like the Alaska Small Business Development Center can provide you with free advice on financial matters.
Step 6: Building Your Business
When everything is taken care of, you can start on building your brand. Today, building a professional brand involves making your business look worthwhile and credible to your customers and potential investors. Some of the things that are likely to have an impact on your business image include your business logo and website.
Step 7: Marketing Your Business
Finally, the final step that never ends involves marketing your business, its products, and services. Marketing is a critical step that requires daily input and care for it to be effective. When marketing, you need to consider your target market, make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin, be willing to grow and adapt, do not get distracted by metrics, and leverage on software that can help you calculate ROI, track social media activity and employee input using tools like example excel time sheets.
Once you get started, you’ll quickly notice that Alaska is beautiful for leaving and working in. Moreover, it’s a state that sets up business owners for success!