With the new rise of online businesses, ecommerce, and the vast amounts of information online regarding business, creating your own business has never been easier. With that being said, the steps needed to be taken in order to conduct business legally in your state will most likely differ from other states. When starting a business in the State of Hawaii not all businesses are required to have a general business license. Some businesses may only require a permit or both depending on the county you are starting your business on. Another determining factor as to what licenses or permits you may need to apply for through the state of Hawaii is based on what industry your business is a part of. After learning about which license or permit you may need, you must register your new business with it’s business structure. There are many options to choose from including a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole Proprietorship, S Corporation, Partnership Corporations and more.
To get further information on the licenses and permits your business may need, visit
The link to register your business with the state of Hawaii can be found here: http://cca.hawaii.gov/breg/registration/
Or watch this video on how to navigate the Hawaii Business Express website to learn about the permits, licenses, or registration you may need:
When starting a new business, it is important to research what legal structure you are going to file your business under. Some structures have advantages over other ones and vice versa. Take the time to understand each one and choose the one best suited for you and your business. If in doubt or unsure on what business structure is best suited for your new business in Hawaii, ask a professional. Websites like legalzoom offer extensive attorney advice on business structures and will help you choose and set up a business structure. The U.S. Small Business Administration also is a great resource to compare the most common business structures with their advantages and disadvantages that can be viewed here.
Now that you know how to register your business with the state of Hawaii and have chosen a business structure, you need a new business name. While some people may choose a business name that sounds catchy or a family name, one of the best ways to get inspiration for a business name and make the most out of it is by learning what people are searching for on Google. For example; someone in the Kailua area looking for someone to paint their house. That person may search google for ‘Kailua house painter’ or ‘home painting Kailua’. If your business was to learn what people are searching for on google it could help create a high ranking business name in terms of keywords. You can check out Google’s Free Keyword Planner Tool and learn which terms people search for the most when looking for a particular business. After deciding on your business name, you should go ahead and create social media accounts, emails, and business directory listings with your new Hawaii business name.
After creating a business name and completing the legal work behind setting up your business, you now need a website so that customers can view your products or services and contact your business. Luckily in today’s world there are many do-it-yourself website builders that are suited for all skill levels. There are easier and more beginner friendly website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and Godaddy where they offer an easy to use interface and drag-and-drop website building elements at a cost. Although they are beginner friendly and easier to use, most of them are limited to their capabilities. Website builders such as WordPress are free to use but are not as beginner friendly as the other builders mentioned above. WordPress requires a little more experience to use and time to understand, but the possibilities with WordPress are endless and offer many more features and integrations than any other website builder.
This is important to keep in mind since websites have become the new virtual storefront for most successful businesses and brands today. Your website in most cases will be your customers first experience with your brand and business. New business owners should take the time to do their own due diligence when deciding on what website building platform will be best for their circumstances. A well-built, responsive, and well planned website can provide your business with valuable customer insights that can change the way you run your business and ultimately increase your profit margins when utilizing all of the data your website collects.
An alternative to building your website by yourself would be to hire a marketing agency to build and optimize one for you. By doing this you will save time and end up with a professional website designed for your business that is easy to use and navigate for your customers. We at Sage Marketing Solutions specialize in custom website design amongst other digital marketing services we offer. Feel free to learn more about what we can do for your business and our clients have to say about us by visiting our website.
With the addition of a Business and a brand new website we now need to drive traffic and customers to your website to create sales. This is where the marketing process comes in. Luckily, marketing online is cheaper, highly targetable and provides more insight than traditional advertising channels. Paying for advertising for your new business on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, or Youtube are all great platforms with relatively low minimum ad spend required to start paid traffic advertising campaigns. Each platform has their advantages and disadvantages with some being more insightful than others with some offering more specific audience targeting than others. Using multiple advertising platforms in unison with each other can drastically improve your advertising efforts and reduce your CPA(cost per acquisition) over time as more data can be used to optimize your ad campaigns.
You can also advertise your business for free by creating and maintaining your business’s social media account. To grow your business’s social media accounts, it is best to focus on creating content that people want to consume and share. Also, engaging with your current audience and utilizing features specific to your social media platform such as hashtags and geolocations to further your account reach.
If you are still unsure how and where to market your business, sometimes it is best to emulate what other similar businesses are doing for their marketing. For example: if your business specializes in car detailing, observe what your car detailing competitors are doing for marketing. Are they using facebook ads? Are they posting car detailing videos on instagram? Are they buying newspaper ads? Use this strategy to get an idea of what marketing works for them so that you may get a better idea as to what could possibly work for your similar business. We must also think about what makes your business unique or what gives it a USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Standing out from your competition is going to help you drive more traffic and customers.
When marketing your business, one of your main focuses should be on creating ways of obtaining contact information from your potential customers. Contact information such as phone numbers and emails will be extremely useful because you can later remarket towards them and move them along your sales funnel to eventually convert them into paying customers.
Another free and high quality source of traffic and potential leads is through utilizing Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Having your business website appear within Google or Bing’s search results can bring in customers that are currently looking for your product or service. For example, let’s refer back to the car detailing business that was mentioned above. If people are searching in google for ‘car detailing’ and your website appears within the first few results, chances are most people searching for car detailing will land on your website and convert to paying customers.
Lastly, in order for your business to grow and prosper, you need to constantly improve your product or service. Offering a superior product or service over your competitors will allow you to eventually charge more and gain more customers. Many business owners, believe it or not, overlook or forget that they need to constantly improve their product instead of only focusing on running their business. If you were to constantly improve, you will eventually surpass your competitors and have the ability to grow expeditiously.
If you want to jump on a Strategy Call and talk about your business goals, Sage Marketing Solutions does offer Free Consultations to any new or existing business or business owners. Please Contact Us to get started.