How to Start a Business

To understand the concepts related to starting a business, we will use our online t-shirt store, Shirts 4 Mike, as an example. This includes the basics of marketing, finance, accounting, and the legal aspects of creating a company.

Cover business start

7 Achievements

Why Start a Business?

Why Start a Business?

So you want to start a business? In this stage, we address the basic needs for starting a company, from setting goals to defining success.

  • 2:54

    Introduction to the Project
  • 1 question

    Break-Even Costs
  • 2:45

    Competitor Analysis
  • 1:51

    Setting Goals
  • 1:53

    Defining Success
  • 5 questions

    Why Start a Business?
  • Extra Credit

    Take a break from thinking about companies for a moment. Let’s consider some of your own personal goals. Jot down a few ideas about personal goals you’d like to accomplish in the near future, or even years from now. These goals might involve personal aspects of your life such as family, where you live, how much money you make, or giving back to your community.

    Is it possible to integrate these goals into the professional goals you have at your job, or for the business you run (or want to run)? For example, could you find a way to help out a local school, for example, through the work you do? Or, could you help mentor a younger person learning the same subjects you know? Including personal goals in the mix with professional ones can make all your efforts more personal and relevant in the long run.

Hide 6 Steps
Corporate Structure

Corporate Structure

One of the first steps to starting a company is choosing a legal structure for your business and filling out the relevant paperwork. In this stage, we address the advantages of incorporating, the different business structures available, and where you can incorporate.

Show 8 Steps
Forming Your Company

Forming Your Company

Once you’ve figured out your legal choices in regards to incorporating, you might think you’re done and ready to go. Not just yet! You have to make sure you and any co-founders are on the same page and that you secure your intellectual property before you finally sign off on everything. Let’s take a look at what that means.

Show 6 Steps
Marketing Basics

Marketing Basics

The first steps of your marketing efforts will include establishing your online presence, from your website to your social media identities. By defining who you are what you do, you will be able to create your messaging and initial content to share with potential customers.

Show 11 Steps
Introduction to Accounting

An Introduction to Accounting

Managing your company's books and keeping an eye on your cash flow is absolutely crucial to your company's success. To help you with that, let's go over a few basic accounting concepts, including debits and credits, cash flow, and how to use accounting software.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing Strategy

The content you create will be a key component to your marketing efforts. We'll discuss how to create it, where to publish it, and the different forms it can take from websites to mobile devices.

  • 2:20

    Domain Name
  • 4:04

    Website Basics
  • 2:14

    Content Marketing
  • 7 questions

    Content Marketing
  • 3:02

  • 1:46

  • 2:07

  • 6 questions

    Marketing Strategy
  • Extra Credit

    Refining and improving your own website is all well and good, but when you have multiple competitors to deal with, you have to keep an eye on them as well. Define a short list of your primary competitors and visit their websites. Keep an eye out for the same aspects you should have on your own website: a strong unique value proposition, clear navigation, calls to action on the home page, and recently updated content.

    Defeating competitors isn’t about copying them; it’s about distinguishing yourself with unique value and letting prospective customers know about it. After looking at the competition, consider ways you can improve upon your own website and marketing messages without copying what others are doing.

Show 8 Steps
Making Money

Making Money

Your business cannot survive unless you make money. There's many ways to do that however - do you price high or low? Do you charge hourly or per project? To arrive at an answer, we need to understand our costs, our pricing structure and the different ways we can collect money.

Show 6 Steps


  • Dan Gorgone

    Dan is an experienced web designer and usability consultant and teacher. He has created sites for event, publishing, real estate, and energy companies, and formerly taught web design and usability at Full Sail University. Twitter: @dangorgone

  • Pasan Premaratne

    Pasan spends most of his time learning and the rest trying to figure out how to pass that knowledge on to others. It's a hard job but he loves it all the same. You can find him everywhere as @pasanpr

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