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Entrepreneurship - Getting Off the Ground

By Marcelo Morbelli 4 Apr 2017

As technology advances and communication becomes easier, the ability to start and maintain a business grows more simple and manageable. Most resources a potential business owner might need can be found online or at local hubs such as libraries. Templates for business plans and pitch decks are a web search away, and crowdfunding has become a financial source for every type of entrepreneur, from app developers to artists.

Making Good Use of the Internet
There are certain prerequisites to setting up a business, but even those can be handled very easily. Entrepreneurs can confirm that a particular business name is not in use by any similar or nearby organizations by searching the Web and looking at databases run by their state and city governments. Business licenses for each state can be downloaded, and in many cases submitted, online. The IRS now offers an online application for employer identification numbers (EINs). Many other accreditations offer similar services, depending on the industry.

Social Media
Connecting with likeminded professionals is equally efficient. With social media serving as both a marketing tool and a form of contact, entrepreneurs can mold their business’ image according to their own preferences and present their companies to customers and investors alike. It has never been easier for customers to contact businesses or for businesses to provide fast and customized service - but this ability can backfire, as a company’s history and communications now largely exist online for all to see.

Financing and Crowdfunding
While business loans do exist for those who might choose to take on debt while establishing their companies, bootstrapped organizations - those that exist based on their revenue or the personal finances of their owners - can acquire funding online as well. “Bootstrapping” is now considered a credible way of running a business, as it shows a careful budget and a sustainable business plan when maintained over time. Crowdfunding has grown as an additional resource for these companies. In crowdfunding, organizations present their ideas and objectives to a wide range of investors, usually through an online platform. Unlike traditional business lending, these investors can include professionals, family and friends, or just strangers who are interested in a particular industry. These investors can donate small amounts over time, providing steady lifelines to young businesses.

Crowdfunding attracts investors who are interested in the business. In equity crowdfunding, investors take on a share of the business and earn a pre-determined percentage of the company’s revenue. Sometimes, this equity includes a degree of decision-making, such as the ability to vote or offer opinions on the company’s progress. In any case, the investors remain engaged with the company’s well-being, since the value of their equity in it rises with the success of the business or falls with its failure. The facets of this owner-investor relationship have made it popular today, as the ability to communicate with businesses grows and improves.

Are You Ready?
With technology facilitating business transactions around the world, the rate of entrepreneurship has grown, with more and more individuals abandoning traditional careers to seek their own fortunes. More and more cities are embracing business ownership, and with so many business functions, from setup to funding, available online, there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.


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