chatIcon
Live Chat
Are you working remotely and need options to stay connected? We are here to help. [ Learn More ]
Home » Posts tagged 'business growth'

Starting a Business in Ohio

With a boom in start-ups and small businesses, Ohio is becoming a popular choice for new enterprises. Expanding to or starting a business in Ohio is an easy task. All you need is determination and the right documents and tools.

Starting a Businesses in Ohio, “the Heart of It All”

Located in the Midwest, Ohio has 88 counties and 247 cities and an estimated population of 11.72 million in 2019. The state is close to densely populated areas of the country like Detroit, Pittsburg, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. This makes the state a hub for transport, businesses, and trade.

Being the 7th largest economy in the U.S., Ohio is continuously expanding in areas of agriculture, aerospace, healthcare, education, research and development, and more. More recently, however, Ohio has also been paying attention to small businesses with 97.9% of Ohio’s companies being small businesses. Ohio’s local resources are encouraging small business growth in industries ranging from retail to clothing to hospitality to technology. The city of Columbus in Ohio created the first Small Business Concierge to assist small businesses with finances and more.

With the range of opportunities and governmental support available, Ohio is a good place to open a new enterprise. So, what do you need to keep in mind when starting a business in Ohio?

Starting a Business in Ohio
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#:2390363 ID#27446420

Step 1: Decide on a Business Name

The business name is your company’s first interaction with the customer. Therefore, you want it to be easy, memorable, and appropriate. Research to see if the name has already been used or may have any potential conflicts. Conduct a trademark search with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Finally, make sure that the name is available with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Business Filing Portal.

Step 2: Create A Business Plan

The next step to starting a business in Ohio is to create a business plan. A detailed business plan will outline:

  • How you plan to proceed with creating this company
  • What factors are necessary to consider for its success
  • Market research and projections to be considered
  • Equipment and software required
  • Expenses and costs (production costs, employee salaries, equipment costs, etc)

Step 3: Choose a Business Structure

Once you have your business plan, you will need to choose a business structure for your company:

  • Doing Business As (DBA): Using a different name than the business name.
  • Corporation: Separate entity that includes shareholders, partners, and directors. More complex than a DBA.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): Separate entity but doesn’t need directors or officers and provides easy management and taxation. Most popular business structure.

Step 4: Register the Business

It is important to register your new company with the Ohio Secretary of State by providing information and submitting the necessary forms. Also, you must register with the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Step 5: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to apply for and obtain an EIN number.

 Step 6: Open Company Bank Accounts

Once you receive your EIN, you can open bank accounts needed to run the business.

 Step 7: Obtain Necessary Licenses & Permits

The Ohio Business Gateway Licenses and Permits will provide you with a list of licenses and business permits. Make sure you obtain the appropriate licenses and documentation.

Step 8: Get a Business Phone Number

Once all of this is done, your company will be registered and open for business. This means it is time to start contacting and attracting customers or clients. To do so, you will need a business phone number. Whether you will be physically located in Ohio or plan on running your business remotely, having a local number will increase your chances of customer interactions. Customers prefer local numbers because they charge less to call. Additionally, consider getting a virtual toll free number because calls made to toll free numbers are charged to the receiver instead of the caller. This makes it even easier for customers to contact you. After getting a business number, market it on billboards, websites, paid ads, etc.

How Can Global Call Forwarding Help?

Global Call Forwarding can assist your efforts in starting a business in Ohio by providing you with a virtual or local business number. Since virtual numbers work over the internet, you can receive calls on any device in any location. These numbers come with additional benefits of call forwarding, which lets you forward calls to a number where it will definitely be answered. This ensures that no call goes missed. Sign up for a toll free number today and get your business on the road to success in Ohio!

Earning the Trust of Your Customers: Why It’s a Long-Term Investment

One of the most, if not the most, important aspects of the customer experience is based on trust. Customers simply will not do business with a company they do not trust. Today, consumer trust is sadly at an all-time low. This is not due to a single event or even a handful of events, but instead, due to a slow and painful chipping away at the relationships between businesses and consumers. Relationships can be long lasting depending on how you nurture them which is why earning the trust of your customers is so important.

Every time a company makes a customer repeat themselves multiple times, wait on hold for an unreasonable amount of time, fill out a pile of paperwork or complete any other extraordinarily frustrating task, the customer loses a bit of trust in the company. And without trust, there is no relationship between a customer and the company.

Why Earning Trust is Important in Customer Relationships

Many companies are hyper-focused on getting tasks accomplished quickly. There are a lot of discussions related to streamlining processes and finding ways to become more efficient. It all sounds great in theory until you realize that the operational efficiency many times works in complete counter to a quality customer experience. By trying to get through as many customers as possible in a short amount of time, you may increase your volume, but the company is also sacrificing personalized customer support, and this erodes customer trust in the company. Instead of a customer feeling like a human who is able to trust a company to help them solve any issue, a customer is left feeling like a number who is rapidly being pushed down an assembly line dubbed, “customer care.”

This is not the ultimate goal for a business to be successful. Instead, earning the trust of your customers should be at the core of every conversation and decision. Building trust doesn’t happen quickly or easily. A business must remain consistent in the messaging, understand the personas of those in their market, and deliver on promises made over time. When your customers and prospects trust you, they are more likely to invest in your brand. When you have their trust, you are also typically able to command a higher price for your goods and/or services and boost the lifetime value of each of your customers.

Earning the Trust of Your Customers
Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 ID#100179306196

Strategies that Benefit Your Business in the Long Run

Here are some strategies in planning for earning the trust of your customers as a long-term investment:

Make yourself available to your customers for questions and concerns. Customers often have questions and if there is no way for them to get answers or they can’t get the answers in a timely manner, they will often go elsewhere.

Offer a product that is reliable. Selling something and boasting about all of the features is one thing, but delivering a product that is exactly what was promised is another thing. If you sell a low-quality product, it is sure to draw negative reviews and this can lead to a break in trust and a decrease in credibility within the market. Putting a product through rigorous testing is a good way to resolve this and ensure you are delivering a product that is high quality, as you have promised.

Other ways to earn the trust of your customers:

  • Be transparent
  • Bring value to your clients
  • Maintain consistency
  • Ensure your messaging is in line with your actions
  • Create consistent imagery across all of your marketing materials
  • Know your prospects
  • Deliver the expected brand experience

Earning the trust of your customers should be at the center of every strategic planning session and every action was taken by an organization because, without trust, a business cannot succeed.

We all know that trust is the precursor to any meaningful and long-lasting relationship. Buyers, ultimately, must put their faith in the companies and people they choose to do business with. Trust is a byproduct of commitment. It is the universal factor that will essentially make or break an opportunity. In mapping out a plan for earning the trust of your customers, you should aim to deliver the right results to the right people. In the long-term, they will trust you and your business and invest in your product and service offerings. Once you have carved out your identity within your market, stay on top of communications and back up everything you say with tangible actions. This is the path to business growth and success in any industry.

Accountability: Why Your Business Needs It

To effectively carry out a complex project or implement a strategic business plan, a culture of accountability must be developed throughout an organization. In order to achieve success, everyone within the organization needs to understand the organization’s strategy, their individual roles within the organization, and all specific tasks they are responsible for. Accountability is not limited to staff members within an organization. Managers and business leaders must also follow through on their promises and maintain a commitment to their organizational goals and to their individual performance.

How To Build Accountability in Business

When accountability is absent, the effects can snowball through an entire organization. Particularly when there is a large team with multiple people working in various roles on a project, this can pose issues. The result will be delays in project completion (if the project is completed at all) and negativity eroding attitudes of team members. A lack of trust could develop and both the performance and overall culture of an organization can suffer greatly.

If you want a high-performing team that is committed to taking ownership of their tasks and projects, read on. Here are some tips regarding accountability and why your business needs it.

1. Accountability means creating and nurturing an environment of trust and openness

When team members are behind or make mistakes, it is important that they feel comfortable enough to approach others on the team or a leader of the team for advice or help, with enough time to address and correct the issue. Asking for help can be very difficult, but it can also help to build trust, understanding, and autonomy, which leads to the development of strong teams that are very productive. This is just one tip, which highlights the importance of accountability and why your business needs it.

2. Understanding staff and what individually motivates them

Everyone has different motivations. Despite this, there are specific business culture traits that will lead to increased workplace satisfaction. When team members are given the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop in their roles, along with being made to feel that their contribution is essential, this is a plus for everyone. To help sustain a business culture that supports these values in conjunction with accountability and performance, business owners can avoid micromanagement, stay open to communicating, encourage collaboration, support employee education, and growth, and continue their own educations through conferences and workshops.

Accountability Why Your Business Needs It
Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 ID#100050738501

3. Set clear goals that are actionable and provide metrics for success

When a team leaves a meeting or a conversation, it is important that they leave with a clear understanding of what their specific tasks and responsibilities are. This involves going over timelines and deadlines. By defining these aspects clearly, a team can leave a meeting with an understanding of what the next steps to take are, how much time they should spend on these tasks, and what the resulting product should be. Again, this is another critical step in establishing accountability.

4. Track and periodically review your progress, notice successes, and failures

In order for a team member to know when a project is completed and the level of quality that is expected of them, there has to be some form of tracking in place. This tracking method must have clearly defined definitions of success worked into it. Whether the progress is monitored on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, it is important to do this to figure out if the project is on track and within scope.

Even leaders need to remember that they need help in staying accountable. A leader may become too focused on day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the big picture or, in contrast, they may develop such a wide scope that they have a hard time understanding the more intricate aspects of the organization. On the short-term, this may not necessarily cause a problem, but if this continues, this could lead to great difficulty in maintaining accountability to the organizational strategy.

Working with a partner that helps with strategy from outside of the organization could assist in this area. A partner could help leaders to maintain an understanding of where the business is going, as well as to maintain momentum. This outside partner could also help in keeping the team motivated and aligned with the company vision and strategies.

When leaders are committed to their accountability, it can make a huge impact on their organization, which leads to alignment and the overall success of the organization.