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6 Steps to Starting a Virtual Business

6 Steps to Start a Virtual Business

If you’re thinking of launching a business out of your home, here are a few ways you can take advantage of cloud-based programs to make the launch a little easier.

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According to the Small Business Administration, there are 27 million small businesses in the United States with about one-third of those being women-owned businesses with no employees. In other words, many of these businesses are run out of the homes of work-at-home mothers. If you’re thinking of launching a business out of your home, here are a few ways you can take advantage of cloud-based programs to make the launch a little easier.

Create a Business Plan

Whether brick-and-mortar or online, every business should have a business plan. The planning process alone will help you to get your mind around all of the fine points of running your own business. A good business plan will include the business structure, operational design and a solid financial analysis, including market segmentation. This may seem daunting, but it can be completed easily with the help of online business plan software.

File Your Business

The way that you organize your business will have an effect on your operations and taxes. You will want to know the risks and benefits of each of these business structures. The IRS is the definitive source on that information and everything can be seen on their website. Once you have made a decision, protect your business and keep it legal by registering your company with the state. Most states have an online portal to file your business with its State Department.

Register Your Domain

Since your business will have an online presence, you will need a domain name. You may want to stay away from convoluted platforms like GoDaddy and use direct access sites like Domain.com to research and purchase your domain name. When you are ready, have the domain self-hosted so that you stay in control of your online brand.

Create a Virtual Office

Now that you have finished the foundation work, it’s time to actually create your office. In this context, an office is your mind space, a place where you can separate your daily world from your work world. It needs to be able to keep you organized, be accessible from any location with online access and be scalable so that you can invite clients or employees into your office. And because your office is virtual, it’s important to use a trusted cloud service provider for your data storage and access.

Launch an E-Store

The actual access point to your business will most likely look like an e-commerce site. If you have products that you sell, then a shopping cart with integration to Etsy, Amazon and eBay would be a must. A simple WordPress site will be enough if you are a service-oriented business.

Manage Your Accounts

The last piece of having a business is actually running the business. Keeping the company going, making it successful and making good business decisions comes from having accurate financial statements. Quickbooks is a fully integrated, powerful accounting software that is completely online. Like the rest of your business functions, you can run the financial aspect of your business without needing to negatively affect your work-life balance.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I accepted that if I do not make myself a priority in my own life I will never have what I want. 

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate that I can be single minded and accomplish anything I set my mind to. 

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

I completed my PhD in Psychology in June of 2015 with the support of my husband and children. 

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

My not-so-perfect way is accepting the bumps in the road because they make the best stories. 

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

My husband has taught me to love myself by loving me so unconditionally that I had to learn to love and appreciate the object of his affection: Me!

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About the author

Dr. Elizabeth Reyes-Fournier

Dr. Elizabeth Reyes-Fournier

Dr. Elizabeth Reyes-Fournier attended Loyola Marymount University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Counseling. She has more than 25 years of experience working with families, couples and children as well as addiction. As a clinical director, she has lead Federal programs in the treatment of substance abuse and mental health. State programs have implemented her anger management programs designed for children. Elizabeth has served as expert witness on numerous legal cases, appeared on the Telemundo network, and has frequented the Miami affiliate for National Public Radio. Lee and her husband of 27 years co-created the CoupleDumb blog which has been nationally and internationally recognized for its writing and information. They also wrote and published a book titled “Dysaffirmations: Because this kind of stupid takes work”, which takes Viktor Frankl’s theory of paradoxical intentions and provides the readers dysfunctional affirmations.

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