Everything’s bigger in Texas. We all know that’s true, from the size of the hats to the size of the state itself. What’s more, you can dream big in Texas. It provides a very fertile environment to run a business, and with such a huge population and the second biggest economy in the United States, there is no doubt that you can find a market to attract.
However, there are some steps you should take if you want to find success in Texas. Many businesses fail early on in the process, and failure to do the groundwork could put you within that group. Here’s what you need to know about running a business in Texas.
Find a Niche
It’s not enough to be good at doing something or to produce a new product. There has to be something different about whatever it is you are looking to sell. Otherwise, you are just competing against products and services that are already available and established. That can be like butting your head against a wall repeatedly.
Finding a niche in the market that you can exploit is important. Find an underserved market, and start providing it with what they want. This will do two things. For one, starting with a niche won’t cause you to overextend yourself and your budget. You can work in a limited space.
Two, if you are providing something never before offered, you can impress those who buy it. They will grow to trust you and become repeat customers. As you bring in revenue from your niche, you can then start to think about expanding your reach and branching out into new things. Slow and steady growth is easier to manage and more sustainable than a quick boom followed by a bust.
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is a detailed roadmap for your business. It is where you will put down in writing how you will run your business, from logistics to marketing and everything in between. A good business plan will help you stay on track as you make decisions for your company.
Not only that, but you can use your business plan to pitch to investors and lenders. They need to be able to see that you can recoup their money and provide them with the profit or repayment that they require.
For the most part, Texas business insurance operates in the same way as in any other state. You should have general liability insurance at the very least. However, you should also get commercial property insurance to protect your equipment, inventory, and business properly. If you use a vehicle then you may need commercial auto insurance, even if you use your personal car.
The one big difference between Texas and all the other states is workers’ compensation regulations. In Texas, most businesses are not required to have coverage, unlike in other jurisdictions where it is mandatory. You would have to financially qualify to choose to be a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, and you also leave open the possibility that a worker might sue you if they get hurt or sick because of their work duties.
Choose a Name and Register Your Business
Choosing a name is for many people the most enjoyable part of the process. Try to choose something catchy and memorable that also evokes a sense of what your business is all about. Your logo should also reflect these things.
You should run any possible names through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to make sure that has not already been taken. Once you have an official name for your business, you should register it with the state for tax purposes.
That said, if you are going to have a sole proprietorship, you don’t have to submit any documents to the state. However, there are documents and filings to be made if you are a partnership, LLC, or corporation. It might be prudent to get the help of an attorney to make sure that you are providing the correct documentation.
Obtain Any Necessary Permits or Licenses
Texas is very loose when it comes to needing permits and licenses for businesses. However, certain business types will need permits, such as health care facilities, waste removal services, transportation, and food-related businesses.
Your local jurisdiction may also require permits to operate in certain districts or areas. Make sure that you get all of the necessary permits and licenses before you launch, otherwise, you will find yourself getting shut back down before you know it.
No matter what type of business you want to own, you will need to get funding for it. You can try to fund it yourself through your savings, which is the most profitable way to do it. However, if you are unsuccessful or hit a few bumps in the road, you could find yourself in big trouble. Crowdfunding has been popular in recent years, but you need to have excellent marketing and social media skills to get that to work for you.
Texas and the federal government have grant programs for various kinds of businesses. These are great if you qualify since you will not have to pay them back. Finally, you may be able to qualify for a business loan. For grants and loans, you will have to have a clear and well-developed business plan to get approved.
Unless you have the funding for a huge media marketing blitz involving television, radio, print, digital, and everything in between, it’s best to be more targeted with your efforts. Social media paid ads allow you to get your messages in front of the demographics that are most likely to purchase your product.
So while you might not hit as many people as a television ad would, you will theoretically have a higher conversion rate for a much more affordable price.
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves strategizing to get your website to appear as high as possible on search engine rankings lists. You will need well-written and informative content, as well as links that point to your website from reputable sources. Showing up high on rankings will allow you to get more organic traffic to your website and more sales as a result.
If you want to find success with your business, there are very few places where there are more opportunities than Texas. Follow these steps and make your Texas-sized dreams come true.