Hi everyone! I've received a few emails asking me how I started my business. For anyone who is curious, I started my website in 2006 (my senior year of college) and I started my company (officially) in 2009. As usual, I like to break everything down into a few quick tips. Here are six tips on how to start your very own website/business at a young age:
1. Register Your Web Domain. I use GoDaddy.com for all of my website domains. Go to GoDaddy.com and check to see if the website name that you are interested in is available. If it is taken, you might want to CONSIDER changing the name of your company or business. These days, it's very valuable to own the website and you want the website to be as close (in name) as possible to the brand name. (My business is technically called Intern Queen Inc. and my website is Internqueen.com).
2. Purchase Similar Websites. Make sure to buy the .net, .org and any other similar versions of your website. You don't want competitors grabbing them before you. For the most part, web domains are pretty inexpensive and run around $9.99 per year.
3. Get Your Preferred Name on Twitter. Once you buy up the web domain, try to register for a similar handle on Twitter. Nowadays, having a Twitter account for your brand is crucial.
4. Research Your Business License. Use Google or Bing to research how to get a business license in your city -- for example, "Business Licensing in Burbank, California". This should show you the forms you need to fill out and what you need to do to apply. If you are going to be exchanging any sort of money, you need to register for your business license.
5. Tell People What You're Up To. You never know what resources your friends might have. Maybe your friend is a graphic designer? Maybe someone can help you with your books? Put the word out there and don't be afraid to tell people what you want to do (a true Intern Queen suggestion!).
6. Always Use A Contract. Warning! Even when working with friends, use a contract. My first contract was written up on a napkin at UCF -- I still have that napkin :)
Note: this is not an exhaustive start-up checklist, but some quick tips to get started. When launching a new business venture, you should always consult a professional for legal and financial advice.