By: Danielle Tranter
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, PRSSA was joined by the lovely Brittany Gamble, who is the Social Media Expert at MyCorporation.com — an online business filing company that has helps business owners and entrepreneurs start and maintain their business. Their services include incorporation, LLC formation, trademark and copyright filing, and more.
In Gamble’s time here at CSUN, she participated in several clubs including PRSSA, AMA, and CSUN Ambassadors. She also wrote for CSUN Today, and had many internships, the last one being MyCorporation where she was quickly hired into a full-time position. In her presentation, Brittany discussed entrepreneurship traits, and where and how to start a business.
Gamble explained that being an entrepreneur does not guarantee success. Many people stray away from entrepreneurship because they are afraid failure. Well, as an entrepreneur you will fail, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You tried something new and it didn’t work out. But now, you can learn from those mistakes and avoid making them in the future. Never forget that failure is always a lesson.
So, what is it? What kind of business are you trying to start? What product or service are you going to provide? Make sure you are passionate about whatever you do. You’re going to put your time, energy, and your heart and soul into this business. Don’t waste your time creating something you don’t truly care about.
On top of all that, how are you going to stand out against your competitors? A great entrepreneur has to be innovative and creative. You have to be able to think outside the box and do something that people have possibly never seen before. And it’s okay if not everyone likes your ideas! Taking on the risk of sharing your passion with others is a huge commitment, so don’t take it too harshly if someone doesn’t like your business idea, because there is someone out there in this giant world who will see your work and absolutely love it.
Gamble also explained that an entrepreneurial journey always requires learning, no matter how long you’ve been out of college. In a standard business class they may teach the basics of how to start your own business, but once your bring your ideas to life, a whole new learning process begins and doesn’t ever really end.
In addition, Brittany also talked about how to raise money towards starting your business. Other than asking your friends and family for their menial contributions, it can also be helpful to pitch to venture capitalists and angel investors. Essentially, these are rich people or companies who want to give you their money. You can also apply for small business grants on SBA.gov, crowdfund, ask your bank for small business credit cards or loans.Credit cards and loans may not be your first option since you’ll have to pay them back, plus interest. If you need a little more financial assistance to start your dreams then take it!
Lastly, Brittany discussed how to incorporate your business. The first step to incorporating your business is knowing which entity you want to form. A business entity separates your personal and business assets. So, what’s an asset? Well, an asset is a piece of property owned by a person or company.
To better understand this, imagine if you are a business owner and you are getting sued. You lose the case and now you owe a debt of a whopping $200,000. If you don’t have an entity formed then your personal assets, such as your car and home, can be used to pay off any debt. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate your business to separate your personal/business assets.
Choosing the right business entity also depends on how your business will be taxed. The two most common business entities are corporations and limited liability companies (LLC). One of the largest differences between the two are how they are taxed. Similar to how you pay taxes to the government, your business will too. Corporations can be subject to being double taxation, while LLCs are taxed only once. This is one of the common reasons why more people form LLCs.
While on the tax subject, Gamble also explained that every state has different tax and regulations, so before you choose to start a business anywhere, do your research on the tax laws. Here’s a list of the best/worst states for business tax climate.
If you want to watch a 1 minute informational video about the differences between LLC and Corporations please click here.
Brittany finished up her presentation by taking some audience questions, providing random little tips and tricks about the entrepreneurial industry:
Understand your core consumers wants and needs by checking your online analytics. Most businesses these days have some type of internet interaction, so use Google Analytics and to better accommodate your customers. But also note, you should use the app’s own analytics and compare it to google analytics. You’ll have two different sets of data, so keep track of both.
Don’t take offense if elements of your project aren’t well liked. At the end of the day, your job is to make your business money and if your project isn’t well perceived by your audience, don’t take it personally. Take what people say and make the most of it, fix what they don’t like or expand upon your strengths, even if it’s not something you wouldn’t usually do.Go back to the drawing board and start again.
When running social media accounts, make the posts 80% content and 20% promotion. Depending on your business, those numbers may vary, but remember that content is key. Always create content that results in the highest reach, engagement and impressions for your audience. Keep track of your analytics in an excel sheet to know what content works vs. what doesn’t.
At an internship, always dress to impress and be ready to pitch ideas immediately. Take initiative because it shows your commitment to the company.
If you end up working for a company instead of starting your own, know that a smaller company gives you more freedom and ability to climb the ranks rather than feeling stuck in your position.
No matter the company, you should feel celebrated and not tolerated, otherwise, you’ll lack motivation for your work and simply not be happy.