How to Start a Small Business as a Freelancer in Providence, Rhode Island
So, you're a freelancer and you're ready to take the plunge and turn your freelance work into a small business. Congratulations! Starting a small business is a big accomplishment. But where do you start? If you're based in Providence, Rhode Island, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce shares a few steps you should take to get your business up and running.
Creating a Business Plan
One of the first things you should do when starting a small business is generating a solid business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. Having a well-thought-out business plan is essential for any successful small business. Not only will it help you stay on track, but Guidant notes that it will also improve your chances of securing funding from investors or lenders.
Another important step in starting your small business is networking. Get connected with other local businesses, attend Chamber of Commerce events, and join professional organizations. These connections can lead to new clients and customers for your business.
Why You Should Form an S Corp or LLC
When starting your small business, you'll need to decide what type of legal entity to form. For many businesses, an S corporation is the best option. S corps offer several tax benefits and can help you avoid personal liability for your business debts and obligations. You'll need to file paperwork with the state of Rhode Island to form an S corp, so be sure to consult with an attorney or accountant before moving forward.
There are many good reasons to form an LLC in Rhode Island for your business. First and foremost, LLCs offer important legal protections for their owners. If your business is sued, the assets of the LLC are protected from seizure, ensuring that you can keep your business running even in the face of a lawsuit. Additionally, LLCs can help to shield you from personal liability in the event that your business is unable to meet its financial obligations. This means that you won’t have to worry about losing your personal assets if your business runs into financial trouble.
Finally, LLCs can offer significant tax advantages. In many cases, LLCs are taxed at a lower rate than other types of businesses, which can save you money every year. Forming an LLC is a smart way to protect yourself and your business, and it can also save you money in the long run.
Marketing Your Business
Once you have your business plan in place and you've formed your legal entity, Inc42 points out that it's time to start marketing your business. There are many different ways to market a small business, so choose the methods that make the most sense for your budget and goals. Consider advertising in local publications, setting up a booth at community events, or creating a social media presence for your business.
Earning a Degree
While it's not required, another way to set yourself up for success when starting a small business is by earning a degree in entrepreneurship or another related field. Going back to school can give you the tools and knowledge you need to run a successful small business. And if you're already busy with running your own business, there are many online programs that offer flexible scheduling options.
If you're based in Providence, Rhode Island and you're ready to turn your freelance work into a full-fledged small business, these are a few steps you should take to get started on the right foot. Creating a comprehensive business plan, networking with other local businesses, forming an S corporation legal entity, marketing your business effectively, and returning to school to earn an entrepreneurship degree are all great ways to set yourself up for success as a small business owner in Providence!
Connect with and learn from other local business leaders by joining the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.