One of the biggest mistakes I see people make over and over when they schedule strategy calls with me, is that they think they need to hire a lawyer to start their online business.
And I totally get it.
When you're starting a business, you want to do things legally and typically that means going out and hiring a lawyer. It's easy to fall in that trap where you're thinking that you absolutely, positively, 100% must have all of your legal ducks in a row before you start that online business.
But let's take a step back for a second and let me ask you a question. I think that this is vitally important.
Does everybody who hires a lawyer before they start an online business end up running a successful online business?
Let me repeat that just in case you missed it. Does everybody who hires a lawyer before they start their online business end up having a successful online business?
Well, obviously the answer to that question is no.
That's not true but for those entrepreneurs who do end up being successful, do you think that we can tie their success directly back to the fact that they hired that lawyer to help them start their online business?
Absolutely not and I'm a lawyer. I get to say these things. But here's the thing holding on to that belief that you think that you absolutely positively have to hire a lawyer and you have to have everything 100% perfect legally and everything else before you start your online business, holding on to that belief is holding you back as an entrepreneur and is keeping you from running and building a successful online business.
The question remains, what do you do to build and grow and protect an online business if you're not running out and hiring a lawyer right away?
Well, in my mind, there are three things that you must do and here they are:
- You must, must, must come up with a profitable business idea.
- You've got to figure out who out there in the marketplace is going to be willing to pay for your profitable business idea
- You need to go ahead and set up that LLC.
You didn't think I was not going to talk about anything legal did you? So let's go through those one at a time.
Profitable Business Idea
First off, profitable business idea. Lots of people come up with lots of different ideas to start online businesses but for many of them, their business doesn't get any further than the idea stage, unfortunately.
That's because just because you have what you consider to be a great idea doesn't mean it actually is a good idea, it doesn't mean that it's an idea that's ever going to make you any money. In other words, that people are going to pay you for that idea.
So ideally, you're going to want to do some market research to validate that people are actually going to pay you for your business idea.
Once you do that, then you need to actually go out in the marketplace and you need to find those people that are willing to pay you for that idea that you have, whatever your product and service may be. That my friends is the second step to building and sustaining a profitable online business.
You need to actually come up with a list of people, you need to identify your ideal customer avatar, which is the catchphrase in the industry of who it is exactly that you're going to market to, that you're going to try and convince to purchase your product, and hopefully you're not going to have to convince them a whole lot.
Hopefully you're going to just give them the offer and they're going to be like, “Wow, that's what I need. I'm onboard. I'm buying that.” That's what you're looking for.
Even if you have this wonderful, great profitable business idea that you think you can actually do some serious business with, you need to have those people that are willing to pay you for it.
If you can't find people that are willing to pay you for it, then you might need to pivot and come up with a different idea. Or alternatively, you just need to find a different group of people that are willing to pay you for whatever is you're offering.
Set Up an LLC
Once you have a great business idea and you have a list of people that are actually willing to enter into a transaction with you and pay you money for your idea, now is the time that you go out and set up that LLC, to make sure that everything is legally protected.
Related Resource: To start your own LLC, click here (affiliate link).
But honestly, you probably don't need a lawyer to do this for you. It really depends on your abilities and how comfortable you are with trying to figure out the rules in your particular state.
You very easily could do this on your own, or you could hire a DIY service to do it for you. But honestly, you probably do not need to hire a lawyer to handle this step of the process in that is setting up your LLC.
Now you might want to consult with a lawyer to make sure you're doing everything the right way, you don't necessarily need to hire a lawyer and pay them thousands and thousands of dollars to do this for you.
Let me ask you this. Do you really think that you need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a lawyer when you're just getting started to build a successful online business?
Along those lines, does it make sense to be focusing on the legal stuff before you even have a profitable business idea or wouldn't it make more sense to actually go out, find a profitable business idea, find an audience, and then take the steps necessary to legally protect your business, whether or not that means hiring a lawyer to help you?
Let me tell you, and I'm a lawyer, so I can say this, you've got more than enough time to get the legal protections in place for your business, but you need to get off the ground with your business first. That's the first, most important thing that you can do when you're starting an online business is actually take action and launch your business.
If you like what I'm talking about here, here's another video that talks about all the things that you need to do to legally protect your business when you're just getting started in the online space.