How to Start a Business in Arizona
5 Tips for Starting a Small Business in the State of Arizona
The mission of UniTel Voice is to empower startup companies, small businesses, and home-business owners to launch and grow their businesses. With that mission in mind we’ve decided to start a new blog series on tips for how to start a business, and in doing so, we’ve hand selected 10 states where there’s been a notable increase in entrepreneurship. Starting with the states that begin with the letter “A”, today’s topic is: how to start a business in Arizona. Arizona has always been a great place for entrepreneurs. Even Wyatt Earp decided to hang up his badge and gun to start his own Arizona small business. Unfortunately, that whole OK Corral thing caused him to put his business on hold, but if Arizona is good enough for the Earps to launch their startup business dreams, it’s good enough for us. Here are 5 must-know tips about starting a business in the great state of Arizona:
Here are 5 tips you need to know about starting a business in the great state of Alabama:
1. Write a Business Plan for your Arizona Startup
You may have heard stories of how successful companies launched their startup without a written business plan and did just fine, according to a Harvard study that’s basically true. However, there’s a difference between writing a crazy detailed business plan and having no plan at all. We recommend having a plan but keeping your plan to one page. Before you decide to launch Arizona’s fastest growing startup, grab a pen and paper and jot down the Who, What, When, Where, and How of your business and the services you plan to offer. Writing a brief plan will help you clearly outline your business goals, explain the operating processes, and define your industry’s competitive landscape. Here’s a great resource on how to write a business plan.
2. Get an Arizona State Tax Identification Number and Appropriate State Licenses and Permits
Arizona state rules require small business owners to get the proper permits and/or licenses before starting their business. The number of permits/licenses that your company may need depends on your industry and the type of products or services you offer. Permit fees may also vary depending on your specific type of business. Before you decide to launch your small business in the state of Arizona, visit this free small business resource that details exactly what you need know to obtain the necessary Arizona identification numbers, permits or licenses or for tax registration.
3. Use Local SEO to Win Arizona-Based Customers
No matter what your Arizona small business sells it needs a professional looking website. However, even more important than looks (sorry Scottsdale entrepreneurs) is driving traffic to your website. And not just any traffic, the people you want visiting your site are qualified buyers of whatever it is that you are selling. For this to happen, your website’s content needs to be optimized for search engines using local search engine optimization (SEO). To accomplish this you need a holistic web presence including social media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ displaying your location. You need to have keywords on your site that list your city and state and the services you provide. And finally, you need to list your company on local business directories that link back to your company’s site. Here’s a terrific article on the top 5 things you need to do in order to SEO your small business website for local search traffic.
4. Get a Virtual Number
You business’s phone number is extremely important. It’s still the number one way customers interact with you. Don’t use your home phone, or cell phone as your business number. Not only will you appear unprofessional to callers you cannot easily port your number away from your cell phone company. So before you start putting your number all over your marketing material, invest in a virtual number that can ring to your cell phone, work phone, home phone, or even a virtual voicemail box. The flexibility of a virtual phone number is perfect if you move offices, use remote workers, or need to run your business on the go from your cell phone. A virtual telephone number can be a local Arizona area code number or a toll free number. A toll free number is excellent because it gives your startup instant credibility. When people see that you have a 1-800 number you’ll look like a big professional business. Furthermore, getting a toll free number gives you a nationwide presence if you decide to do business outside of Arizona.
5. Get a Virtual Phone System
A virtual phone system allows entrepreneurs to run their business from their cell phones yet sound like a Fortune 500 company. Since these business phone systems are cloud-based (i.e., they are hosted online), there’s no PBX telephone equipment to install or maintain. Getting a virtual office phone system includes the ability to quickly and easily setup a virtual auto attendant with extensions. These virtual PBX extensions can route callers to your cell phone, home phone, office phone, or go right to virtual voicemail. For example, if someone calls your business’s phone number, the caller will get a professional sounding menu (something like: “Thank you for calling ABC company, press 1 to speak with a representative, press 2 to hear directions to our store, etc.). The great thing about a virtual phone system is that it works with your existing phones. There are no contracts, no setup costs, no expensive equipment, no hardware to maintain, no software to update. It’s completely cloud-based. You can manage everything 24/7 online.