Browsing the entrepreneur category

Setting up an LLC with Legal Zoom

Disclaimer: I set up my LLC through Legal Zoom a few years ago.  Pricing / content may be out-dated.

When you make an app and publish it in the App Store (Apple, Android), the user will see who the app was made by.  I thought it would be more professional to list the app as being created by a company, rather me (as an individual).  So I set up a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”).

I’ve set up a few LLCs in the past few years.  The first time I needed one, I went through LegalZoom.com .  While it was very easy, it was much more expensive than the homepage led it to be: there were “extras” that I thought I needed, so I had bought them – which drastically increased the price as compared to what was initially advertised.

When I had to set up a new LLC, I wanted to try to do so manually.  I looked up what  paperwork had to be submitted for my specific state, and I submitted the forms directly to the Department of Revenue Services – and I saved hundreds of dollars!

I do want to mention though that I get a lot of junk mail for that particular LLC.  With LegalZoom, they served as the “Registered Agent” –  and their physical address was used to collect all the junk mail.  When I set up an LLC not through Legal Zoom, I had to use my personal address instead – as such, I do get a lot of junk mail.  But that was probably worth it for saving so much money!

Read the article

Talk to your users

This goes without saying, but talk to your users.  You don’t always have to listen 🙂  I remember the former CIO of a company I worked at said “Listen to your users, then ignore them.”  Sometimes the users don’t know what they want.  Or they’re wrong.

But I have an example of where I didn’t even talk to the users.  While working on pondertain.com, I should have made it more mobile-friendly.  It’s a mobile app, so of course the iOS/Android version is mobile friendly.  But I was relying on other users to enter data into the website, which was only desktop-friendly.  I thought that these users (being of an older generation) would be more likely to use a desktop rather than enter data in on their cell phone.  As it turned out, many complained that they had trouble… and it was because, in the interest of time, I only created the “administrative” data entry page in a desktop format.  When I found out that my users were trying to enter in data on their mobile device, I created the mobile-friendly version.

Read the article

Cofounders are important

In addition to my full-time job, I of course make websites/apps in my spare time.  The goal is for one of these projects to “make it big.”  This gets into the concept of being an entrepreneur, and starting up a company (a “real” company – forming an LLC, etc.).  I’ve watched YouTube videos (specifically, the “How To Start A Startup” series), read articles, etc. etc.
This specific post comes from frustration; a true lesson learned.  It’s tough to form a successful startup by yourself; you should have a cofounder, for a variety of reasons that I won’t get into.  In looking for a cofounder: I’ve started with my close network of friends, seeing who’d be interested, and I’ve looked at websites for “find a cofounder”.
My “lesson learned” is that your cofounder needs to have the same passion that you do; having them express interest is meaningless if they don’t have the time to execute.
“If you want something done right, do it yourself” doesn’t apply.  Sometimes you just need stuff done (that you don’t have to do yourself), just so that you can improve upon it.

Read the article