The future of any successful business depends largely on the satisfaction of its employees and how productive they are.
The state of Virginia realizes the importance of a strong workforce and the Virginia Workforce Council provides plenty of tools for businesses to help with training and upskilling of their employees.
3 Benefits of Having a Strong Workforce
- Positive working environment
Workplace relations are improved with skilled employees as they are more likely to get on with the task at hand and perform their duties as expected. This causes less friction and conflict in the working environment.
- Better productivity
Unskilled workers will take up a lot of time to train and learn how to perform the tasks at hand. Skilled workers are experts in their respective fields and can perform the work at a more productive rate with less mistakes.
- Cost Saving
Training unskilled workers, rectifying errors and having to employ more people to perform work can all be costly. Having a strong workforce means less expenditure on fixing mistakes or training employees.
How to Start a Business in Virginia
Virginia has a diverse economy from agriculture to fisheries and even technology. With the local government putting a lot of effort into helping businesses succeed, this is a great state to start a business and build a strong workforce.
- Decide on a business idea
Any successful business starts with a great idea that will depend on the services or products which are in demand. Some research into the current marketplace will be required.
Once a few ideas have been established, choose something that fits with your interests, personality and skills if you will be actively involved in the daily running of the business.
- Draft a business plan
A business plan is too often overlooked by many entrepreneurs wanting to start a business, but it is one of the most important steps. This will lay the foundation of the business, what the vision is and how the business will operate.
It is important to note that most investors will need to see a business plan before considering investing in a business. It will also give structure and direction to the business making it easier to move forward and grow.
- Secure funding
There are several ways funding can be secured if the capital is not available. Many businesses fail due to a lack of cash flow.
Some funding options are:
- A loan from a bank or the Small Business Administration
- Launching a crowdfunding campaign
- Secure funding from an investor or venture capitalist.
Spend time on calculating the costs of starting the business as well as the running costs. It might take some time before the business starts turning a profit.
- Choose a business structure
The business structure must be carefully chosen with longevity in mind as the type of legal entity will influence other factors going forward. The available structures to choose from are:
- Sole Proprietorship – When running the business as one owner. Legally there is no separation between the business and the owner. They are seen as one entity.
- Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but with two or more owners.
- LLC (Limited Liability Company) – The owner/s carry limited liability and personal assets can not be used to settle business debts.
- Corporation – Complex entity that usually comprises shareholders, directors and board members. As with an LLC, it is also considered a separate entity.
- S-Corporation – Not a business structure, but businesses can choose to be seen as an S-corp for tax purposes. When forming an S-Corp in Virginia, a business must register as a corporation or LLC first and then choose S-Corporation when registering with the IRS.
4. Register the business
A registered business agent can assist with this process or visit the Virginia State Corporation website which can guide you through the registration process.
- Obtain federal and state tax codes
New businesses will need to obtain a federal EIN (Employer Identification Number) before applying to the state. Some businesses might be required to also register with the State Corporation Commision. The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) provides a comprehensive system to register the business with several state agencies simultaneously.
- Open a bank account
Most banks require an EIN to open a business bank account. In order to keep personal finances and business finances separate, it is advisable to open a business bank account. This also gives the business credibility and shows potential customers that the business is professional.