Suppose you know what small business you are going into. It is advisable to go into a small business where you are confident of getting customers, NOT one you are confident of getting the supply (products) if your intended business involves products. With customers readily available, getting the products is much easier compared to the other way round.
Think of your small business name, your brand!
Have a brand name that is consistent with your small business type and the target customer group. Note that business name is different from the company registered name. For example Starbucks Coffee is a brand but it is owned by Berjaya Corporation Berhad.
TIME REQUIRED: 1 day (inclusive of Google search to get a unique name if possible). Some take longer if they lack inspiration.
Buy a domain name
The ultimate asset for small businesses today. Check online to see if the domain is still available. Visit or www.godaddy.com and it is best to purchase a domain ending with “.com” for commercial purposes. Cost is approximately USD10/year. If you want a domain ending with “.com.my” go to http://www.domainregistry.my. It costs RM110/year when there is no promotion. During promotion period it can be as low as RM50/year
TIME REQUIRED: 30 minutes
Buy web hosting space
This is an entirely optional step but it is required for you to have a website. Web hosting space is needed in order for you to store your web files so that your website is visible and so you can have an email address ending with your company’s domain (e.g. @luxonu.com) instead of gmail.com or hotmail.com which is less professional. If you engage a web designer, he/she will handle this for you. To minimize cost, you can consider using a blog if it is appropriate. For blog sites you can visit www.blogspot.com or www.wordpress.com. An actual website is more professional compared to blogs. With a great capacity and bandwith web hosting service, you”ll have your small business super scale-able.
TIME REQUIRED: 1-2 days to understand what web hosting is and shopping for one that suits you. Buying takes 10 minutes.
COST: RM150/year approximately
Design a logo
A logo is what everybody sees and is crucial. You can pay a designer to do it or do it yourself if you have the inspiration for it. The logo makes it easy for your customers and partners to remember and to relate you with your products/services.
TIME REQUIRED: 2 days
COST: RM100-300 max (For a small business we need not engage an expensive designer. The idea can come from us and the designer will just translate our idea into an image)
Create a tagline
A tagline is important for your customers, partners and yourself. It is a motto or a mantra that you live by. Keep it simple and short, preferable 3-5 words. It is another way to differentiate your small business with everybody else’s.
TIME REQUIRED: 2 days
Register your business with Companies Commission of Malaysia or better known as SSM (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia).
SSM is located in KL Sentral. To save time you can download Form A and fill it in before visiting SSM. Upon completion you will have a company registration number and congratulations! You are now officially owning a business!
TIME REQUIRED: 2.5 hours (assuming you spend 1 hour driving and 30 minutes to fill in the form. You can get your official business registration form within 1 hour)
COST: RM60 (Enterprise)
Design your business card
A business card is our first marketing tool when we meet potential customers and partners. Believe it or not, your small business perception or first impression hinges a lot on your business card. It is important to spend a bit more time on it, especially on research and getting feedback. We are speaking about your stimuli for attracting potential customers. There are a few options: a. Get designs from online business card templates b. Get designs from printing shops, they offer free templates that you could use c. Pay a designer to design your business card
TIME REQUIRED: 3 days
COST: RM100-RM300 unless you pay a pretty experienced designer
Print your business card.
Your business card should have almost all of the above, brand/business name, logo, tagline, company registration number (optional), contact number/website/Facebook/email, products and services offered, etc. Depending on the material and quantity chosen, typically a box of business cards can be printed in a week.
TIME REQUIRED: 7 days
COST: RM30 for a box of 100 pieces (average price in KL)
Assuming your small business is doing really well, things to consider next are:
-Finding an office location (this is a huge task). Unless your small business isn”t really small anymore, it remains an optional item.
-Finding your support team (accountant, banker, mentor, webmaster, etc). A small business usually leaves this to outsource teams but it”ll be good to have them in-house someday.
-Finding your staff.
-Trademark your logo/tag line. Nuff said on this.
More information on starting a business is available from SSM’s official website.
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