Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hurry up and start slow.
What start ups need to do first and fast.

I recognize the idea of a slow start up movement is not for everyone. But it can be a very appealing path for many entrepreneurs.

The world will still be moved and shaken by fast start ups that get faster and better. I love that approach also, but a slow start up movement for those not involved in official start up channels has great merit.

Before I leave this slow start up movement idea, I'd like to post a real world example that I've just advised a friend to follow.

She thinks she wants to start a new enterprise and have it up and running so that it could support some or all of her income in a year or two.

Good. We've got a start. We've got a goal. Now let's get it underway.

The first thing to do with a slow start up is hurry. There are two things you need to do ASAP.

Let's assume you've identified a field you can make a contribution to.

The very first thing you need is a domain name. The web is where you'll tell your story. Your domain name helps define your story.

Ideally your domain name should also be the name of your enterprise.

To get to a great name, focus on what your contribution will be to your market, what solutions you will deliver. Those words and ideas can be woven into a short, memorable name for your enterprise which in turn becomes your domain name.

Naming enterprises can be like magic. You're bringing something exciting to life unexpectedly. Take some time with this. Then hurry up and get that name.

You’ll need to register the name of your enterprise with your state and your domain name on the internet as fast as possible.

To do this you need to research both simultaneously.

Start by researching available domain names. You can be hugely creative in the combination of words and numbers to get a really great name. There are about a million new domain names registered daily according to domain name tracker DomainTools, so you should move quickly.

There are many sites that let you research domain names. I find it's usually best to register the domain name with the group you'll use to host your site. These sites have simple search engines that can quickly tell you if the name you're searching is available. I have used for the most recent sites I've set up. Their support team is first rate and prices are great.

Let’s say you’ve found a name you love and one that will tell your story well. Next you need to make sure that name is available in the state where you live.

Most states let you search on line to see if the name is available. (More on this soon, but I believe that forming your enterprise as an member controlled LLC is wisest for seed stage start ups and sole proprietor type enterprises). In this case, you’d search your state's availability using your proposed name ‘Widgets, LLC’.

To locate the site for your state, search using your state name and the search terms "register LLC". You can also call any local office associated with economic development and they can help you find this information. My state of Wisconsin has a very simple on line form to create an LLC. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. Cost to register a Wisconsin LLC is $130.00 (12/16/06). Try to go direct to your state and do it yourself on line if you can. You don't need 3rd parties to do this for you.

If the name you’ve chosen is available on the internet and in your state, go get ‘em. Take a deep breath, enjoy the moment, and reserve the name in both spheres.

You don't need to launch your organization or put up a web site now. You're just preserving the domain name and the legal name where you live.

If you’re ready to take your first enterprise steps, lock down your name as fast as the muse allows. Done right, it can light your path and help you jump out of bed every day.

Then you can settle back and enjoy your slow start.

LunarPages domain search

Site for State of WI on line LLC registration

Current stats for active domains at

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