How To Start Your Marketing Business the Right Way

Kenneth Schlenker - Stellar Formation partner, email, twitter

Whether it’s print ads, direct mailing, emailing, SEO, SEM, Social Media, or PR, marketing consultants offer companies expertise they don’t have (or don’t have enough of) in house. 

Becoming an independent marketing consultant can be a fun, flexible and profitable career. At Stellar Formation, we love helping entrepreneurs start up. We’ve helped many marketing consultants get started. Into marketing? Here are 6 recommendations to help you start.

#1 Define your value proposition
Consultants are becoming an increasingly important and influential part of the US economy (US businesses spend more than $12 billion on consulting yearly). Many of them are independent, small firms ran by talented people with niche skills. It’s a big market, but there’s competition.

We have watched many talented people successfully start their own marketing consultancies - many of them after years of experience in companies like L’Oreal, or Procter & Gamble, luxury groups, ad agencies, Google or Facebook. The common thread? They are crystal clear on the unique skill they have to offer, and how it’s valuable to their clients.

#2 Get to work now, set up your company legally later

May be surprising coming from someone who started an incorporation website, but the truth is, I’m an entrepreneur, and I understand starting a business takes time. There is a significant amount you can do before you officially set up your company legally and dedicate 100% of your time to it. This includes: 

There are many great resources online to guide you through these steps. One of them is From Zero to a Million: 20 Lessons for Starting an Internet Marketing Agency. Quora also provides answers to many of the specific questions you may have at this state.

#3 Don’t set up your company too late

Me (right) and my business partner Maxime (left), taken at the time of our first business a long time ago. Don’t get in trouble let we did...

Although you can do a lot without a legal entity, at one point you have to create your company officially (the correct legal term is “Forming” a company). You need to form a company in order to do certain important actions. Here are some examples:

  • Receive payments
  • Set up a Stripe account
  • Open a bank account
  • Plan to hire someone
  • Sign a contract
  • Develop a brand, protect it
  • Register a website domain
  • Sign an office lease

Once you have reached the point when you need to do any of these, it’s probably a good time for you to set up your company:

#4 Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Once you’re ready, the next step is to incorporate your business. One of the most popular ways to incorporate a marketing consultancy is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Delaware [read more: What is an LLC? What type of company should I form? Why Delaware?]
Most marketing consultants we know set up their companies as LLCs. 
Here’s why:
LLC’s tend to be more suitable for traditional businesses that are looking to sell products and grow organically without taking in investment. In most cases, your marketing consultancy will fall into this category.
LLC’s are simpler and cheaper structures for taxation purposes. They are known as pass through entities, which means their earnings just pass through to the personal income taxes of their members. This means accountants don’t have to file a separate tax form for the company which also saves on costs.

#5 Choose the website or law firm to form your company wisely
Once you’re ready to form your business, you have to decide who to work with. One important thing to keep in mind: at this stage, you want to make sure you do things right from the start. Not setting up your company properly can cause you a number of difficulties later, including:

  • Tax issues
  • Disagreements or litigation with your partner(s)
  • Intellectual property challenges
  • Legal fees to make modifications to your existing company or re-incorporate your company properly

That’s why, you should select an option which is competitive in terms of price, but don’t go for the cheaper option just because it’s cheap.

There are a few separate things you should make sure to do to form your company properly:

  • Registering your company with the State
  • Writing, reviewing and signing your company’s operational agreements
  • Getting your Employer Identification Number
  • Splitting equity (if you have a partner)
  • Vesting your shares (especially if you have a partner)

You could choose to do all of this yourself, or...

#6 Stellar Formation could (hopefully should) be right for you
We developed Stellar Formation with a view on offering a complete, simple and affordable solution for entrepreneurs to set up shop - especially independent marketing consultants. 

Stellar Formation helps you form your company in minutes, clear and simple. We handle the entire business formation process for you, so you can get down to business and start consulting right away.

We will help you:

  • choose which type of company is right for you
  • set up the company
  • split equity
  • protect your IP

You just need to start filling out on interactive form (it takes minutes), and we’ll take care of everything for you. Our price starts at $490 for single founders.

Hope this helps!

Kenneth - Stellar Formation partner


Ready to start?

Give us some info, we do the rest.

Stellar Formation handles the entire business formation process for you, so you can get down to business.

We will help you:

  • choose which type of company is right for you
  • set up the company
  • split equity
  • protect your IP
  • get your EIN

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