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hello good morning I'm preneur Bermudez vice president downtown sales manager at nevada state bank on behalf of nevada state bank i'd like to welcome you today's insight webinar which is presented through Nevada business com my background is in small business banking I've become involved recently in an exciting new project with nevada state bank helping startups and entrepreneurs in downtown Las Vegas my role is to work closely with new business owners and prospective owners to help them round out their business plans and take advantage of all their financial options I'm happy to be here today so we can all get some insights from people who are helping establish a Nevada business every day now we'd like to introduce the rest of the panel next to me is gina bon jovi gina bon jovi of the gina bon jovi law firm here in Las Vegas Gina's practice is dedicated to serving small business and she has helped many local people set up their own companies and get started in business she's also the chairman of Vegas young professionals which is associated with the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce thanks for being with us Gina thank you for having me next to Gina is Andy white who is an angel investor and the fund manager for the Vegas tech fund he is also the executive director for boom start up a business accelerator program based in Salt Lake City as founder and board president of school center he knows what it takes to build a company from the ground up thanks Andy for joining us in traveling next to Andy we have Jenny gasps who is a chief marketing officer of Truckee an open social collaboration platform she has 15 years of experience in building startups developing software products and digital marketing jennifer has worked with several startups and has helped to raise millions of dollars in funding for them thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules and welcome to all of you so topic today is starting a business in Nevada our panel will go over the details of setting up your business the right way to help you on the path to a successful launch if you have questions for the panel please submit them on twitter using the hashtag NSB webinar without further delay let's get started so Gina I wanted to see if you could tell us a little bit about structuring a business well the first question that most people ask me is whether or not they should form a business or whether they shop rate as a sole proprietor so when you operate as a sole proprietor you and your business or one and the same so heaven forbid anybody's to your business or see you for something that comes out of your business they can get at your personal assets which becomes a problem so the reason you form an entity like an LLC or corporation is to create a separate bucket into which those business assets are kept so that anybody suing you and winning can only get at those assets and the person in the business bucket and can't get the assets in your personal okay bucket and what about incorporating and D chocolate about that process as well sure that the process of starting a business starts with basically choosing a name and making sure first very important that nobody else has it I have a lot of clients that come to me and they they either choose names that are already taken or they are halfway into their business and they find out that their name has been taken so you want to be very careful that the name hasn't already been taken then you want to choose your business address which the reason I put that at the top of the list is because the business address is one of the only pieces of information that goes on every single form tends to be expensive to change it so if you get that nailed down first then you file with your entity information at the Secretary of State which means your articles of organization if you're an LLC or your articles of incorporation if you're a corporation your initial list of members are officers and then you get your state business license then you take all that you cut me off of your board I didn't take all that you go to the Nevada Department of Taxation and you register for either a sales tax permit or use tax permit depending on whether you're selling tangible goods then you take all of that to the local business license bureau depending on where your business is actually located and you may or may not need a fictitious firm name from the county in which your business is located if and you need one if you are if you plan to operate your business under a name that's different from the ones registered with the Secretary of State okay and Andy I know that you work with a lot of startups here in Las Vegas considering the process would you advise some of our startups to seek someone like Gina for help absolutely it's very important from the beginning to have good legal advice and also financial advice make sure that you get everything set up and established correctly the first time it will never get easier to fix issues with things like that and those are the types of things that can really hurt in the future if you don't have a good foundation right and going back to you Gina can you talk to us a little bit about Nevada and the benefits of incorporating estate Lake Nevada now that is a really great state number one the most obvious reason is we don't have any state income tax so that's a nice benefit the other nice benefit is that the Nevada Legislature basically took anybody who went to business school knows that Delaware's widely regarded as V place to form your business especially if you have a high-growth start-up and the nevada legislature recognized this and so they have taken Delaware law basically in whole and plugged it right into the Nevada revised statutes to create a more business-friendly environment we also have a business court here which is staffed with judges who are very well versed in some of the business matters so the cases that are filed in business court while a little bit more expensive to litigate something in business court the judges tend to move things a lot faster there they bring themselves more up to speed on the on the issues of the case so you can get to a resolution much faster than you could in other jurisdictions and Jennifer can you also add to that regarding doing business here in Nevada and the benefits of it you've worked a lot of startups yourself yeah actually the business environment is a big reason why did move here about 16 years ago and we have started a number of businesses here in Nevada a lot of them arts have related but no matter what industry you're in I do think that like you're talking about Gina all the benefits from the business aspect to state income tax and even there's things like its proximity to California you know two major metropolitan areas without having to necessarily be there and have that cost of living or that infrastructure necessary for your business there's there's a lot of good things here I also think that there's sort of them a pioneering spirit still in the city and I think that is a good thing depending on you know what you're attempting to do but I know for us that's always been one of the reasons to keep us here besides the actual business structure and climate sure Andy you want to talk a lot about that pioneer spirit we were speaking earlier about that and absolutely yeah entrepreneur ism is a hot topic these days but really it's been a part of our country from the beginning and in particular in Nevada where a very young state Las Vegas is a very young city and everything that's here has been built up over the years and so the history of what we have is is much different than in some other areas of the country but it's very strongly tied to change and risk and I think that carries over into the businesses that we're seeing today and Gina some of our businesses wonder which type of entity they should set up could you talk about the different types of corporations that are available to them sure there are a whole bunch of different entities from an LLC to an LLP to an lllp to a corporation to a professional corporation to appeal see all sorts of different things probably ninety eight percent of people I deal with are either an LLC or corporation and so I typically default to putting people into an LLC unless there are a couple a couple things are true number one they are are planning on bringing in investors and they want to do sophisticated things with offering different classes of shares preferred stock versus common stock which you cannot do with an LLC there are also some restrictions if you are dealing with foreign investors foreign investors don't typically want to deal with an LLC they're more familiar with a corporation particularly if you are dealing with investors who are a little old school because the LLC is relatively speaking and a pretty young form of entity that a lot of the older generation are not really sure how to deal with it that it's actually a I mean both both the LLC in the corporation provide the same amount of liability protection and right in the Nevada statutes but it's sort of depending on what you want to do with the business which is one of those things about having your exit strategy in mind when you start a business which is sort of counterintuitive well let's talk about that sometimes I've seen some business owners where they're uncertain how to go about their business can you talk about the exit strategy and how that can help them along the way sure having your exit strategy in mind when you start while it does sound counterintuitive is very important I mean even down to something as simple as choosing your business name mm-hmm because you for example don't necessarily want to you know call it you know Gina's mobile detailing service if I intend to build it up and sell it one day or I don't want to say Las Vegas something or other if I eventually want to expand to another city so having the idea of whether you want to build up your business and sell it which handy and Jennifer very very familiar with or whether you want a legacy business which is something that you pass down to your children or whether you want just a lifestyle business where it sort of makes you enough money to be able to do the things you want to do pay your bills and still have you know a healthy work-life balance so having that in mind is really important when you're determining your business name how you want structure it how you want to manage it and how you want to fund it and you know who you put in place as managers what kind of entity it goes into all those decisions perfect well we know that you've invested a lot of time with our small businesses here in Las Vegas so thank you will transition over to Andy Andy you've been doing some great work also with our startups in Vegas and particular building up our downtown area could you speak a little bit about what you've been doing and also maybe the finding finances for somewhere early stage and the early stage process so we have a very rapidly growing startup community and when we we look at startups a majority of those have some sort of tech associated with that and the reason for that is that's where some of our greatest potential comes for highly scalable rapid growth companies now this is just a piece of the economy it's not everything there's a lot of other great businesses that you can start but it is the area that we are we are focused on as as a part of the ecosystem the teams that we're seeing today have huge advantages over previous years where the infrastructure costs are greatly reduced you can do a lot more with a lot less and really start to build up your traction at early stages now on on the downside there's a lot more competition out there that's rapidly changing as well so it makes it that much more important for teams to really get to know their customer early on test is much of their hypothesis as I can before they build product and make sure that when you do spend the resources on developing that product that you're doing the right things at the right time and Jennifer I don't want to leave you out in the conversation I wanted to say that I know that you've been seen by some as innovators to a social media communication revolution so could you speak a little bit about the process as well to comment to Andy said I appreciate that is way of you know encouraging anyway for an entrepreneur to hear that and I think when you do start it as as your you are trying to disrupt something maybe you're trying to do something better and whether you're developing dry cleaning business all the way to high-tech like Andy was talking about and you know this this climate here I think that you know if we're talking about startups that's one subject but maybe startups in Nevada or startups in Las Vegas there is just so much potential here going on with the resources that we have I mean I know Gina even it's so involved in helping startups at sort of weekends and you know Andy obviously and the vegas tech fund in downtown project rob roy and switch and the innovation center but just these kind of groups that will help you whether it's Lean Startup methodology or if it's mentorship you know actually structuring a business setting it up figuring out what you need to do as is your building and growing and thinking about what you want to do that's always going to help this community will help you determine whether you really can innovate whether you really can't kind of break outside of the box and become successful and whatever industry you want to be and so I like that you know in is this community grows I think Andy kind of tops to your point about really testing the market and seeing if you have a viable technology or product before you put too much investment and time into it this community and hopefully wherever you are you can find at least some mentors and some other you know businesses that will help you kind of develop community and lead you towards you know innovation and hopefully success thank you and I know a lot of Nevada businesses and you are thinking about financing so how do we know when you're ready to ask for financing yeah so there's there's two keys to that one is it's your type of business appropriate for the type of financing you're going after so we've we've talked a little bit about the difference between a small business and a start-up typically you would need to be a start up with a high growth potential in order to get VC funding just because of the mechanics behind vc funding now on the other side of it if you're starting up a small business where you have some assets then you will more likely to be able to do more traditional financing or in any case you can always do a friends and family around where you have people that you're much closer to that no you know your industry and have trust in faith in your ability to execute and that's where most of the things start and that's the great part about today is that even if you're wanting to start a small retail type of business you can test that online or within your community on a very small scale and still have a potential to grow it to a great business perfect after you get the money Jennifer what are some of the things that that go on and how it helps change your business along the way well I think that's that's a great question and no matter where you are whether it is VC funding or friends and family or your own investment it really does you know if you think that it took a lot of work to get there that that is just barely the beginning so I kind of liken it to you kind of sprint to maybe you know get your product to market and then it's like this marathon and it's you know obviously you having your business strategy in place beforehand is extremely important it might not be in the form of a traditional business plan like you know in the past but you're going to have your business model in some form and if you've raised investment you should have your business model your pro forma you know basically your plan of action for hopefully the next five years at least so you just start executing and it really is all about that and I think that once you get funding is all the more important that the people the service providers the team members you knowwhoever it is that you're working with even your investors you know are really well suited to your growth plan for your company so it's it's it's a great journey but I mean you have to enjoy the journey because it is an adventure and it does take a lot obviously to start a business and to maintain it and hopefully you drive it to success so how do we enjoy that journey how do you stay passionate along the way and that's for anybody Jennifer you if you could start absolutely um well there's I think there's a lot of ways that you can do that I think depending on what you're doing sometimes you know for instance getting involved in this community in the last couple of years for David and I'm been here 16 years we've we've gotten involved in the tech community a little bits here and there but there hasn't been anything as well formed and as really passionate and as large a community as there is now so we we do build businesses we love what we're doing we're super passionate about trackie you know but sometimes you are in the trenches and there's actually this wonderful benefit of getting out and being amongst other entrepreneurs and you know basically sharing your stories with each other and that's reviving so helping a community being involved in the community both you know giving to it and hopefully learning from other entrepreneurs I think is a really great way to kind recharge you and it teaches you things as well so there's that double benefit where you know you're kind of getting outside of your box in the way that you think and and then you're also learning from other people so I think that's one great way but there's a lot of great ways you can recharge along the way Gina recharging what do you think i recharged by talking to people who work for big firms which i think is sort of analogous to anybody who's if you are entrepreneurial minded and if you really just want to be your own boss no matter how trying the process is you know when you talk to people who are you know doing the 925 thing and we as entrepreneurs we eat sleep and breathe what we do we don't clock out and leave it at work it follows us everywhere but if you're passionate about what you do then that's good and so when you talk to people who aren't passionate about what they do and they're just kind of going through the grind that's a reminder at least for me of why I'm doing this and why I eat sleep and breathe my firm and you know why I try to help the startups and people starting their small businesses because I want them to have that same freedom yes right and thank you and Jennifer you've um you all have started a mentoring program we are funding and helping nurture tech startups here in Las Vegas I wanted to hear a little bit more about mentoring and what type of resources are out there and what you all are doing in that aspect for our startups oh I I really believe excuse me I really believe in the power of community I really really do believe in finding like-minded people with whatever it is that you're doing you know we are talking about tech I mean that is my perspective but I do understand that you know you could be an entirely non tech business but very hands-on you know people resource type business and it some of the same laws would apply you need to find and I think one great thing about this community is over the past couple of years the people that really do give back that are really concerned about the community like like Gina and like Andy they've revealed themselves and so it's wonderful if you can basically pull those people together and other you know people that are willing to actually do another project yet another project and yet give back some more see if there is the potential that we can pull all of our resources together within a community and try to give small businesses and startups the advice that they need as quickly as possible in order to execute as quickly as possible so trying to take away some of that well I don't know where to go for I don't know the right attorney I don't know how to incorporate I don't know what my business or my corporate structure should be where do I get team members how do I build my product how do you even build a performer you know all of these that seem really like maybe detail things but they're very big as you is is you were talking about structuring your company properly from the beginning and we've actually seen a lot of startups that didn't know that and their ignorance actually does hurt them in the long term and it can actually prevent them from even getting the product to market or maybe scaling like they need to so you know our goal is really just to help is to be a resource in the community because we think there's so many great rock stars here in every industry really that can help build successful businesses and so trying to to bring those resources together under one umbrella and you know offer that to two companies and startups that are interested in going to that umbrella of resources and seeing if we can you know dispel some of the problems that that happen early on especially when might be your first time maybe you know you're you're entering a new market you don't you don't have the answers you need and if you take too much time to get those answers you could actually fail to launch film you know before you can begin and so we're wanting to see just this community grow and become something really sustainable for the long term and so it's just to see if we can help you know propel that along and in one minor way and there's there's so many things like this going on in them we appreciate that mentorship that you're doing Andy we you have revealed yourself as Jennifer said so with that said I'm when there's business owners asking about how to ask for financing especially for when they're in their startup process what do you actually need before you come to the table so the the key term in that these days is traction now that can mean a variety of different things for different businesses and different industries but the main concept there is showing that you can execute and that you can test and learn so that whichever metric you're using it's beginning to increase so that you know that you're getting better and better and that needs to be very continuous and then also rapid so the first part of that is discovering something that you can replicate and then showing that you can replicate it whether that's a new market or a new customer set or a new channel and then the ultimate goal for that is to be able to tell your story for scale so that you can go out for the next big round and really turn up the volume and create that high growth business that can expand to a variety of different areas if I was listening to this program today where can I go to get these some of these resources well that's the great part of the the day and age that we live in you're probably carrying around a device with you that has all of this information available it's it's really not a matter of where to get it or is it available it's taking the time to read up on it and to put the resources towards learning the the knowledge is out there things are changing so rapidly that we're almost getting to a point where the books are getting outdated by the time that published that's that's one of the keys that we found with even our mentoring type programs where historically a mentor is someone who has had an exit and now has time to give back and they start working with the companies unfortunately unfortunately things are changing so rapidly that those individuals once they get out of the business they're not able to keep up with the new changes and so the new mentor is actually your peer who just went through that situation most recently and can offer timely advice about what has just happened and so that makes the value in the importance of community that much greater and the opportunity for a community to exponentially grow is is greater now than ever before and so that's how that's really the exciting part of where things are going is that it doesn't have to be the known expert in the field it can be the person at the desk next to you that has just experienced that issue and knows the best way to solve it you know when a start-up approaches you early on in the process how often do they come back to see you and is that something that you recommend to the to the business owner I mean ideally I want to see people i would like to keep in contact weekly because i think there are a lot of decisions that you make especially early on when you're just forming a business that if you step just a little bit to the side you know the trajectory ends up taking you way off the path that you're on so I like to be in contact with my clients as much as possible in the early stages once they kind of get going and especially when we bring in other mentors whether it's other professionals or other you know people who are in the industry that can kind of nurture that business and help them along give them a little bit of guidance then I can step back and I still like to be in contact with them only so they don't go signing something that they shouldn't or green is something innovation but I don't always I sort of I need to like bug their houses or their offices make sure that that stuff doesn't happen but as much as much as possible early in the early in the process and Jennifer you talked earlier about the resources that are around us how do you go about finding the right resource and how do you find yourself aligning with the right people I think what Andy said is actually a really good start I mean finding other entrepreneurs in your industry or having a similar trajectory to to what you're planning is a great place to start people that maybe you know for this city have been here long enough to kind of have known you know where those resources are and how they perform I mean what Gina talked about you that's that's the way you want your attorney to think is that you know protect you and to be proactive instead of reactive so it's not always easy to find that you know on your own so i would say save yourself a lot of time and headaches and don't try to do that on your internets a great resource you can go look up you know resources all day long and go visit them and signed contracts with all sorts of service providers but I the probably the best way is to actually ask other people you know who they recommend and there be very specific not just about well I need to incorporate my business but I have this type of business I want you know I have this sort of growth plan for my company I plan to hire this many people and ultimately I think we're going to expand into these states or what I mean it can change then the types of it the advice that you get in return so and then you know finding other groups within your community that are focused on truly truly helping and giving back not necessarily i'm paying a fee to go there and get people that are interested only in the monetary side you want people that are truly interested hopefully in building an ecosystem within maybe your city your community or your industry and then you know that their interests are not just you know purely the capital part of working with you sure how about the online social communities in heaven absolutely absolutely and that's that's a great point that if you you know we're talking about this community a lot but if you don't have that where you are do you use the internet and you'll find communities and you know some of the strangest places relieved I mean it could be could be a reddit community you know you just find some great entrepreneurial advice there or maybe it is them about how to get customers or how to gain traction or whatever but yet use use the internet that way and again find people that maybe you would like to you know shadow or become like that company and see how they did it and see who they're used and just generally if you just come with some honest questions people are willing to ask are willing to help you so so ask you know and Andy how do you find a good advisor what are the type of things that you personally look for well as as in most things it's it's all about relationships and the key there is forming a true relationship it's it's not networking it's not exchanging a business card it's actually being able to create that connection with the individual we found that the best way to do that is to take the time to really get to know the person and understand some ways that you might be able to help them and it doesn't always have to be directly from you it can be an introduction that you make or something that ends up happening in a couple of weeks or a couple of months later it that you just never know where you might run into someone and be able to connect them and as you build out that network then you get a better understanding of how you can help they get a better understanding of how they can help you and then you get to the point where you can actually have that exchange build that mentor relationship and be able to grow with each other but it's very important to make sure that that's built on the right foundation and with the right person and it's not always going to be the person that you've heard of out in the community that you think would be the best one there's a lot of people out there that have some great skills and insights that are just you know plugging away at a day after day and would love to have an opportunity to help and they're just not sure how to either we're all human we love to communicate and there's so many different opportunities out there that were just not taking advantage of yet I'm going to scale you all back to when you first started and if you could share maybe some of the lessons that you've learned along the way that you could share with the group hmm Jennifer I feel like okay well finding the right people is such a huge thing I mean I just reiterate what Andy just said it is in building relationships but i would say that having some way like when you start a business you're usually so passionate you just think that everything is going to go fantastic you're going to be successful you know everyone you hire is going to be the perfect employee everyone you work with its going to love your company and they're going to do the best job possible for you and all those sorts of things and I think over time you learn that maybe we could have vetted some things a little bit better a little bit differently maybe we could have realized like and even if you're starting out and you feel like you have all of these needs as a start-up entrepreneur that you should give before you try to you know get not getting you know just monetarily but just yeah it just you need all of this stuff so it's hard to kind of get out of that perspective and say maybe we should just slow down and if I use a little bit more time and try to figure out who the right relationships are whether i can help in these may be key areas i think that you what you'll learn from that and the relationship she'll gain from that are so much more valuable than maybe that month in the market that you would have gained otherwise i mean i'm just talking generally so thank you Andy the number one key for me is to not get into a business just because you think it's a good way to make money the road to success is fraught with potholes and if that's the only thing that you're using to drive you you will burn out and give up very quickly as much as you work with your co-workers they will still come and go throughout the life cycle of a successful company however the one group that will not is your customer and so the absolute key is to make sure that you found a customer that you're passionate about solving their problem because that's what's going to keep you going day after day as things ebb and flow throughout the life cycle of your company you know I think the biggest lesson I learned is to acknowledge i think it's an entrepreneur you want it you feel some obligation to do everything yourself you have to handle all the aspects of the business yourself you have to and that there's some weakness associated with not being able to do that and so when you're handling you know for a taditional business like mine where you're handling the the marketing and the administration you're going out of building the business then you're going coming back and doing the business and it can be very overwhelming so I think if what I would you over again is maybe come have a come-to-jesus discussion with myself where if I can't do it all and delegate my weaknesses more quickly acknowledge them more quickly delegate them more quickly and truly vent the people that I'm delegating them to you can't do that anymore so no and and I only recently started doing that and the freedom that I'm enjoying and and the benefits that it has had not only for me but for my clients there its remarkable so don't be afraid to admit that you don't know everything it's okay well Andy I'm going to go back to you what are some of the biggest mistakes that startups make and how can well yeah what are some of the biggest mistake startups can make it so the the two biggest reasons a start-up fails it's one internal disputes between the founders so it's very important to make sure that you get into business with people that you like that you do have complementary skills a lot of those conflicts will come from too many cooks in the kitchen or no trust within that relationship and then the second most common is premature scaling trying to build out a product that's ready for millions of users before you even have one and you end up burning all of your money on this great product before you even know if anybody wants it and we see that happening time and time again again I believe it goes back to human nature we've been creating tools since we could walk upright and and so that's the first place that we go but it's also the most resource intensive thing and and the thing that's hardest to change so the more you can do early on whether it's in pen and paper or through conversations or testing through someone else's channel then the more likely you are to be able to succeed once you do build that product and it's it's one of those that we see over and over and over again and I just don't have you know a magic something that I can say to help keep that other than just be honest with yourself when you're talking to that customer and you're truly not hearing what you need to hear to know that your solution is the right one then you have to take them at their word and continue to discover what's the biggest problem you can go after actually will do you no good to build that thing and try to force it on them thank you that's very helpful to our audience and what about building a team what are some qualities that you look for well maybe some of the businesses that you've seen the successful ones um well it's sort of like what Andy said it's important to choose the right people to team up with and it's also very important to get those agreements are writing because I see you know even in traditional businesses and especially in traditional businesses the disputes will sink a ship it doesn't matter how big your ship is and when when you don't have those agreements and writing or you don't have something the reason I like and it's not I'm not just trying to generate business for myself the reason that contracts are so important is because the contract sort of stands separate from the people who signed it and so each person can look at or the person who's trying to get the other person to change can say hey look I signed this too and I've been abiding by it and I expect you to do the same it sort of creates a separate scapegoat almost so that you're not it doesn't it's no longer between the two people it's between the promises that they both made to one another score it's I mean going in business with somebody is like getting married and breaking up that business is like a divorce and unfortunately and especially when you're going into business with friends or family it's it's far more likely that those disputes will become personal and will escalate if it's friends and family because you have that added layer of kind of psychology over it that you have to be really careful so to the extent that you can get those agreements in writing to head off some of that stuff and and the division of labor like Andy said if you have people who are complementary to one another and they're not sort of cannibalizing one another in with their skill sets that's important too right Jennifer what qualities you look at I think the shared vision is very very important and it you know there's you can hire someone with a great skill set great experience wonderful resume and so they look like the perfect fit but unless they're sharing your vision and making it their own and bringing to the table there their vision you know hopefully the two melding become better than those separate those two separate I think it's so important because through the ups and the downs if you do have the bigger picture in mind it will I think help through lean times through you know great times when everyone is working like crazy because there's great success going on in a company so and it also I think helps resolve disputes to some degree it won't always get to the bottom of something if they're you know they're if something's very very wrong but if you can remember why you got involved and why you gave your life to something and any small business I think you're asking more of maybe your potential employees even if you have them on a fixed schedule then maybe you are in a large corporation that is all the resources in the world you know for the long term so I think that you know having people kind of come to your coming to the table together and making sure that we're on the same page and why we're doing what we're doing and where we want to go with this together i think is really really important i think one of the key mechanics that you have to help protect against that is a vesting schedule for all of the founders if everything goes perfect the way that you expect it to then everyone will vest you all study friends and it will have the exact same result as if you had divvied up the equity on the first day however if things do go south and something happens you just never know how life is going to change for somebody or which person that's going to happen to then this gives you some protection that allows the company to continue on when you do have those disputes if you have a team member who's walking away from daily interaction at the company and they're taking thirty percent of the company away with them it takes all of the incentive away from the rest of the team so one person's change of mine can tank an entire company early on with having a vesting schedule then they've only earned the amount that they stayed for and then you are able to redistribute the rest of that equity and have that opportunity to you need to grow and expand the company so it's a great safety net and it there's really no downside to it at all other than that unexpected which the key behind the unexpected is that you don't know what that's going to be what great pointers what about standing out how does a business owner stand out from the rest sorry so I think that the key for that is that passion for that customer and making sure that you stay focused on the problem that you're trying to solve the the easiest way to get lost in the shuffle is to be a me to trying to do too many things for too many people and there's just no way to differentiate and that's becoming more and more important in today's economy your company will be worth significantly more to someone if you have a bigger share of a smaller market then if you have a really tiny share of a ton of markets there's just very few companies that can utilize that type of asset however with a specific target market things are getting more and more specialized as it's easier to start a business and as we are able to get two more and more people around the globe that have those specific interests and so that's a great place to start you can always scale to other markets and replicate what you're doing but the key to that differentiation is really being able to show that we understand who our customer is we're able to connect and interact with them and then get them to do a transaction with us and enjoy it perfect but we've got a question coming in from Debbie she's asking is it ever a good idea to borrow money from a family member to start a business I'm getting a big smile from Jennifer I'll go to you first it can be if that's what you need to get your company off the ground and but I would always say to have the agreements and solid as if you were getting an absolute stranger to invest and realize what this could do to your relationship and a few sure but it certainly can be I mean that's how a lot of small businesses in America have started sure so I think it just really just do it right don't say we trust each other and we love each other and we will never fight about money because it can happen and I've seen I've seen a lot of people go through that so just get the structure right from the from the get-go Gina I've been writing is ready been writing writing writing treat that treat the family member as if they're stranger coming in from the street or whether they're a bank you know to treat them as if there is no personal relationship whatsoever and and get that in writing so that both you know both sides are comfortable to the extent that ken if you are the family member assume that you will never see that money ever again and that if you do get something back then that's the bonus and that's going to be the best foundation for that and a key is that that family member actually has the money to give that's why there are rules for accredited investors the friends and family don't necessarily have to adhere to that because of the tight relationship but there's a reason why it's important to to make sure that the people have the money to give and that they are able to continue keeping their means even if that money or two to be lost it's it's still a risky business well thank you debbie for that question we have another question coming in from ryan how do you find out if someone else has already registered the business name that you want there are a couple different ways to check there is the USPTO gov is the website for the US Patent and Trademark Office and there you can search on trademarks to see if if the names been taken now it's a little the trademark office website is a little confusing because you'll see a lot of marks that are listed as live which doesn't necessarily mean that they've been awarded the trademark it just means that there's an application on file and because the applications take at least a year to process there's a big window there so you want to first check there secondly check with your state you can search at the Secretary of State site which is n VSOs gov and you can search for people who filed state trademarks and thirdly google it because you'll find other uses just because somebody hasn't filed a trademark application or hasn't gotten a registered trademark doesn't mean that they don't have superior rights in the name if you were to come in and start using it so you just want to make sure as much as possible which is I think kind of speaks to the big trend in these nonsensical words that a lot of the high-growth strata specially are using to name their businesses because I mean let's face it a lot of things have already been taken so when you that's a very important thing to do because you don't want to invest in you know just the infrastructure the licensing the funding the marketing everything if you have a name that you'll eventually have to change I could just add to that real quickly another aspect depending on your business is actually checking to see if the name that you intend to register or our registering is also available on social media channels we have seen in we've been through this ourselves many times but seeing a lot of companies that they just fall in love with a name they register it and then they go out and they try to get their Twitter account their facebook account and their Instagram account and so on and they can't because someone else has that name and then you end up having you can you can sometimes using trademark you can sometimes actually work with those entities to get that account back if you feels like someone is squatting on it or something like that but have the whole picture in mind especially in you know today's environment where your business could be dealing with customers on social media channels more than anywhere else so having a consistent representation across those networks is really important as well now Kristen wants to know I've heard it's important to do market research before starting a business what's the West best way to go about it so that to me verbatim is a potential issue in that if you're doing depending on how you define market research you may be looking at old data so the the trend for today is more focused on your customer and working with them and the issue is much like everything else your customers needs are changing very rapidly and so it's it's a very important for you to be as connected to them throughout this process as possible and then you can go look for some data to help back that up and support it which which will be great but really those theories need to be based on the customers who you're wanting to work with and not a report that was done 10 years ago through a census or a paid report that you may not know what the real goals of that were you can always find a statistics support what you think you want to know unfortunately it may not be the that the best data for you to actually be working off of perfect you know I don't completely agree with Andy I mean traditionally in business school you go to the journals and the book stacks then you look at this information I mean it can be and I've seen with with some of the tech startups that they can they'll be working on an idea that last week just came to market it you have to be sort of almost one step ahead of your customer but at least in constant communication with your customer whether you're sort of polling people on social media I know a lot of the competitors at startup weekend will go to the airport to survey people you know sort of real-time as fresh as possible getting that information when it's relevant I'm hearing from Reno Terry is asking we know that the texting is growing here in Las Vegas but what about the reno area are the same kind of things going on there I've heard you know I've heard that there is a migration from Silicon Valley to a degree to Reno and I think that makes a ton of sense for proximity and you know certain resources or longevity I know that we dealt with some some different groups up in Reno in past years and they're probably in some ways there's more history there than Vegas in certain industries but it would be wonderful to see because it would be great to help each other out sure and Jim wants to know that if you start as a sole proprietor how can you tell when it's time to hire your first employee well first you want to incorporate and then there are a lot of ways to bring on help without necessarily hiring an employee you have to be very careful about that because the tendency is for businesses to bring on independent contractors so they don't have to pay all the payroll taxes and unemployment insurance but there are like the state uses a three-step process or three-step analysis on whether a person is actually an independent contractor or an employee so I guess it gets to the point where you are either overloaded with what you're doing or when you get to the point where you realize that you have to delegate and a lot of times if you're delegating something you can delegate to another service provider and they're not necessarily an employee it's when somebody is doing the same work that you're offering in your business so if you're you know as a law firm if they're putting together letters or they're doing filing and it's sort of the foundation of what a law firm does then they're considered an employee so you want to be very careful about how you categorize those people because not only is the state comin after people but also the IRS Andy I I guess the first question and that is what were you doing as a sole proprietor and if it is that type of business then I agree totally with Gina the the best way for to solve any of these is to think about it ahead of time to make sure that you're establishing the right type of company in the first place and then typically with with hiring especially in an early stage company you do that once it hurts and you have to make sure that you really understand what that position will entail and the help that you need and make sure that you're doing it and not hire too early but it's it's you know it's a challenging decision to him especially employee number one you're giving up a lot of that responsibility that you're used to doing it is your baby and you're handing it over to the care of someone else so it's it's one that you don't want to make a hasty decision on that Jennifer when do you think it's a good idea to hand over that baby yeah I think um you know along these lines for sure that I it's a lot of responsibility to hire your first employee and all the employees after that because you know no matter how much interest these people have in your company you are the founder and you know are responsible for someone else's livelihood so it's a big decision to make from that perspective but also I would say that if you're not quite sure do you service providers do go and find expertise even if it's something as simple as you know marketing there's a lot of companies that you can outsource your marketing to social media management if it's areas that you know you need to get into and you don't know how to do that job I don't recommend hiring someone for that job find out what that job entails and then maybe go down that road but it probably is best to at least test the waters with true service providers that are external components of your company and then you know when that hurts financially then make that decision and when you know enough about the job to properly hire the right person then bring that in house because you will be happier in house and you will get more but it you just don't want to jump into it too quickly sure and I heard up but if I could just add to that I heard somebody say that any any task that you're doing throughout the day if they're not immediately revenue generating delegate them so what I did before I hired my first employees start making a list of the things that I either hated to do that I wasn't good at or that weren't directly generating me revenue and from that I got a job description or an assistant and so that meant probably loves that job right it's just funny the registers boy had it right right that's a wonderful thing and so again like what you were saying is when you hire those service providers you don't get into it's it's a lot easier to break up it's sort of like dating it's a lot easier to break up with a service provider than it is with an employee we're all for hiring employees though of course and Antonio you know because that's a beautiful wonderful thing to have that kind of longevity and sustainability for someone in their own lives but as a business owner we want sustainable businesses you know so kind of testing the waters before you jump in it's mine it looks like zach is bringing some legal questions to the table our business licensing rules the same for web based businesses and brick-and-mortar businesses usually yes for web based businesses especially if you have any sort of e-commerce on your website you still have to register for sales tax permit you still have to have you still have to have all the same licensing usually the licensing categories will change because you won't necessarily have a physical retail and that will depend on the jurisdiction in which your business sits so you'll you might have you know an Internet Retailer I know the city of Las Vegas has a category for internet retailer but you know Clark County might just have general sales or counties and in the northern part of the state might have different categories but typically everybody has to go through the same process sure and our last question from Cathy what organizations are available for entrepreneurs to network and find mentors now we're talking locally or nationally because there's there's lots of options both ways let's look at Nevada let's look at Nevada so I know locally you know there's there's some technology technology business of Alliance of Nevada if you're interested in all in technology and especially as it relates to more traditional business and you know marketing or partnering with those companies the startup scene you're generally going to find them online you know if you're not involved directly and then you'll need to get involved directly in a personal level and then there's I've seen you know other industries where they're starting to form more niche kind of networks that are you know in real life meetings and hopefully with the goal not to just you know just network or just bring in a speaker but really to help bring those resources in for you know if you're a service provider or a business in these specific industries and that's what I would kind of go after is not only don't just go abroad it's great to know a lot of other entrepreneurs in the city wherever it is that you are but I would try to get into your niche figuring out through the channels asking other people what they're part of sure so in general you'll you'll have your chamber of commerce that could have a variety of different programs or at least know where programs are at certainly your University in the area will have resources available in Las Vegas in particular one of the best places to go for timely information is to just look up Vegas tech whether that's on Twitter or googling it or seeing what's in the news about that it will give you a good feel for different events that are going on there's always opportunities on meet up to go out and check new organizations and then also looking at specific areas of interest whether it's a programming language that you're interested in using or technology infrastructure that you have available or have heard from and the main thing is with any of those groups go in with the right intent don't show up on day one looking to sell someone something or get someone to you know work with you start building those relationships get to know the people and they will help you get to the right resources for what your needs are once they have a chance to get to know you well enough to know how they can help and Gina how can someone find a mentor like you I actually posed this question when I was looking for mentor myself and I had i'm on a listserv of a bunch of solo and small firm attorneys and everybody just said just ask and it was sort of like proposing marriage to somebody that you had just met it felt like a really daunting thing to just ask somebody to be a mentor but that's really true you really can just ask and mentor relationship doesn't have to be for a lifetime it can be for a certain project it doesn't have to be you know where you're talking to the person every single day it can be just something you know i'm i have this person this particular challenge that i need some guidance through and then just create like andy said you know building relationships getting out into the community whether you know if you're if you're in the tech community in your downtown and that's a great place to start and you build those relationships and the way you build the relationships is you you give more than you get or at least that's the intent and you do what you say you're going to do and I mean it I hate to knock Vegas because I grew up here but that's sort of a business model for a lot of people so whether you're in in a tech company or whether you're in a traditional company a brick-and-mortar business or something just you know follow up to what you say you're going to do and give focus on what how you can be a resource rather than you know just handing somebody your card and expecting a referral great advice for you and then you will become the resource sooner than later possibly because people the right people may approach you before you know it we've said community a lot today and this has been a great little community for us today I want to say on behalf of nevada state bank i want to thank our panelists Gina Andy and Jennifer for presenting us with its valuable information and thank you to everyone who participated if you have questions that weren't answered today will make every effort to get you an answer in the next few days if you'd like to see the webinar again or invite others to see it a recorded version will be available within 48 hours on Nevada small business com you're also invited to the next insights webinar on November 14th which will focus on corporate philanthropy and how it can help your company at the same time helping our community you can register today at NS bank calm / webinar as always registration is free thanks again for participating and have a great day
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