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You’ve had the brilliant idea. You’ve analyzed the logistics. You’ve finally decided to start your own business. All that’s left to do now is name it, right?

Easier said than done. Naming a business is an incredibly important first step toward future success, and the importance of getting it right can’t be overstated. Because building a brand takes time and dedication, changing the name of your business is a major undertaking and should be avoided if possible. The best way to avoid a name change? Taking the time to select the right name from day one.

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Did you know that over half of the small businesses in the United States are run out of a home office? According to the SBA, 52% of small businesses are home based—that’s nearly 14 million at last official count. Are you among them?

Most often, a new business is launched from an existing home. That is to say, very few people are starting a business and buying a home at the exact same time. What this means is that many people do not factor a home office in as a priority when house-hunting, and only realize later on that they need one.

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Forbes Jargon Madness

Does it crawl all over you when people suggest a deep dive on a certain topic? Will you, in fact, punch the next person who refers to a new idea as disruptive? Whether it’s getting something on the roadmap, increasing your team’s bandwidth, suggesting a paradigm shift, or doing anything via bootstrapping, startup jargon can wear on even the most ambitious entrepreneur.

It’s important to be able to speak the language when dealing with potential investors and partners, but it’s also important to be self-aware and do your best not to overuse jargon. Sure, we might need to ideate on hacks that can lead to deliverables that address clients’ pain points, but let’s have a little fun while doing it, eh?

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Deciding to break out on your own and start a small business is a bold move. So bold, in fact, that some people think all you need in order to do it is the appropriate amount of gumption. In our current culture, there is a certain amount of glamour assigned to the entrepreneur – from eccentric celebs to startup success stories, there’s no shortage of encouragement out there. But when it comes down to brass tacks, the business of self-employment should not be taken lightly.

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The Inbox Diaries is a series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

This Week’s Stories:

Editing Google: Exercising Your Right To Be Forgotten
If you happen to live in the European Union and have some questionable content out there on the internet, you can now officially apply to have it removed from Google’s search results. Just fill out this handy webform from Google. According to Mashable, Google received 12,000 request submissions in the first 24 hours since launch.

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Many small businesses start as a hobby, and then take over a larger and larger percentage of the owner’s time until the proportions flip and the hobby has replaced a full time job. And while this gradual evolution is certainly logical, it can also lead to skipping some important steps when setting up a business.

If you’re thinking about starting a business – or maybe just want to check your progress – have a look at the infographic below. It details the 10 steps necessary for a business to get started on a solid foundation. In short, they are:

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Final High Five on How I Met Your Mother

Caution: this blog post may contain HIMYM spoilers. Image: CBS

When starting and running a small business, busy entrepreneurs sometimes forget one critical aspect – creating and managing a solid brand. We’ve talked before about the differences between name, logos, and brands, so we won’t backtrack too much here. Suffice it to say that after coming up with a business name, a logo, and stationary, many people think they’re done branding their business. But that’s just the beginning.

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Sometimes when a well-established company decides to take a new direction, the change is so natural that you almost can remember what it was like before. Sometimes, however, the change can feel disjointed, and loyal customers almost feel offended by the departure. The difference between these two scenarios? Good brand management.

When I first read a case study about Starbucks’ decision to test beer, wine, and dinner foods in certain markets, I was skeptical…for about 2 minutes. But once I took a beat to think about the Starbucks brand – instead of its product offerings – I was sold. That was sometime last year, so I was really happy to hear the announcement recently that they’ve decided to release Starbucks Evenings in several wider metro areas.

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Whether your small business is just starting out, or you’re looking for the funds to take it to the next level, it’s important to be aware of the alternative sources of funding available to you beyond the traditional small business loan options.

The world of funding for startups and entrepreneurs has changed pretty dramatically in the last few years. As has been the trend in the world at large, things have moved away from the one-on-one transactions and toward a more social model that leverages the viral potential of the Web.

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We’re excited to announce that throughout the month of March we’re going to be devoting the Webs blog to helping small business owners get the tools they need to succeed. When you’re first starting out, sometimes is hard to find the time to scour the internet finding and comparing all of the resources available to entrepreneurs — so we’re going to do it for you!

We’ll kick off the series today with a roundup of great online resources — aside from the Webs Blog, of course — where you can get tools and information crucial to a successful business strategy.

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