Enterprise can mean many things, but it is primarily a term for a big business or company - the alternative of a small business where you have hundreds or thousands of employees. To properly define enterprise, you need to understand the levels of meaning of the word and how it’s applied in different contexts.
What is an enterprise?
As a human skill, enterprise can refer to the eagerness to do something new and innovative despite any known or unknown risk. The word Enterprise in this sense has been famously used to name the iconic battleship from the successful science fiction-adventure series Star Trek where its crew are prepared “to go where no one has gone before”.
Enterprise meaning in business however, specifically means to refer to ventures that are looking to make a profit. The broader enterprise definition is synonymous with “frontier,” referring to a difficult or important challenge.
Enterprise as a skill gave form to the term “entrepreneur” that we associate today as people who can take risks, make things happen, and try new things to fill out gaps in our quality of life through business ideas.
As a business - and often in legal terms, commercial enterprises refer to companies or firms that employ a hundred to thousands of workers to support a product or service. There can also be state-owned enterprises that are owned and managed by the governing body of a state - often supplementary functions, such as a department of energy managing a power plant. The term “enterprise” is often partnered with a word that describes its specific applications and can never be interchanged with small businesses with less than a hundred workers. Knowing these distinctions can help you stray away from availing resources above or below your support needs - whatever size workforce you may have.
This is also an important consideration for small businesses that are growing into an enterprise of their own or for new upstarting entrepreneurs who are looking to establish their own enterprises.
What are the forms of enterprises?
To say that an enterprise has between a hundred to thousands as a workforce leaves a lot of gray area as to how and when you’d consider your business as an enterprise or not. Even with specific descriptors attached, you’ll need to be able to differentiate the legally recognized forms of an enterprise before you can even launch or relaunch your brand. So here’s a quick list of the most common enterprises and their specifications.
- Sole proprietorship - as the name suggests, refers to companies that are run by a single individual with unlimited liability for any and all damages that occur as a result of the business’ operations.
- Partnership - refers to businesses run by two or more individuals with varying degrees and ownership coverage as agreed by all parties.
- Corporation - typically refers to for-profit entities that are created as a buffer between the primary owner(s) from liability if the enterprise becomes subject to a lawsuit. Companies can also vary in size and form, depending on how many owners there are.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) - an LLC is a greater extension of a basic company that includes legal protection of a corporation and the tax treatment of a partnership.
- Professional Company/Professional Limited Liability Company (PC/PLLC) - PCs and PLLCs are used by licensed professional firms that provide the same liability protection as a corporation but are made up of accountants, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and other careers that require state-approved and peer-evaluated licenses to operate.
Whatever form of enterprise your business falls into, these all work within the defined precedents and have tax and protection brackets appropriate to their human resource and function. You likewise need to take note of your workforce capacity - both in the raw numbers and their business functions before deciding on which form of enterprise you need to register your business as, and this also translates into naming your business - assuming you don’t already have a registered online store.
Establishing your enterprise
Creating an online presence for your enterprises - whichever one they may be, will only be one phase of your long process of establishing your business. When starting a business, you’ll need to prepare a handful of things - other than your stellar product or service, before a proper launch.
There are two primary methods to creating your enterprise’s website to start off your online presence. One is to get a professional website developer to handle most of the design and build per your recommendations and needs for your business. The other is to start with a free website builder that can be white-labeled with all of your branding assets and marketing portfolio ready. Your choice of method is going to depend on how much time and resources you can allot to this, along with your project timeline.
Building your website on your own might sound intimidating, the benefits of using a website builder like Strikingly actually offloads all the heavy work from you by allowing you to choose templates to start with, and support you with 24/7 support should you run into some issues. The Simple Store is available even for free accounts, and you can scale up with even more options and features available on paid accounts.
What you’ll need to have before jumping into your website builder will often include the following:
- A short bio or about page - this should be a professional summary of your brand story, vision, and mission and a good copy about your business whys.
- Contact details - as a business that wants to engage with their customers, opening a channel of communication through phone numbers, email, and other social media accounts are vital to lead generation and engagement.
- Your work of products - what do you have to offer in the industry? Include summaries of your thought process and inspiration behind each work while offering value to your customers through quality engagement and value-adding content such as a newsletter with exclusive promos
- Awards or certifications - if you’ve been recognized for your products or business acumen, now isn’t the time to be shy - include any certifications you may have earned over the years to increase trust in your brand.
- Cover page and table of contents - if you’ve written business proposals before, chances you already have a skeletal structure of how to organize your content. This could also be the jumping-off point of what your menu could look like once you start building your space and an excellent way to summarize what you have to offer in both traditional print and digital spaces.
Considerations when Building an Enterprise Website
With any business decision, you need to go through a few considerations before jumping into a new project. When you’ve decided to invest in creating your business’s own domain, here are a few key pointers to keep in mind:
- Consider your market’s demographic - your website should be created with the convenience and satisfaction of your potential customers in mind throughout every design decision. You can do this when you simulate your buyer’s journey, going through your website and business processes as a visiting customer and monitor your movement through your site’s web analytics - having this tracker within your site allows you to track actual customer decisions and experiences that can inform your business decisions on any changes you may want to make.
- App integrations - whether you’re starting out from scratch or a website template, there are a handful of app integrations that you can experiment with when you’re making your online store, even with a free basic plan. Most of these features for starting out are part of the core basics but are enough for you to get to know the features you'll be using for managing your products.
- Fees - most website builders start out their service for free, but you may want to experiment with more advanced features, and these come with a certain fee. Strikingly’s website plans, for example, include breakdowns of what you would be paying for, depending on your choice of tier. Strikingly offers minimal overhead operational costs and doesn't charge extra for any transactions that occur on your website - your profits are yours to keep. The conditions can be summarized as follows: you can sell one product under our Free plan, up to 5 products under our Limited plan, and up to 100 products under our Pro plan.
- Room for growth - there is always room for growth, and what works now may be better supported with certain strategic investments for both the back and front-end of your online store. If your product list grows, conditions for certain transactions may need to be considered, and you’ll need the right tools to support your changing buyer experience.
When you’re expanding for your enterprise, you need to reinforce what already works with your base market and your managing team while allowing yourself room to improve when keeping track of your business’s KPIs. Needless to say, you need to be patient when you’re developing your own website for your enterprise. With the right tools and support, your growing business and developing an enterprise website can be a gateway into greater lead conversions that can go along with your business growth.
Grow your enterprise with a Strikingly website today.