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My Web Design Recipe

Part 2: Conquering the Globe - Business Essentials for Your Website's Global Feast
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Ever dreamt of serving your digital delights to the world? Then grab your passport, because in this chapter we're prepping your website for a delicious journey into the global market! As a South African web designer (currently basking in the sunshine of Cape Town), I know the struggles firsthand. Payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal felt like locked gates, keeping me from international customers. But fear not, my friends! There's a secret ingredient to unlock endless possibilities: your very own US LLC.

Yes, it sounds daunting, but with the help of my trusty sous-chef, JumpStart, I registered my LLC in the USA, opened a USD bank account, and gained access to the global buffet of business tools! In this chapter, we'll delve into these essential services, showing you how to navigate the world like a seasoned culinary master.

First Stop: Setting Up Your Global Kitchen:

    • JumpStart: Think of them as your expert immigration guides for the digital world. They'll handle your LLC registration, secure that all-important EIN (think business social security number), and connect you with partners for banking, taxes, and annual renewals. I paid $399 for registration, $399 for annual tax returns, and $450 for IRS fees and renewals. And if you're feeling adventurous, they can even help you get an SSN for your business (around $750, though I haven't explored that myself yet).

Now, Let's Stock Your Pantry:

    • Mercury Banking: Ditch the boring bank, embrace the startup haven! Mercury Banking loves supporting digital pioneers like us, especially those venturing into the Web3 and NFT space (perfect for my photography and NFT sales!). Once approved (they prioritize traditional businesses, not gambling or adult content), you'll get virtual bank cards you can tap on your phone – fancy, right? And the best part? No monthly fees!
    • Stripe: The king of online payments welcomes you with open arms! This global giant lets you accept credit cards with a standard 3.1% transaction fee. But the magic doesn't stop there. Stripe unlocks Apple Pay, Google Pay, Link, AfterPay, and even a selection of EU installment payment service providers like Bancontact (Belgium), EPS (Austria), giropay (Germany), iDEAL (The Netherlands) and P24 (Poland) – woohoo for happy customers in all corners of the world! And guess what? Stripe integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce, letting you accept payments in multiple currencies – your website's multilingual menu in no time!
    • PayPal: Yes, the familiar face of online payments is here too! Just be aware that non-US citizens might need that SSN ($750 again), and their terms aren't the friendliest for print-on-demand businesses. Think carefully before adding this option to your menu.
    • CoinBase: Craving some crypto spice? CoinBase lets you accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies on your website, and even exchange them for USD – a true digital currency buffet! The application process might be intense, but trust me, the benefits are worth it.

Don't Forget the Tools for a Smooth Service:

    • Invoice Ninja: This freemium accounting software is your digital sous-chef, whipping up estimates and invoices in a flash. It even integrates with global payment platforms, keeping your books balanced and your customers happy.
    • MailChimp: Time to build your global fan club! MailChimp lets you create mailing lists and send captivating campaigns, keeping your customers informed and engaged, no matter where they are in the world.

Ready to Feast on the World?:

These are just some of the secret ingredients that helped me launch my website onto the global stage. Remember, the world is your oyster, and these tools are your pearls. Research, experiment, and find the perfect blend for your unique culinary journey. And don't be shy to share your experiences in the comments or the Art Amplified Facebook group – maybe you'll discover hidden gems of your own!

P.S. Don't forget to check out the links throughout the article for each service we discussed and more resources to fuel your global adventure! And when you are ready, move on to Part 3, where we'll dive into the world of Creating Your Print-On-Demand Products!