The 5 Things You Need To Do To Start A Small Business
Everybody loves the idea of being your own boss.
You have an idea for a business, you’ve researched the industry and competition and now you feel ready to step out on your own.
The easy part is over. The hard part is actually putting the pieces together to start out on the right foot to succeed.
When done correctly, starting your own business can be the ticket to financial independence and the feeling of satisfaction of having built something.
To get started, you need to follow a few steps. In this article, I will go over some of the things you need to do while setting up your business.
Step 1 – Get a lawyer
Even if your small business is doing law, you still need to get a lawyer! You’ll need to navigate the waters of opening a company so it pays to start by hiring a law firm that specializes in company law.
The appropriately named Navigate Law Group is one such type of firm. Law firms like them will help you avoid some common pitfalls as you get started to allow you to keep going full steam ahead.
Step 2 – Make a business plan
You may think you already have a plan for your business, but a proper business plan is a must-have before you do anything. You’ll need one for loans and for city and state offices for things like zoning, etc.
Without a business plan, your business is just an idea. A good business plan should outline the industry, marketing, finance, personnel and various operating procedures. Think of it as a tool to help you build a better business.
Step 3 – Plan your finances well
Cashflow, or the lack of it, is the most common cause for failed businesses. You’ll need to make sure that you always have enough money to float the business.
Start a spreadsheet that includes all the money you will need to start. Some examples of your startup expenses could look like this:
- Legal fees
- Permits and certificates
- Leases or mortgage
Then on another spreadsheet calculate the operating expenses you will be paying over the next year or so. Add those numbers from the two spreadsheets and that is the bare minimum you need to get started with.
You can either bootstrap with that as a minimum or use it as a starting point to then get more financing in the form of loans or investments.
Step 4 – Choose a business structure
What kind of business you decide on will impact your taxes and liabilities for years to come. You can always change it later but, it’s best to start out with the type of structure you want from the beginning.
Your choices are a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation.
It makes sense to hire a CPA to evaluate your business and advise you on which is the best structure to start with.
Step 5 – Get the team up to speed
Your business is nothing without the right team pulling on the same rope together. Go into the hiring process with the thought of how certain personalities will mesh together.
Have clearly defined roles and what the expectations are for everybody within the company. This way you can find the right fit for every position. This is especially true for the customer service professionals who need to have the flexibility and a specific skill set to help your customers.