Essentials to Think About Before Starting Your Business
Even before your first day of business, you will have your hands full with managing a long list of big and small tasks. While you’re running helter-skelter to put your dream together, this checklist ensures that you don’t let anything essential fall through the cracks.
The brilliant idea you had for your business is just the beginning. In order to build a strong and successful business around that idea, you need to tap into the right skills, manage your time well, put together a game plan and listen to the right advice. To make things easier and to guide your business through its fledgling stage, we’ve put together essential steps you shouldn’t forget.
A checklist to get your business idea off the ground
- Decide your Unique Selling Point
Your USP is what tells potential customers makes your business different from the competitors in your field. You should be able to sum this up in a concise sentence so it is clear and easy to understand. Remember to include this when you pitch to potential investors and customers.
- Find a business guru
Honest feedback and constructive criticism will go a long way to helping you streamline your business and implement effective ideas. The best person to give you this feedback is someone who has done it already. So, look for an experienced business advisor who can give you objective inputs. For more advice click here.
- Write down a business plan
Creating a business plan is a good way of planning realistic growth. Write down where your business currently stands and where you want it to be. Map out how to realise your vision for its future. This will also help you stay on track and be accountable as it grows. For more information click here.
- Choose a business structure
You will need to choose a legal structure for your business. Are you interested in your business being a sole trader, a limited liability company, or a partnership? Both legal and tax considerations need to be taken into account for this so it’s best if you hire an accountant to help make the best decision for your business.
- Set up your web presence
To start with, you will need to search for and buy a domain name. Once you have this, you can use services like Wix, WordPress or Squarespace (among others) to get your website up quickly. Start off with a basic site, you can always improve it at a later date. It’s a good idea to talk to your lawyer about registering for trademarks as well. For more information click here.
- Begin creating your social media influence
For most businesses today, an active social media presence is important for growth. Different types of businesses may need to use different social media platforms. While some may need a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile, others may do well with only an Instagram profile. To understand what would work best for you, speak to your business mentor and research what is working best for your competitors.
- Promote yourself
Once you’re online, don’t forget to ask people to promote your pages. This is important to get your content more traction and strengthen your web presence. A stronger web presence could mean more leads.
- Make sure your business is profitable
This may seem like a no-brainer but many brilliant ideas may not be profitable in the long term. You should use accounting software to run forecasts about your profits and losses. For good measure, get your accountant’s input as well.
- Set up business accounts
Speak to your accountant about getting a business account so you can keep those transactions separate from your personal ones. This makes it easier to keep track of money and is important even if your business is just starting out. Having a company credit card will also come in handy. For more information click here.
- Register for taxes
Keeping up with your tax obligations from the get go could save you problems in the long term. Get your accountant to register your business with the IRD and don’t forget to put money aside for ACC levies too.
- Account for tax deductibles
Your overheads (including rent, equipment cost, internet charges etc.) could all be tax deductible. Create a detailed list with your accountant so you don’t miss out on anything.
- Get business liability insurance
No matter how small your business still is, insurance is a safety net that you should have. It could be the only thing that protects you from a lawsuit that could potentially bring down the company. Consult an agent to put together a package that will serve your company’s needs. For more information click here.
- Employ the right people
Even if you can only hire one or two people at this stage, do it to so you have more people to pitch in. But make sure that you hire team players who are clear about their workload and your expectations.
- Use technology
Technology is doing wonders to make life easier for start-ups and small businesses. Budget for laptops/smartphones that will make your processes more efficient. Don’t forget to look at software applications that could make things easier for you. For instance, software like Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365 allow users to access files online while on the go for minimal or no cost.
- Invest in security
Data and privacy are extremely important to your customers and clients, so don’t skimp on security. Losing data will cost you your customers’ trust and ultimately, the business they bring in. So, investing in quality cloud-based software is worth it.
Having so much on your plate can be overwhelming and when this happens one of the best things to do is just to make a list and prioritise. Use this to make sure all you have all your bases covered. While hard work is a part of any enterprise, don’t discount the importance of a dedicated team, the right attitude and effective strategies.