January is the time of year when lots of ambitious entrepreneurs decide to start their business. Starting a business can be a risky proposition, but it’s always exciting to start out on your own and let yourself be the one making the decisions. In order to have a successful business venture you need the right resources and help, including checklists, tools and services you will need.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, make sure you have everything in line before your business is up and running. There is a lot of groundwork that needs to be laid before you can even find your first customer, so make sure you have everything lined up before you start your business.
- Create your businesses identity
You need something that sets you apart, and your logo and brand image are what represents your business. They are the most recognizable, tangible part of your business. Before you start a business you need to create a unique, standout logo for your business identity.
- Select your legal status
Depending on how your business will be structured, you will need to form a legal structure. Some of the most common legal statuses are incorporated (Inc.) and limited liability corporations (LLC). Decide what type of business model is right for you business before you begin.
- Get some customers online
Your potential customers are out there…online. You need to create a solid website, have it submitted to search engines and even start some small advertising campaigns. If you can establish an online presence, your business will see sales in no time.
- Paying your employees
There are payroll services available that will calculate checks and taxes; it’s one of the easiest ways to pay employees. You can find plenty of suppliers online that will make it easier to write paychecks all on your own.
- Manage your finances, seriously!
Make sure you keep an eye out on your finances, money does not grow on trees but it sure as heck burns like them. You can blow through a pile of cash quickly without even paying any necessary bills or expenditures. Get a solid accountant or software that will manage your finances correctly.
- Enable credit card transactions for your company
Look up some merchant services account companies. They enable you to run a credit card online, through you computer or over the phone. It’s a simple process that doesn’t require that much information from you, but really helps out with generating revenue. Most people pay for goods and services online through credit cards, they aren’t shoving cash in their modem, so make sure you have the ability to process their transaction. You might also consider PayPal as they also have merchant services for a monthly fee and a transaction fee. Your bank may also provide a merchant service with less fees (mine does… I just made the switch- what a savings!).
- Have a brick and mortar store
If your business requires it, have a physical location, but if you’re starting an online company a website is all you need. Just have point-of-sale equipment so that you can process payments as they come through the store. Tracking and maintaining customer records allow for faster processing times, this allows you to estimate future expenditures.
Having and running your own business has its ups and downs but in the end, if answering only to yourself is a strong motivator for you, then I would say GO FOR IT!