America is, after all, the country of entrepreneurs. This is why, according to the Small Business Administration, 99.7 percent of all U. S businesses are smaller-sized. Starting a small business, however, is not for the faint of heart. It is difficult, a lot of work, and very demanding. The best course of action then is not to dive into the market, but to plan ahead and map out a course of action that can help you navigate the rough waters.
Begin with Research and Understanding the Market
If you have an idea for a business, chances are you have had some time to think about it and have some understanding or insight of that particular market in your neighborhood. For example, if you have a dream to start an Italian Restaurant in your area, do some research about other Italian restaurants in the city, prices, competition, etc. Be realistic about your business goals and think about the viability of your idea in the tough market. Ask yourself a variety of important questions like:
- What needs are you fulfilling in the market?
- How will your business stand out among the rest?
- Who is your niche audience? Or Who are you targeting?
Name and Structure Your Business
Naming your business is an important decision. It plays a role in everything you’ll do as a business owner and so careful consideration and research about the name is important. For example, make sure your competition might not have a similar name, or that it is easy to understand, easy to find, is somewhat catchy or enticing, etc. The name of your business will, in some way, be your identity and needs to match your business mission, goal, or industry.
Another important step in the early stages is setting up your business structure. This means whether you will identify (for tax purposes) as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation.
Don’t Overlook the Business Plan
A business plan is quite literally a blueprint for your business and while it’s easy to think that you know these things, it’s important to lay them down in writing and articulating every detail of your business. If you are seeking a business loan or other types of financial assistance, you will most likely have to write out a traditional business plan that includes a whole slew of important information.
Lay Out Estimates, Costs, and Finances
You don’t have to be a millionaire to open up a business, but it will require some initial investment. A lot of times, this depends heavily on the type of business you are planning to open. A small neighborhood coffee shop might need to invest in appliances, space, tables, chairs, cutlery, dishes, etc.
Set Up Your Accounting System
As a small business, you will need to consider how you will keep track of your expenses and your accounting services. This is a necessary aspect of any business, as it allows you to budget and plan your finances moderately, figure out your prices, do business with others, and, of course, to pay your taxes. Choosing a professional entity to do your accounting can help your business ensure it is not breaking the code or paying more than necessary in taxes.
Don’t Let the Details Bog You Down or Tangle You Up
The truth is that only about 2/3 of businesses with employees survive more than two years. The market is rough and running a business comes with tremendous responsibility to ensure you are following the necessary guidelines and protocol. When looking for the right accounting services and payroll, we help small businesses worry about growing the business as we do the necessary numbers and bookkeeping work. Call Clifford, Ross, Raudenbush, & Cooper.