In a recent survey, many of you stated that you could really use some help with Business Start Up, so this article is for all of you out there that have taken the plunge with a new business.
Remember don’t attempt to do it alone; surround yourself with experts! Tap into the wisdom of legal expertise in your particular field, accounting expertise, tax strategists for small business and other successful business owners to avoid some of the common pitfalls.
Once you have assembled your team of experts to guide you in these areas, you should turn your attention to writing and developing your business plan. Don’t skip this crucial step. This document should be an ongoing work in progress and updated regularly. Your business plan should include: your company goals, a description of the products and/or services your business offers, a description of your target market, a review and understanding of the competition, and a list of resources and tools you will use to achieve your goals. For a great resource on building your business plan, we recommend you visit the Small Business Administration website at http://www.sba.gov/starting_business
Once your business plan is in place and you are officially open for business, time management is another critical aspect of your success. Even if your business is part-time or you are just getting started, you must treat it like a business. Some people think that as business owners they don’t need to set a schedule. After all–time freedom is part of the benefit of being the boss, right? However, it is vital that you determine exactly how many hours you will work per week and schedule those hours. It is easy to let precious time slip away on other things and not accomplish the necessary work for a successful business.
Make sure you spend the majority of your working hours on the activities that actually produce income. We can all get caught up in the paperwork shuffle, rather than making sales calls or other activities for which we actually get paid. Plan your workload so you spend 80% of your time on the most important work and only 20% on those less crucial job tasks. Although it is very important to set and keep work hours, remember it is equally important that you retain balance in your life as a new business owner. Don’t forget to take time off for ‘friends and family time’, as well as a chance to recharge.
A common question we receive from new business owners is, “What business entity is right for my new business?” This has significant impact on legal issues, tax issues and asset protection for your business. For more information on articles written about what entity to set up contact firstname.lastname@example.org In the subject box put Business Entity article. Until then, take massive positive action in your business today and success will be yours!
We’ll revisit this topic with greater detail shortly.
Mark “Gunny” Thomas