Businesses are part of every industry. Medical supply companies sell medical products to clinics and hospitals. Farmers turn to agricultural equipment companies for the resources they need. Teachers secure supplies from educational stores, and retailers sell clothes, groceries, personal care items, and sports equipment.
While four out of every five businesses launched survive their first year, approximately 50 percent shut down within five years of their launch date. Launching a successful business involves research and careful planning. Let’s look at five essential steps to take to ensure you’re ready to start a business.
1. Create a business plan.
A business plan guides you through the steps required to launch a business. Creating a business plan involves industry research. Learn about your competitors and the market. Your research can help you determine if there’s a need for your business or how to capitalize on gaps in the market to ensure your business is successful.
Your business plan should include a start-up budget and an operating budget for your first year. It should also outline the resources you need to launch your company.
2. Handle legal matters.
Consulting a business attorney can help you navigate legal issues and determine whether to run a limited liability company (LLC) or a sole proprietorship. Your attorney can also outline any legal risks you’re assuming, ensuring you take measures to protect yourself and your business.
Some businesses offer services or goods that involve risks. Preparing a hold harmless agreement ensures you’re able to mitigate your liability risks. Suppose your business offers OGO ball rides. Riding in one of the balls introduces the risk of injuries, but you can prevent lawsuits by requiring patrons to sign a liability waiver. The agreement should identify your business and the services you’re providing, and the legal rights patrons waive by signing.
It should have room for the patron’s name, signature, and the date they sign the waiver. Creating a digital hold harmless agreement enables you to collect electronic signatures and secure signed waivers on a server, preventing waivers from loss or damage.
3. Secure financing.
You’ll need funds to start your business. Securing capital can be challenging, but a strong business plan can inspire lenders to approve a loan. Spend time researching U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and prepare your application. You can go to FinImpact to find out the SBA loan credit score requirements and other important info. The SBA enables new businesses to access low-interest business loans to cover operating expenses, start-up costs, and expansion costs.
4. Acquire resources.
Businesses need facilities and resources, including supplies, equipment, and employees. Business plans outline the essentials you need, and once you have funding, you’re in a position to secure these items. Work with human resources professionals to hire employees, ensuring you have a team of qualified professionals when you open your doors. Each staff department will need specific items you should acquire before your launch.
You’ll need a finance department to pay employees and handle financial matters, such as making tax payments and reconciling financial reports. Ensuring documents can be stored in a tax folder enables your accounting team to organize materials.
They may prepare a tax folder for each employee, ensuring they receive their W-2s and other tax information they need to file their income tax. Perhaps your business offers tax preparation services. Your tax preparers can use custom folders featuring your business information to present completed returns to clients.
You also need to outsource accountants, tax advisors, CPAs and more to handle the crucial aspects of your business. You may either hire people in your firm or can outsource them virtually. Business owners no longer have trouble finding a CPA who is an expert in their field. With online platforms like Ageras, it only takes a few seconds to find the right CPA for your business. And if you are also concerned as to how much does a CPA cost, the prices are fair on Ageras, with no commission fee involved.
5. Invest in marketing.
A great business plan, a qualified staff team, materials and supplies, and financing are essential for your business’s success, but your company needs patrons to survive. Your marketing strategy ensures you reach your target audience and compels them to use your services or products. Using various marketing tactics, including search engine optimization (SEO) marketing and advertising, can raise your company’s profile and attract clientele.
Starting a business involves research and preparation. You’ll also need to take steps to protect your business before opening your doors.