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Starting a new business is always daunting, but it is even more overwhelming for those who have never worked for themselves before. Initially, the freedom of working for yourself is really exciting. But you soon realize that the safety net associated with a regular job is gone. You no longer have colleagues to help you on a daily basis, while there are no regular paychecks going into your account either.
After you have overcome the fear of working for yourself, you can begin the process of starting your new business. And here are some tips regarding the first steps you must take:
- Create a Business Plan
No business is going to succeed, especially in today’s economy, without a clear business plan. Your business plan should not be more than one or two pages, because you need to list out your company’s vision, mission, objectives, strategies and action plan in a way that is clearly understood by yourself and anyone else who reads the proposal. Do not use vague language in your proposal. The more directly you write things out, the clearer your business plan becomes.
Come up with a rough budget for the first few years of your business. Include the up-front costs associated with starting the business, such as buying office space, hiring an attorney and accountant, hiring employees, marketing and other costs. But you must also focus on the first couple of years of your business, because those are the most crucial to ensuring you will stay alive long enough to find success.
When you complete your budget, you should have a clear idea of how much money you are going to need to spend in the first two or three years of starting your business. Knowing the exact amount will help you as you seek funding and attempt to figure out how much money you can make through sales.
- Legal Entity and Filing Paperwork
When you start a business for the first time, you must figure out how you are going to complete the legal filings associated with your business. You must decide on a specific legal entity for your business, along with a business name. if you are unsure or confused about these matters, it is best to speak with an attorney who specializes in working with small businesses. They can guide you through the process with ease.
- Split Personal and Work Funds
It is never a good idea to have one bank account for your personal and business expenses. Make sure you split your accounts as soon as you complete your business filing, while you may also want to get specific debit and credit cards that are tied to your business accounts. Splitting the accounts makes it easier to remember whether particular purchases were personal or business-related.
- Create a Website and Social Media Accounts
It is always a good idea to cultivate an online presence, especially for small businesses. Since you will not have much name recognition, you have to make a name for your business online. Create a classy website and attempt to carve out a social media presence in the lead up to your grand opening.