The entrepreneurial spirit can spawn from any idea, whether big or small. Such ideas, when pursued mindfully and properly, can lead to a successful business and a fulfilling life.
If you’ve been thinking about pursuing your very own startup business, there are a few considerations that you’ll want to keep top of mind. Although these components are not the most exciting aspects of planning a startup, they are essential to ensure the future success and sustainability of your business.
1. Write a Clearly Defined Business Plan
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of building a startup is writing a clear business plan. The business plan should define the mission, goals, and overall purpose of the business. More specifically, the business plan should also include details pertaining to financing, marketing, employment, and other key investments that will shape the business.
Consulting with a business coach or advisor is a wise idea during these stages of planning your startup. There are many free programs that you can utilize, such as SCORE, which is dedicated to free advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners. An experience professional can help you pinpoint the essential elements of your business plan, as well as other components of organizing your business.
2. Understand the Basics about Taxes
Tax planning can spare you the stress and headache in the future. Much of this learning process will depend on the type of business you’re pursuing, along with where your business is located. Some regions have different tax requirements for certain business models.
Clearly understanding the basic about taxation and how this applies to your business is critical. Receiving counsel from a financial planner or accountant can be a great solution to get everything out on the table. This will better ensure that your business covers its tax obligations accordingly.
3. Invest in the Right Business Insurance
Not only is insurance a requirement for startups in certain areas, but insurance can help ward-off risks that could devastate a business. There are various types of business insurance. For example, workers’ compensation insurance can safeguard employees against debilitating injuries and corresponding lawsuits, and property insurance can protect your business’ location from theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.
Investing in business insurance is never a delightful financial endeavor. However, think of the expenditure as a necessity or requirement to keep your business afloat. Be sure to choose the right insurance coverage that will completely protect your business in all of its facets.
4. Be Mindful of Financing & Cash Flow
When planning a startup business, it’s important to understand the overall scheme of financing (what resources that will support the business’ funds) as well as cash flow (the initial investments to get the business up and running. The former, regarding financing, should be the primary consideration for startups. This defines the main support system that will keep the business alive during the first months and years of operation.
Parallel to financing a business is determining and regulating the company’s expenditures. During the planning stages, it’s best to over-estimate these expenditures and inflate the financial expectations the business plans to incur. This will help cushion costs incase certain bills and investments are much more than they were anticipated.
5. Determine Labor, Land & Other Resources
Before you launch your startup (and depending on the nature of the business) you’ll need determine the extent of labor or employees that will support the company’s operations. This can be difficult to estimate at first, and may take some trial and error during the first months after launch. A good tip is to observe how other comparable businesses operate and how they define roles throughout the company.
Another critical component that can influence a business’ survival is its location. Although service-oriented startups can run without a tangible office or location, many small businesses need a place to serve customers and/or sell products. As a result, these startups must respect the balance of investing in the ideal location that’s affordable. If the success of your business hinges on a great location, it’s often times best to invest a bit more in that ideal spot, as opposed to saving on a lesser desired location that doesn’t receive the traffic the business needs.
Other business resources to consider are the consulting services are lawyers, accountants, IT experts and marketing professionals. The counsel of these specialists can help you better define the needs (and future costs) of your future business. Depending on the nature of your company, the services of these professionals may be an integral aspect of your ongoing business.
Published: June 3, 2013