Four Steps to Start a Business in 2019
DREAM BIG, BE SMART, MOVE FAST
A brilliant business idea means nothing if you’re unable to execute on it, right? Of course. It’s necessary to take a rough concept and be able to bring it to fruition or reality, but that’s a long and often challenging journey and most simply get overwhelmed at the thought and drop out, never to realize their dreams.
Fortunately, there are some practical ways to tackle such a project and if you break it down into manageable sections, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you reach your goals.
Business Plans: Documenting your vision is the first step in reaching your new business goals. What business plans provide is a way to visualize everything about your business, the need, the demand, the costs and investment required, and even the challenges you are likely to encounter. What should a business plan include? While there is no shortage of guidance on this topic, at a minimum, a business plan should details on your ultimate goal (the vision), the narrative on “why” you exist, the specific goals that will lead to the achievement of your vision and goals, and the strategies you’ll use to get there (and stand out from the crowd). Business plans vary in length and depth considerably and should be a document that evolves over time to address the current needs of your audience.
The Money/Budget: While you may have a great business idea and a plan for reaching your goals, money is often the one thing that prevents people from actually executing on their plan. While you may self-define as frugal and thrifty, having a formal budget (at least an outline) will show you what you need to get started and how much you’ll need to bring in each month or year to keep the lights on. It is easy to get excited about the prospect of a new and highly profitable business, but try to be realistic about your budget and what a reasonable revenue might be from its operation. The burn rate (the rate at which a company is spending its financial reserves – the loss) of new business is typically very high at the beginning but begins to even out over time. Do plan and strive for profitability in the near term – i.e. what level of revenue will you need to bring in to prevent losses?
The Legal Stuff: It’s never a good idea to put your personal finances in jeopardy, so establishing your business as a legal entity is always a good idea. There is a significant amount of time and cost associated with setting up a legal entity so hiring a professional to do the legwork is almost always a good idea. There are many things your attorney or account will be able to help with including city and municipal licensing, state incorporation and other, related business entity fees.
The Marketing Assets: One of the first things that those with a rough idea for a business do is to secure the domain name and other related marketing assets and collateral – from social media profiles to custom phone numbers. Most of these assets are quite economical to set up, maintain and manage and there are a broad collection of providers willing to offer their services. Remember, you get what you pay for, so make sure (just as you would with a lawyer or accountant) to hire an experienced digital consultant.
Starting a business in not for the faint of heart; approach the prospect of starting your business realistically (with a strategy, the right accounting and legal team, and premium marketing assets like a toll-free vanity number) and you'll bet set up for success in the future.
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