Starting a business these days is not an easy task and although it has become somewhat more accessible thanks to the internet, you’re still facing an uphill battle.
The world of business, no matter what industry you are in, is now a hyper-competitive one, and the key to success is no longer just a good idea or a solid product, but a comprehensive plan behind the idea which gets all the wheels in motion.
All businesses start with an initial idea (and some ideas will naturally be better than others), but it is everything else, in addition to the idea, that turns a business dream into a successful reality. A thorough plan (and sometimes a little stroke of luck) are what it takes for your idea to become a scalable, profitable business in the modern market.
Aside from all the interesting stuff, such as product design and developing a marketing strategy, there are many less interesting niceties you need to have ironed out from the get-go. And while they aren’t usually much fun or particularly enjoyable (not to mention often tedious and quite a pain), having them in place is what allows the fun stuff to flourish.
6 Simple Things to Think About When Starting a Business
Starting a business is a complicated matter; you don’t want to make things any more difficult than they already are or need to be, by not having the basics planned out and in place.
Here is a simple checklist of six things you need to get sorted before starting your company:
1 | Deciding on a Name
This one may seem obvious, but more often than not, startup founders get lost in the excitement of their idea and forget to give their company a proper name! Choosing a name is not only important for legal reasons, but for securing your domain name, too. You’re going to need a website created before you launch, and the worst thing you could do is get everything planned out and decide on a name – only to find out it isn’t available or is very expensive!
2 | Choosing a Bank Account
You should keep your business finances separate from your own, and you can do that by opening a business account with a bank. Most banks are receptive to small business owners and you don’t need an existing account to open one for a small business. The best people to advise you in regard to the account you will need are the bank’s representatives or a reliable accountant. Generally speaking, though, you’ll want an institution that doesn’t charge too high a fee while you’rere just starting out and one which allows for additional business services if you need them.
3 | Type of Company
Your company’s type (partnership, private or public limited) has huge legal significance. The most popular type of startup is a private limited company, which is its own legal entity and does not leave you personally liable for its debts or shortfalls; your liability is limited to your investment into the company and no further. If you are working with multiple founders, however, a partnership could be the way to go, but this depends on your individual business and how you want to operate. You do need to register your company in some form, however.
4 | Recruiting
Before you launch, you need to decide what staff – if any – you are going to need from day one. You may not need any, but it is worth thinking about either way. Although you may just be a small startup, you could still benefit from hiring a personal assistant, a secretary or somebody to manage customer relations through your social media pages. You don’t need to recruit anybody formally; you may decide to opt for using the services of freelancers on an ad hoc basis. You may also decide to go it alone: it is a decision for you to make on its own merits and what is the best fit for you and your business.
5 | Security
If you are opening a brick-and-mortar location, physical security is something you need to get sorted out for insurance purposes. Invest in an alarm or a monitoring system that will make sure the location is kept safe. Don’t forget about the security of your website and servers, either; cybercriminals are more knowledgeable than ever and are ready to swoop in and steal valuable data from startups which are generally easier targets.
6 | A Legal Representative
Unless you have a legal education of your own, we highly recommend consulting the advice of a legal professional early on. These people are best placed to guide you through the tricky minefield which is launching a startup and are the best people to inform you about any regulations within your industry, help you register your business legally and provide you with help when things go south: because, one day, things will go south – it is far from plain sailing in the world of business.
Starting your own business is the new normal and although it may seem at times that everyone else is doing it, you shouldn’t become complacent and start thinking it’s an easy feat – it’s not! By being prepared and getting the basics out of the way, you stand a much better chance of success in entrepreneurship.
About the Author:
Michael has been working as a marketing executive for nearly a decade, and his greatest passion is helping young entrepreneurs wade their way through the havoc that is the first two years in business. When he grows up, he wants to be Rank Fishkin. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle, or catch up with him on Twitter.