Starting a small business can be exciting and rewarding. However, you may wonder where to begin. There are different ways to start a business, with numerous considerations. Use this read to take the guesswork out of starting a business and increase your chances of success from the beginning step.
1. Business Insurance
Getting business insurance is an important beginning step in starting a business. Insurance protects your business from unexpected liability claims, property damage, and theft. Some insurance coverages you may need for your business include general and professional liability insurance, property insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance. Research and compare several insurance providers and policies to find the best coverage for your business’s needs and budget.
Business insurance doesn’t just protect your business. The right policies demonstrate to your contractors and customers how serious you are about risk management. It also conveys to everyone that you’ll offer the right protection, regardless of the nature of the accident.
Small business insurance is typically required by most states. However, you should still consider it even if yours doesn’t. It protects you from financial loss if a customer files a lawsuit against you after suffering injuries at your workplace, a fire damages your inventory or building, or a computer with a client’s personal information is stolen.
You can look for business insurance online, but talking to other players in your industry and asking for recommendations is a better idea. This approach is critical if you operate in an industry such as food or construction, where insurance is an essential business asset. Prices might vary, but you’re more likely to acquire the right coverage at a good price if you contact a broker specializing in your industry. A broker with experience in your sector knows what your business needs from an insurance policy.
2. Hiring Employees
Hiring employees is another essential beginning step in starting a small business. Establish the positions you must fill, then write job descriptions for each. You can post job openings on job boards and social media platforms to attract potential candidates.
When conducting interviews, verify references, conduct background checks, and ask relevant questions to determine a candidate’s suitability. You also need to ensure you comply with local and federal laws. For example, you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS, establish a payroll system, and verify each potential employee’s eligibility to work in the US. Consider offering employee benefits and creating a handbook outlining your company’s policies and procedures.
Depending on the nature of the business, the employee hiring process can be quite time-consuming, so consider hiring a staffing agency. They’ll provide a vast pool of qualified candidates, sparing you the hassle of advertising, reviewing resumes, and holding interviews. A staffing agency will also help you navigate processes such as verifying references and conducting background checks.
These agencies specialize in recruiting and hiring employees for industries ranging from retail, healthcare, and technology to agriculture and automotive. Their experience gives them a better understanding of the experience, qualifications, and skills relevant to each job position. Once you hire the right employees, you must keep them happy.
A happy workforce is more productive and committed to ensuring the company’s success. Creating a positive work culture is the beginning step in making employees feel you value and appreciate their input. It includes fostering open communication, recognizing and rewarding employees’ efforts, offering in-house growth and development opportunities, and encouraging a work-life balance. A friendly and inclusive working environment will help retain staff and lower turnover rates.
Offering competitive pay and perks will also keep employees happy. Ensure you’re paying staff fair wages and offering perks like healthcare, retirement plans, and paid time off. Doing this shows employees you value them and can also help attract top talent in the industry.
3. Hiring Legal Services
Ensuring your business operates within the law is an important part of starting and running a business, as it helps you avoid legal implications. However, this can be overwhelming for a new business owner, so hiring legal services is an important beginning step. An attorney will help you navigate the complex business legalities, ensuring you comply with all legal regulations and requirements.
They can also guide you through registering your business, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and drafting contracts and agreements with vendors, partners, and clients. A lawyer will also come in handy when facing legal disputes such as intellectual property disputes or employment and contract disputes. They’ll work to settle issues out of court or provide legal representation if needed. A lawyer can also help you file for bankruptcy if the need arises.
Other than an attorney, you should also hire the legal services of a tax consultant as part of your beginning step. Tax laws are constantly changing, which makes them challenging to navigate. Having an expert on board will ensure you’re filing taxes correctly and not missing out on any applicable deductions.
While legal services can be expensive, it’s important to budget for the costs when starting your business. The cost of these services is way less than the potential costs of legal disputes or fines for non-compliance with regulations. Look for a reputable lawyer or law firm with experience in the field of business law. As you look for reviews and ratings online, talk to other local business owners and ask them for recommendations.
4. Establishing a Physical Shop
Establishing a physical shop is an important beginning step of opening a new business. Whether a large warehouse or a small office, it’ll significantly impact your business’s success. There are several factors to consider when buying and setting up an office space.
When looking for the ideal location for your office, you should consider the industry you’re operating in and your target market. For a retail business, a location with high foot traffic is best. A business that offers professional services will do well in a business district or commercial area.
Once you have a list of potential locations, consider the accessibility. If your business operations involve customers visiting your office, its location should be easy to access with public transportation. It should also have adequate parking spaces. Other factors to consider are the neighborhood’s safety, nearby amenities, and overall ambiance.
5. Making Room and Creating a Workspace
The size of your potential office space is also important. It should accommodate your employees, furniture, and equipment comfortably. However, you also don’t want to rent or purchase a too big space as it will result in extra, unnecessary expenses. Pick a space that satisfies your business’s immediate needs and allows for a bit of growth potential.
You should also think about the layout of your potential new office space in your hunt, as it will affect the productivity and efficiency of your business operation. Consider how you want to divide it to include private offices, conference rooms, and communal areas. A space with an open layout will allow you to design it according to your business’s needs during the beginning step.
The furniture you pick for your office will directly impact the comfort of employees, affecting their productivity. When you visit the office furniture store, ask the personnel to help you choose comfortable, ergonomic, and functional furniture pieces. You’ll also need office equipment like telephones, printers, and computers. Be sure to budget accordingly for these expenses.
Consider any necessary renovations once you’ve found a space. For example, you may need to install a wall-to-wall carpet, divide the space according to the needs of your business operations or look for paving companies to repave the driveway. Your commercial roofing may also need some work. Hire professional commercial builders to guarantee the best results for extensive renovation work.
Moving into a new office space can be a hassle. Start planning weeks or months before the day you want to move, such as hiring a reliable moving business to ensure all your furniture and equipment get to the shop safely and efficiently. Work with professionals to schedule a moving date that works for everyone.
6. Tips for Marketing Your New Business
You can employ several strategies to market your new business as part of the beginning step. However, not all strategies will work for your company. You’ll need to conduct some research and try different tactics before finding the most effective one.
Social media advertising is among the most popular internet marketing strategies. It typically involves using platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to reach your target market. You can use these platforms to either post about your company or create ads that target specific demographics.
Considering that most consumers use their mobile devices today, using Google Ads or social media posts may be more effective than using direct mail. Referral and review sites like Yelp are the modern versions of word-of-mouth advertising. Ensure you deliver great services and have a track record of positive reviews.
Another powerful marketing strategy for new businesses is leveraging the power of influencers. These individuals have a large online following who take their opinions seriously. In other words, if they promote your service or product, their followers will likely try it out.
There are several ways to get influencers to promote your business. One approach is to contact them directly and invite them to participate in your marketing campaign to spread the word about your services or products. You can also collaborate with an influencer marketing agency. They’ll connect you to influencers who fit your brand well.
Signage is also an effective marketing tool. It’ll attract the attention of potential customers as they pass by your physical shop. Have local sign companies customize a sign for your new business.
Connecting with local businesses is also a great way to market your small business. When you collaborate with other companies in your area, you can market to each other’s clientele and combine resources to promote business growth. You can also work together on marketing campaigns and events. Start by networking with other local businesses by attending business events and joining online forums and organizations that promote collaboration among local businesses.
Offering incentives and discounts is also a great marketing strategy. You can approach this by offering a free item with each purchase or a percentage off your services or products. Loyalty programs, which reward customers for continued patronage, are also great. Whatever approach you choose, make sure it offers value to your customers.
7. Think About Taxes
It’s easy to overlook setting up an effective recordkeeping system when launching your new business. You’re busy, and tax season seems a long way off. However, by the time you’re getting ready for tax season, you should have your tax information ready and organized.
If you store receipts in wallets, in the car, or on the counter, you risk missing out on tax deductions, which costs you money. Rushing to gather them during tax season will only cost you more money and cause frustration. If you visit your accountant’s office the next year with a mess of records for them to arrange, they’ll charge you higher accounting fees.
To make tax season easier, use tax services such as a software solution to record your income and expenses year-round. This way, all your tax information will be categorized in a central location and easily transferable to your tax software.
You may be wondering whether to do your taxes yourself, pay someone in-house, or employ the tax services of a professional. The answer may vary depending on the business’s nature and if you have the time to do the job. Hiring a tax professional will be worthwhile if you want personal help or don’t have the time to devote to doing taxes. Other than preparing your taxes, they’ll help you develop long-term strategies to lower taxes and maximize profits.
Donating equipment you’re not using is a great end-of-year tax tip. If you went paperless, you likely aren’t using your printer. If you recently upgraded your computers, the old ones are probably accumulating dirt in the storage room. Donate these items as they’re tax-deductible.
Starting a small business requires patience, dedication, and time. However, if you’re ready to put in the work, you’ll be well on your way toward realizing your financial dreams and goals. Conduct your research, establish a solid business plan, and adjust accordingly. Use this read to understand what is involved in the beginning step of starting a business.