Learning the Ropes – 5 Things Every Business Owner Should Know When Starting Out

Learning the Ropes - 5 Things Every Business Owner Should Know When Starting Out

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Setting up a new business can be challenging, but it’s critical to get this initial stage right to ensure the long-term success of the venture. A solid foundation and well-thought-out business plan can be the difference between thriving and having to shut up shop. Here are five tips to help you achieve your goals when starting your own business:

Spend Strategically

Being smart with your budget at the outset will put you in a strong position moving forward. You need to consider office space, equipment costs, software, employees, marketing, inventory and so much more. The first step is to put together a realistic budget which details all the expected outlays. Next, consider areas where you can save money by delaying spending until the business is more established.

Some areas to cut spending include lease costs and staffing. For example, you could look into a serviced office with affordable rent and flexible terms rather than locking in a long-term lease within a traditional office building, and see if you can make do with only two employees instead of three for the first several months.

Network is Everything

The old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” still rings true when you start your own business. Networking can lead to new customers, business partnerships, fantastic employees, vital knowledge, and consumer insight.

Do some research on networking events in your area and try to attend anything that’s relevant to your industry or your community. Reach out to old personal and work contacts to let them know you’ve set up a business. Get active on LinkedIn and build your online network. You’ll be amazed at the opportunities that can arise from chatting with people.

Avoid Legal and Financial Roadblocks

Selecting the appropriate business structure at the outset is essential to avoid legal and financial roadblocks. As well as registering your business and business name, you need to understand your tax obligations and legal requirements thoroughly. You should also arrange insurance and any appropriate licensing. Now’s also the time to set up a bookkeeping system and implement a system to file receipts and paperwork, so they’re always at hand when you need them. Take a look at some online checklists and make sure you consult with a lawyer and an accountant if you’re unsure.

Research Government Grants and Support

If you do some research, you’ll most likely find that there are local and state government support programs available to assist small businesses and startups. Be savvy and take advantage of any support offered! Check whether there are small business seminars and networking events running in your area. You may also be eligible for grants or tax exemptions.

Hire on Attitude

Hiring the right staff is vital to the success of your organization. Your employees are often the face of your company, and in a small team, need to work together like a well-oiled machine to get things done. Many people make the mistake of picking the most experienced person who applies, instead of assessing how their values and approach align with the business. Skills can be learned, but a bad attitude is hard to shift.

Staff members with a negative viewpoint, inability to work with other team members, lack of motivation and a reactive rather than proactive approach can cost your business in both money and reputation. Finding the perfect candidate is crucial.

Establishing a new business can be challenging, but if you do your groundwork early, it’ll stand you in good stead for a prosperous future.

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