Starting a new business venture may sound as simple as having an idea or a product prototype, and setting up a base from which to sell it to the masses. However, there are many other factors which you will need to consider to make your company a success; from marketing your product well to managing your overheads. Failing to take into account the negatives of being your own boss and the difficulties which can come with being a business owner could cause you major problems down the line. Many small businesses fail within the first year of opening, so to successfully avoid becoming another statistic, you need to plan ahead to combat the common problems that all new business owners face.
Of course, when you set up a new business, you’re not going to be in the green from the start. There are many different start-up costs which are unavoidable in starting up a business, such as buying insurance to cover you for building contents, as well as any other insurance policies you may need to take out. Not forgetting the general costs of running a premises, for example, water and electricity expenses; paying to employ staff members, and purchasing stock. Money issues are always going to be a cause of stress and apprehension, especially if you’ve had to take out a loan to set the company up, or if you are experiencing pressure from investors that are expecting fast returns. In order to avoid getting into deeper money problems, it’s important to keep track of your incomings and outgoings. There are apps and online tools available which can help you with tasks such as calculating budgets. However, it might also be advisable to find an accountant who can help you to keep track of your finances, and advise you on the best course of action to keep your overheads to a minimum.
As a new business owner, it is completely understandable that you would want to be fully involved in the running of the company, and keep the control firmly in your own hands. Unfortunately, the running of a business is not simply a nine to five job. As you may have realized, there are many aspects of running a business which you have to do from behind the scenes, such as managing paychecks and paying expenses. If you are acting as the business accountant, manager, and the main point of call for customer liaison, on top of everything else, it won’t be long until you become burnt out. That will be detrimental to both your health and the wellbeing of your business because if you are overworking yourself, you could become disorganized, overlook important details and start making mistakes. It is incredibly challenging to run a business alone, so you may benefit from enlisting some co-owners to share the responsibility of the business, or choosing a few trusted employees to delegate tasks to. Work out which aspects of the business require your expertise, and which assignments you can afford to have less input in. There is also the option of employing independent contractors to take control of jobs which do not fall under your areas of expertise.
Managing legal requirements
There are several legalities that you must meet the requirements of when you start up your own business. You’ll first need to decide what legal structure you will follow; for example, will you be the sole trader, or operating as an LLP? Registering your business name, and acquiring a tax identification number should be high on your list of priorities. There are multiple different types of tax payments businesses can be liable to pay, such as federal and state income tax, BPOL tax, payroll taxes and sales tax. Dealing with these legal and financial processes can be difficult and confusing, especially if you are new to the process. It may be a good idea to consult with USAttorneys who will be able to offer professional advice and assistance in navigating and understanding tax regulations.
Finding loyal customers
For a new business, finding clients is incredibly important, because without the sales you will never be successful. It is imperative that you create an in-depth marketing plan, which will allow you to target as many people within your ideal client group as you can. You need to identify a unique selling point that will grab buyer’s attention, so it’s vital that you conduct comprehensive market research. Gaining a vast number of customers is not the only aim; you also want to find customers who spend more and repeatedly shop with your business. Identify the characteristics of your most loyal customers, and specifically aim future marketing ventures at gaining more clients of this nature. Don’t be afraid of gaining feedback from your customers, as long as you do so in a way which isn’t intrusive, and that won’t take up too much of their time.
When you are stressed and juggling a lot of responsibility, it can be hard to prioritize the well-being of your employees. Nonetheless, your workforce is the heart and soul of your business. They are the ones who interact with client’s the most, and if you want a successful business, you need to keep your employees content. Show your workforce that their welfare is important to you by communicating with them on as regular a basis as you can manage. Ask for their opinions on how the business can be better run; they see first hand how your clientele respond to business procedures and are likely to know best what the company’s strengths and weaknesses are. Offer incentives: they don’t have to be expensive, but it doesn’t hurt to recognize an ‘employee of the month,’ or to hold an annual Christmas party to keep spirits up. If you have a high staff turn over, it doesn’t create a good impression to your clients, and it may be a sign that your employees feel undervalued.
By addressing these points from the beginning, you will minimize the likelihood of encountering complicated issues further down the line.