5 Simple Steps to Painless Business Ownership
If thinking about starting a business has you equally excited and intimidated, you’re not alone. Whatever great idea you’re nurturing, the other half of starting a company is fraught with formulas, figures, and very long checklists of legal and regulatory items to take care of.
But if you’re dedicated to business ownership with less pain and more gain, there’s a solution. Check out these tips for checking the less enjoyable business tasks off your to-do list, courtesy of Daily Capsules.
1. Orchestrate Funding
Have a great idea for a new business but don’t have any cash in your account to fund it? Raising money isn’t the most glamorous part of launching a company, but it’s a necessity. Fortunately, all companies have to find funding somewhere, so you’re not alone in this not-so-engaging step toward business ownership.
Depending on your business model, you might head for traditional funding sources like small business loans and grants. But if you’re launching a new or innovative product or service, crowdfunding could be a viable option. Consider your product or service’s audience and whether they’d be interested in helping you get your venture off the ground. Plenty of organizations have done it, and a fundraiser that involves pre-orders can give your brand the jump-start it needs. Of course, organizing funding and the advertising it will take to draw in donors leads you to the next step in business ownership.
2. Launch Marketing Efforts
It might sound fun to send out coupons and wait for shoppers to start rolling in. But any marketing concept you decide to try out could lose you money. Behind the flashy advertisements and free offers is a business that needs to make money. So how can you market your company without spending all your hard-earned cash on paid ads? Fortunately, there’s no shortage of free advertising available today, points out WordStream — but you have to be creative.
Finding new customers online can be challenging, but it helps to start with a clear picture of your ideal consumer. Sketch out this customer profile so you know who your target audience is, where to find them, what they like, and what they hope to gain from your product or service. With this profile in hand, start seeking your consumer base. Depending on your demographic sketch, you might join social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or even TikTok to start pulling in an audience. You might even find that a YouTube channel is just the ticket to growing an audience that’s willing to buy what you’re selling.
Keep in mind that the common denominator in all these social media endeavors is connection. Truly connecting with your audience, whether in person or via digital means, is what will earn you repeat customers and repeat sales. Take the time to invest effort in your social media and other advertising outreach — then give customers what they want. If budget permits, tap ecommerce marketing services but keep it cost-effective by working with freelancers. Just make sure to look through candidates’ reviews and portfolios to find a good fit.
3. Form a Business Structure
Brainstorming business names and planning your brand’s growth are probably two of the highlights of business ownership. But somewhere among those steps lies the necessity for organizing your business in a more structured way. No matter how you plan to do business, you’ll have licenses and paperwork to complete. But an additional step that could be worth the effort is forming an LLC. Establishing an LLC helps keep your personal finances separate from the company’s. It also allows you a few tax perks and other financial benefits.
Beyond formal business structure, there are a few other must-do items on your company setup list. For one thing, you’ll likely want to establish an operating agreement. This document protects your assets and helps articulate your organization’s rules and planning. It also ensures that the company has a succession plan if anything happens to the legal owner (you).
4. Oversee Your Accounting
After your funding is secured and you have cash in the coffers, that’s that, right? Not so fast. Once your company is earning an income — and possibly paying back its startup debts — you need to keep that momentum going with smart spending — or better yet, no spending at all! Innovative accounting practices ensure that you know where your dollars are going. And keeping tabs on your spending also helps you avoid overspending as you dive into expanding your company and your wares (or services).
The steps to a solid accounting plan are relatively simple. You’ll need to open a business bank account, track your earnings and spending, figure out a payroll and bookkeeping system, and handle taxes as they’re due. This step can sound intimidating, but the good news is, you can always outsource the task to a trusted professional. Again, the gig industry makes hiring pros so affordable — it’s become a new trend in the business arena, says CNBC. Of course, you can also go the other modern route and invest in software that handles the nitty-gritty for you.
5. Enhance Organizational Security
When you start fleshing out your business plan and seeking startup funding, you’re probably not thinking about company security. But the fact is, ensuring that your business is safe is a cornerstone of being a savvy CEO (or solopreneur).
The bad news is that safety spans multiple facets of your organization, and it can be challenging to tick all the boxes. From technology dangers to human threats, you’ll need a solid security plan for your company. For most business owners, this will involve enlisting outside help, but it’s worth the effort and investment. Because your organization’s information — not to mention your customers’ — could be at risk, spending some startup funds on security is a worthwhile step. Should you skip this step, you may be leaving your business open to cybersecurity threats that could destroy your customers’ trust in you and ruin your business.
For many business startup tasks, there are no shortcuts and no workarounds. But the good news is that for many of the must-do items on the company ownership list, you can get through them with persistence and a bit of know-how. All it takes is that first step — and a healthy dose of motivation.
For more business tips and inspiration, look no further than Daily Capsules.
Photo via Unsplash