Starting a business? Don’t skip these steps.
Starting a business is an exciting and busy time. You’re fulfilling a dream, juggling details, and wearing many hats—if not all the hats. You want everything to be perfect and don’t want to miss a step. So review these critical but often overlooked best practices.
Lock in financing
First off, you’ll need to determine how much money it will take to launch and operate your business until it starts generating profits. If you don’t have enough in savings, you may need to apply for a business loan to help cover your immediate expenses.
Prepare for surprises
As a business owner, you need to be prepared for both planned and unexpected expenses, like equipment maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. For smaller amounts, you can use a business credit card. For larger amounts, consider opening a business line of credit, which gives you access to funds you can tap into as needed.
Consult with experts
When you put so much passion and hard work into your business, it’s natural to want to control every detail. But it might be better to focus on your areas of expertise and partner with experts for everything else: for example, consulting with a lawyer, tax advisor, and business banker to help structure your business, file paperwork, create a tax payment process, and organize your finances.
Implement payment solutions
Once you’re open for business, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for customers to pay for your products or services—and the more options you give them, the better. That means accepting chip-enhanced debit and credit cards and mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay. With a reputable electronic payment solution, you can do so safely and securely from anywhere, even on your phone or tablet.
Set up an accounting system
Launching and running your business should be your main focus right now—not keeping the books and paying the bills. So it’s worth your time to look into cash management services or an online accounting tool to help you set up an efficient process that will make the best use of your resources.
Make it official
If you operate as a sole proprietorship—that is, it’s just you and your business goes by your name—you may not need to register with your state. But if you create a separate business entity, you’ll likely need to register your business name and get a tax ID number, as well. Either way, be sure to find out if you need to obtain any licenses or permits before opening.
Protect your investments
You’re investing a lot of time and money into your business, so you’ll want to protect it from significant expenses, like major repairs or recovering from a cyber-attack. If you have employees, you’ll need worker’s comp, unemployment, and disability insurance at a minimum. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to meet with a business insurance expert to find out what type of insurance is right for your situation, and if any is required by your state.
Take care of your employees
If you’re going to hire employees, think about how and when you’ll pay them. Chances are, you’ll be plenty busy managing the business and an online payroll solution could save you time and money. Plus, in addition to competitive wages, you may need to offer benefits to help attract and retain team members. If you’re not sure where to start, speak with a benefits plan provider about your options.
Taken together, these best practices might seem like a lot, but it’s easier when you get all the support you need from one trusted source like Community Bank. Our expert business bankers will customize a solution with our full suite of business products, including loans, lines of credit, cash management services, and online payroll.