8 Steps On Starting Your Small Business

You have finally decided to go on your own.  Congratulations!  Now what is your plan?   Do you have an accounting system in place?  How are you organized for tax purposes?  Do you have an updated business plan?

Here are 8 Steps on starting up your small business:

 Create a Plan and Write It Down: A plan can help you move forward, make decisions, and make your business successful. You might develop a fairly simple business plan at first as you first open your small business than elaborate as you prepare to approach bankers and investors.

Decide on a Business: When deciding on a business name research availability for that name then choose a business structure. Your small business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Depending on the complexity of your business, it may be worth investing in a consultation from an attorney or an accountant to ensure you are making the right structure choice and help to iron out all the details. This is not an area you want to get wrong.

Register your small business: This is the first step toward making it real. Get a Employer Identification Number (EIN) to identify your business. You will also need to get the proper business licenses and permits. There may be city, county, or state regulations as well.

Plan Your Finances – Starting a small business doesn’t require a lot of money, but it will involve some initial working capital to cover ongoing expenses before you are turning a profit. There are a number of ways you can fund your small business: family and friends, small business loans, angel investors and crowdfunding.

Choose Your Accounting System: One of the most important systems for a small business is an accounting system. Your accounting system is necessary in order to create and manage your budget, track your expenses and profits, conduct business with others and file your taxes. You can set up your account system yourself, or hire an accountant to take away some of the guesswork.

Set Up A Bank Account: One of the easiest ways to screw up your business accounting and tax reporting to the IRS is to commingle personal and business funds. Using a business account for all business transactions will eliminate that possibility.

Set Up Your Business Location: Whether you will have a home office, private office space or retail location, setting up a place of business is important. Make sure your business location works for the type of business you will be doing.

Promote Your Small Business: You will want to start with creating a marketing plan and explore many marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business.

It’s a terrifying experience if you don’t have the support you need, hire an accountant to be your trusted advisor.

4 Steps to Improve Your Business Bottom Line

What can you do to get profits growing again?  Increasing your profits requires selling more and or spending less.  While building up your sales may require an extended effort business costs are often very ripe for a quick trimming.  Start with these 4 things to improve your bottom line.

1  Supplies and Other Purchases

Usually in any business, relatively few items represent a very large share of all outlays. The first step in cutting expenses is, therefore, to identify your highest costs. You may be able to trim many of these costs by making sure you always bid out significant purchases or by more actively seeking less expensive alternatives.

For many companies, inventory carrying costs are a very significant expense. Focusing on matching your inventory quantities more closely to your short-term needs could result in significant savings.

2.  Telecommunications and Other Services

The ongoing services you buy may also offer the potential for cost savings. Revisit your choice of telecommunications vendor and your usage.

Look carefully at your costs for financial services. If you borrow or maintain a line of credit, always compare the rates from more than one financing source before you commit. Make sure you are not paying higher-than-necessary fees for your company’s checking and deposit services.

3.  Cash Management

To control cash outlays, take advantage of discounts for early payment whenever possible. And look to delay payments for as long as you can without giving up discounts.

On the receiving side, deposit all receipts daily. And always actively pursue collection of any invoices that are past due. To help control your working capital needs and, therefore, your credit costs, try to match any new liabilities to your anticipated cash flow.

4.  Fixed Expenses

One other category worth examining is fixed expenses that are long-term commitments. While you usually can’t change these quickly, be aware of when a window for change will open and prepare well in advance by considering lower cost alternatives.

To learn more ways to control your small business costs give us a call today. Our trained staff of professionals are always available to answer any questions you may have.