Starting a business can be an overwhelming experience. Navigating the many requirements and regulations, attracting customers, and establishing a brand presence are all critical to getting off to a good start. Here are four things that can help you head in the right direction.
1. Consult Professionals for Advice
Make sure you set up your business correctly. That means consulting with professional accountants and attorneys to determine the ideal business structure and tax designation your business should assume. This is an expense that many people try to skip, but it is important to get unbiased and informed advice at the early stages of your business. If you truly can’t afford to spring for professional services, seek advice and assistance from the local Small Business Administration office.
2. Register Your Business
Depending on what type of business structure you decided on, you will need to register your business with the appropriate state or local agencies. You may also need to apply for an EIN or apply for special tax consideration with the IRS, not to mention arrange for taxes to be paid.
3. Establish a Phone Dedicated to Your Business
Using your home or cell line for your business can create confusion for customers and awkward situations where a friend or family member answers a call. It can also make it difficult to keep your work and personal life separate. Having a dedicated phone number looks and feels more professional for your business, no matter how small, and customers will notice. You can set up a separate voicemail or autoreply message so customers can hear hours, specials, or promotions. A second phone number can also be a marketing tool if you customize it for your business.
4. Set Up and Use an Office Space
Sure, you could work out of any number of places: your sofa a local coffee shop table, or even your car. However, the best way to establish an organized and quiet space for your new office. This can be as simple as a corner of your living room or a spare bedroom, a shared workspace in a local office building, or a retail storefront. It all depends on the type and scope of your business. Set hours that you will work and stick to them whenever possible. This will help you avoid taking your work to the dinner table, not to mention burnout.
Getting your business off the ground is an exciting time. It is also stressful. Following these steps can help you establish clear business goals and boundaries.