Written by: Julie Morris
Starting your own business can be a thrilling endeavor. But before you can get started, there are a few less-than-exciting things you need to take care of first. Applying for licenses and permits, securing funding, creating a marketing strategy, and setting up your accounting and payroll may not be the most glamorous part of starting a business, but they’re essential nonetheless. To help you get started, Small Small Business has put together a checklist of all the boring stuff you need to do before you can start your small business.
Apply for licenses and permits
Depending on the type of business you’re starting, you may need to apply for different licenses and permits. For example, if you’re starting a restaurant, you’ll need to obtain a food license from your local health department. If you’re going to be selling products online, you’ll need to obtain a sales tax permit. Doing a little research ahead of time will help you make sure you have all the licenses and permits you need before you open your doors for business.
Another boring but important task when starting your small business is choosing the legal structure for your company. The most popular option for small businesses is the limited liability company (LLC). LLCs offer personal asset protection in case your business is sued, and they can help you save on taxes by allowing you to choose how you want to be taxed.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have deep pockets or wealthy investors lined up, chances are you’re going to need to secure some funding for your small business. There are a number of ways to do this, including taking out loans, applying for grants, or crowdfunding. Figure out what makes the most sense for your business, and then get started on putting together a pitch deck or business plan — two things potential investors will want to see before they write you a check.
Create your marketing strategy
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful small business, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Start by creating a list of marketing channels that make sense for your business (social media, email marketing, paid advertising, etc.), and then develop creative content that speaks to your target audience and helps them solve their problems.
Also, first impressions matter, so it’s critical that you pay attention to the outside of your business, as well. You might want to begin by finding metal letters for signs so that your business is both eye-catching and clearly visible. Then, really put some effort into landscaping. The goal is for your business’s appearance to inspire a sense of professionalism whenever potential customers see it.
Set up your accounting and payroll system
Last but not least, don’t forget about the boring but important task of setting up your accounting and payroll systems. This may seem like a gargantuan task if you’ve never done it before, but there are plenty of resources available to help walk you through the process step-by-step. Once everything is set up, all that’s left to do is stay on top of invoicing customers, paying bills, and processing payroll so that everything runs smoothly come tax time.
Starting a small business can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to remember that there are a few essential things you need to take care of before you can open your doors for business. All of the above are important tasks that should not be overlooked. With our checklist of the boring stuff you need to do before starting your small business, you’ll be on your way to launching your own successful enterprise in no time!
Whether you’re a small business, community organization, or a nonprofit, Small Small Business can help you achieve your goals! Call 651.587.5435.
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About the author:
Julie Morris is a life and career coach who is passionate about inspiring and helping people live their best lives. She’s living this passion by the use of her site: http://juliemorris.org. She spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways.