Start Your Own Business
So you want to start a new business from the ground up and be your own boss. It can be a challenging task-overwhelming at times—but the freedom and personal satisfaction you’ll get from building your business from nothing is simply irreplaceable. Below you’ll find a little helpful advice to get you started on the right path and help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that first-time business owners usually make.
Step 1: Plan Ahead
It’s not enough to simply have an idea of what sort of business you want to run. You have to do a significant amount of planning before you even take the first actual steps toward becoming a business owner else you’ll likely run into roadblock after roadblock. You can eliminate these potential hassles by planning out your idea in detail first.
The planning phase should include research about the type of business you want to run, the viability of that business in your local area (if, indeed, your business will be local), as well as the cost associated with starting and running a business like yours.
All of this information should culminate in a basic business plan that will serve as a blueprint for your business in the first few weeks and months. Keep in mind that even the best business plans will have to be modified as you come into contact with the realities of actually running your business.
(Flexibility is actually one thing you should plan for as well.)
Step 2: Get your New Business Off the Ground
This phase includes gathering the necessities of actually conducting your business including:
- A retail storefront, storage space, or office (depending on the type of business you’re growing)
- Marketing materials
- Employees (even if’ it’s just you for the time being)
This is the part where the realities often set in and people who haven’t planned properly are confounded by unexpected hardships and expenses that often derail potential success.
One key component of getting your business off the ground is getting customers and clients as soon as you’re able. This provides an income stream (even if it’s not a steady one yet) that can help you offset the real costs of building your business from the ground up.
Indeed, one of the best ways to spend your money in the beginning—even before you have all the supplies, tools, and machinery that your business will need to work at 100% effectiveness—is to market your business smartly. Targeted digital marketing and the ability to tap into existing communities of customers and clients will be essential to your success.
Step 3: Registering and Insuring Your New Company
Once you have the skeleton of your fledgling company stable, it’s time to legally protect your business interests. This phase includes registering your company with state and local government agencies as well as buying insurance to cover you in case of accident or catastrophe.
Most first-time business owners don’t that you may not always need a business license to practice as an independent contractor. However, it’s up to you to know, understand, and follow local requirements. Indeed, licensing depends on regulations at the state, city, and county level but often you’ll simply need to file a Doing Business As (DBA) form.
It’s also a good idea to purchase a minimum liability insurance policy. This insurance will protect you in case of damages caused by you, your employees, or any of the equipment you’re using. You may also want to get basic health insurance as well in case you are injured—nothing can kill a fledgling business faster than unexpected medical expenses.
Step 4: Finding Financing
Historically, business went to banks to get loans in order to secure the funds they needed to grow. That model may still work for some business owners but there are alternatives as well.
- Credit cards—have high-interest rates but offer financial security
- Borrowing against your savings—can be risky but it’s your money you’re playing with—not somebody else’s
- Investors—will want a solid return on their money but can be valuable assets for cash-strapped startups
- Grants—are hard to find and qualify for but are essentially free money
Step 5: Investing in Your Accounting System
Accounting is the financial backbone of your small business. You need to know exactly how much money you’re bringing in and how much is going out the back door. It’s absolutely essential to have a system in place—whatever system works for you—that can account for:
- Billable hours
- Accurate invoicing
- Cash flow
That system can be computer software, a mobile App, a paper ledger, some combination of any of that—really anything that works for you.
While it’s not uncommon for new businesses to operate a loss for months (or even a year or more), if you don’t have an accurate handle on your accounts you won’t know if or when your business actually starts making a profit!
Step 6: Streamlining through Management Software
Project or job management software like SendWork can be a lifesaver for small business owners. Not only can this task management and payment processing system streamline much of the backend operations of your business, it can also be a cost-effective timesaving tool to help you make the most of your most fleeting resource—the hours in a day.
SendWork is an all-inclusive system that operates as a simple-to-use mobile application. It can help you:
- Find new clients (and bring in more billable hours)
- Hire new employees or part-time contractors to expand with increased demand
- Easily track all of your billable time and never miss a minute
- Manage your jobs while you’re on the go
- Keep track of (and communicate with) all your employees all with the click of a few buttons
- Assign jobs to your employees or workers in the field
- Process payments (in multiple forms) quickly and affordable
- Upload payroll to your Payroll & HR service
What makes management software like SendWork so important to your news business is that it offers as much or as little assistance as you need. You can use our app simply to find new clients and workers if you’ve already got a project tracking system in use. However, you can also use it to control almost every aspect of your business including payroll if you need to.
Not convinced? Get a 30 day free-trial. Download the free SendWork App today and see just how powerful this customizable management software can be.
Available on Android (English & Español versions).
IOS coming soon.