blogStarting a business?

August 22, 2022

Whether you have decided to start a business because you are seeking financial freedom, looking to be your own boss or pursue a lifelong dream you must ensure that you are prepared and have planned out this life changing venture. There are important steps one must take when starting their own business, from financing your business to developing a marketing plan it is important that the business owner is informed and up for the challenge throughout the process.

We will take you through the following steps to get your business up and running:

  1. Ideas and Planning
  2. Financials
  3. Legal
  4. Launch

Please note that these steps serve as a guide and every business is unique and will have its own challenges and obstacles.

 

  1. IDEAS AND PLANNING

Successful business almost always stems from meticulous planning and foresight; someone may have a revolutionary idea but it must be accompanied by a well thought out business plan in order for the business owner to enjoy success. You will need to develop various strategies relating to growth, marketing, web presence and social responsibility. The heavier lifting will come when you decide how you will run your business from day-to-day, known as your operational plan. Your operational plan can of course be tweaked during the course of running your business but it is paramount that you have something concrete on which to being with.

 

  1. LEGAL

When starting a business there are a number of legal decisions that the business owner must make, while it is usually necessary to have a lawyer guide you through the process it also important that the business owner understands the legal implications and decisions that need to be made.

 

One of the first legal decisions that all business owners are confronted with is how to organize their business and to consider incorporation. Business owners will have to decide whether they want to function as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and in rare cases a co-operative.

 

Sole proprietorships are the simplest structure in which one can operate a business. Sole proprietorships offer low set-up costs; low maintenance and allow for direct control of the business owner. However, sole proprietors have unlimited debts and their personal assets are not protected from paying business debts.

 

Corporations are the most common type of business organization as they offer limited liability, transferable ownership and tax advantages. Running a corporation however requires complying with regulatory rules and a higher cost of initial start up. Complying with regulatory rules however is made much easier by consulting a business lawyer who has plenty of experience in administering corporations.

 

Some industry sectors are strictly regulated and may require certain licenses or approvals to operate, if you plan on operating a business within a regulated industry it is recommended that you instruct a business lawyer to aid in ensuring that you are complying with all the licensing and operating requirements.

 

In order to stand out from the crowd and develop a brand identity you may wish to register a trademark for your business and your trade name. The process of trademarking is complicated and you will need the help of a business lawyer, however it is usually helpful if you have an understanding of the direction you would like to go with your trademark. Then the business lawyer will be able to cross-reference your suggestions against existing trademarks and register your if available.

  1. FINANCIAL

Whether obvious or not having sound financial backing and management is essential to operating a business. All business will require a certain amount of start-up capital and the ways in which that capital is realized will vary. There are a number of grants available for new business that should be sought, as these can often alleviate the amount of capital that will subsequently needed to be raised.

 

In order to raise capital from private investors or apply for a business loan your must ensure that your business plan is solid and presentable to a variety of investors. Ensuring that you have thoroughly planned your business process and goals will be attractive to investors and help banks feel secure in loaning money to you.

 

Good financial practices and management should continue throughout the lifecycle of your business this includes but is not limited to day-to-day cash management, tax reporting, payroll management and project management. Many business owners find hiring a professional corporation; such as a bookkeeper for smaller business and an accounting firm for larger business helpful. Just as navigating the legal responsibilities of a business can be daunting so too can the more intricate financial aspects, such as reporting taxes and managing your payroll.

 

  1. LAUNCH

Once your business plan is set, company organized and financials settled you are ready to open your doors. Finally opening for business can be an unnerving task as you will finally see if all your preparation will pay off. However, like any skill you will quickly learn what is needed to run a business as you go along. Having a effective marketing plan will also benefit the business owner greatly at launch.