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Things business owners forget about (but shouldn’t) when starting a business

Starting a business is no small undertaking, and the process can feel overwhelming at times. Your to-do list may be a mile long, and it may seem that you have everything covered, but are you certain you aren’t forgetting about some important tasks?

Business owners, especially first-time entrepreneurs, often forget some important elements of starting a business. These can be costly omissions, resulting in lost opportunities, financial sacrifices or penalties, and even delays in getting the business up and running to its full capacity. If you’re starting a business or have already launched one, take a few minutes to make sure you’re not overlooking any of these important tasks that could pay off down the line.

Put Plenty of Time into a Business Plan

Starting a business is an exciting venture, and it’s all too easy to get swept up into that excitement while forgetting about some very important steps. Taking the time to create a detailed business plan is one of the most important steps in starting a business, especially if you plan to apply for funding.

Your business plan will provide a guide for everything in your business, from your branding to your budget, so think of writing a business plan as being like doing your homework. Writing a business plan requires you to do lots of research on your product, the industry, and your competitors, and through doing this research, you may discover obstacles or opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. A business plan can save you from expensive mistakes and can help you to understand the specific steps that you’ll need to take to start your business off right.

Get Good Professional Help

As you develop a more detailed idea of all that your business will encompass, thanks to that business plan, it will be time to start building your business network and team. This team will look different for every business, but it’s important to surround yourself with professionals who can help you navigate the world of entrepreneurship.

Start by finding a great lawyer who can help you to make sure that you operate your business legally. There are many laws surrounding employment and businesses, and if you don’t understand them, you could face lawsuits or fines later on. Work closely with a lawyer as you establish and start operating your business. By establishing a relationship with a lawyer now, you’ll have someone you can turn to if you ever face legal questions or issues with your business in the future.

Don’t wait too long to hire a business accountant, either. If you’re just starting up and don’t know much about accounting, a talented accountant can help to save you money and potentially protect you from costly expenses later on. An accountant can also help you to set up your financial records for improved accuracy. Trying to navigate taxes on your own can leave room for expensive mistakes, so entrust this major responsibility to a professional early on.

Invest in Data Analytics

We’re in a unique time where businesses have greater access to data and data analytics than ever before. If your business doesn’t utilize these advantages from the start, you’ll be competing against other businesses that are better informed and better able to market to their target audiences. In short, if you don’t invest in data analytics, you’ll be starting off behind the competition, and it will be even more difficult to keep up.

When hiring, look for employees with data skills who can help your business to use data analytics to your advantage. They can start using analytics tools to gather data early on. These tools don’t have to be complicated — Google Analytics will still give your business valuable information that can help you to adjust your online marketing techniques for increased impact. With a tech and data professional on your staff, you can step into more comprehensive analytics, like data mining, creating models, and more. Having these tools in place can help you to make the most of your marketing budget, make wise decisions for new product or service releases, and better understand your audience and their buying habits.

Invest in Secure Systems

With all that data at your fingertips, cybercrime is one of the many issues that businesses face today, so it’s important for your business to take steps to protect your data and information against potential hackers and threats. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t grasp the importance of cybersecurity until they fall victim to an attack, which can have expensive financial and legal consequences.

To combat this threat, focus on cybersecurity in your business from the start. If you have employees, it’s important to establish a cyber security-aware culture and to get your staff on board. There are many ways to do this. You might hold formal cybersecurity training, discuss how employees should handle suspicious emails, and implement plans in case employees ever lose a cell phone containing business or personal information. You can even teach things as fundamental as how to keep smartphones secure; not every employee is going to have the same level of tech literacy. It’s also important to work closely with an IT company to outfit your business computers and devices with proper programs and measures to help combat cybersecurity, including virus protection. Implementing multi-factor authentication and ensuring that your business network is secure and private can also help to keep your business safe.

You may have lots of things on your plate, but by including these important points, you can ensure that your business is truly set up well and prepared for the growth and success that will come.