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 toapply for funding.
Your business plan will provide a guide
for everything in your business, from your branding to your budget, so think ofwriting
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.
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 manylaws 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
Don’t wait too long tohire 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
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
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.
With all that data at your fingertips,
cybercrime is one of themany 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 graspthe importance of cybersecurity until they
fall victim to an attack, which can have expensive financial and legal
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