Thinking about starting your own business? Well, you’re among thousands of other Americans driven to make their dream a reality.

Things Every Small Business Owner Should Know

As I’m sure you’re well aware, starting a business from ground zero is no easy endeavor. Between today’s erratic marketplace, out-of-pocket expenses, finding viable employees, staying within budget, overhead costs, rent, swooning investors and/or bankers, obtaining a patent (if plausible) and a catalog of other potentially deflating gambles that come with starting a business—a careful evaluation of your ‘risks versus rewards’ must be closely calculated in order to retain success.

But establishing a successful business relies on much more than just having a good product or service instilled within your company’s infrastructure. In fact, it’s a lot like making a cake; you have to correctly include the right ingredients at the right time in order for it to taste the way you hoped it would taste. Rushing to finish, miscalculating measurements and not following directions methodically will ultimately affect how delicious the cake (product) turns out to be; and overall, determine its value.

For help with the starting stages of beginning a business, here are the basic steps to follow:

Choosing a Business Entity

Before you can gain ownership of your company, you must first select a business entity and ownership structure. Whether it’s a not-for-profit (Nonprofit Corporations), Sole Proprietorship, LLCs (Limited Liability Company), for-profit (C Corporation), General Partnership, etc., will affect the legality restraints of your place of business as well as determine the proper income and tax guidelines of your trade. Opting to obtain a business ownership can be costly, but is also well worth the investment when legitimacy issues do surface.

Hiring a Professional Employment Organization

If operating the inner workings of trying to start a business weren’t enough, you can imagine the amount of stagnated time wasted when company liabilities ensue, such as: payroll administration, tax filing, online payroll access, paycard information services, etc. That’s why it’s imperative to consider the advantages of hiring a viable Professional Employment Organization (PEO) for your small business. This can save you an unprecedented amount of time and frustration—allowing you to concentrate on areas of business that require more attention.

Maintaining a Successful Web Presence

Establishing a coherent, user-friendly website as well as actively engaging on various social media platforms is immensely important during the early stages of developing your business. The easier a (potential) customer can become familiarized with your place of business, learn about your product or service’s information, and develop a sense of trust, gives you a much better opportunity at preserving their business. From third-party testimonials to implementing intriguing web content, from developing a ‘call to action’ plan to launching a uniquely engaging social media campaign—establishing a comprehensive online presence is monumental.

Become Ecommerce Efficient

In today’s ultracompetitive marketplace, businesses are constantly pushing the envelope—keeping competitors on their toes and racing towards more efficient ideas. And as major online retailers, such as Amazon.com, slowly take over the consumer-purchasing market, companies that lack the ability to offer their customers with online purchase features are in danger of becoming irrelevant.

Maintain Organization with a Business Bank Account

Keeping your finances organized is one of the steepest hurdles a new business owner faces. Lack of company infrastructure entails that you’re going to have to keep track of all business expenses. So, open a separate BBT checking account solely for business transactions. This will give the peace of mind knowing where your money is going, allowing you to efficiently evaluate your budget.

Seek Free Advertising Opportunities

When your business is just starting out, each piece of media coverage is a milestone towards your success. Utilizing the tactics in public relations and marketing can give your place of business the boost it needs to reach an array of different target demographics. Free advertising strategies include, but are not limited to:

  • Sending media officials gifts, such as your product or free service.
  • Launching weekly to monthly press releases on company progression and news.
  • Creating a media kit, equipped with photos, customer testimonials, information regarding business executives, FAQs, etc.
  • Cold-calling/pitching to journalists for media coverage and placement.
  • Launching monthly newsletters about industry news; create mailer’s list.