Starting a new business? Here’s What to do First?
You’ve got the itch! You want to turn your talents and passions into a profitable side gig or full-time profession. Well, we say, do it! One of the greatest things about our country is the ability to create and serve while making a profit for our many efforts. Just as we have done here at Two Sense Consulting, offering our passions and expertise in a way that reaches more people and can be customized to fit their needs and budgets. Now, you too can start a business and earn extra income doing what you love. So are you one of the estimated 627,000 new businesses that’ll open this year? Now what?
Set up an LLC (the tax write-offs and liability alone are worth legitimizing).
An LLC, or limited liability company, exists separately from its owners (known as members), and the owners are therefore not personally responsible for business debts. To form an LLC, you’ll need to file paperwork with the state where your business is located. Every state has its own rules and procedures, so ensure you call with questions along the way.
Think of a clever or easy-to-remember name that will be your company’s brand. Check name availability so you aren’t copying and competing with an already-existing brand with the name you desire. This could help immensely with not only social media and reviews but also paperwork when taxes are due and you’re filing under your business’ name.
Follow up with your respective state’s forms and procedures for establishing an LLC. In general, you must file articles of organization that list such things as the name and address of the LLC, the length of its existence, the name and address of the registered agent, and the purpose for which the LLC was formed.
This paperwork usually must be signed by the person forming the LLC, and in some states, the registered agent must also sign. You’ll find that in most states, you’ll file LLC formation documents with the secretary of state, but, again, states vary so be sure to check with protocols and any filing fees associated with such. Typically, business owners can get their LLCs up and running for less than $50.00! Talk about low overhead!
Set up a business banking account used solely for business expenses.
As accountants who’ve seen it all, we recommend this as one of the single most important things you do from the onset of starting a business venture. From the moment you receive EIN information (that is, a tax ID for your business separate from your social security number), you should use that info to create a bank account unique to your business identity.
This will help you keep track of all incoming and outgoing expenses relevant to your business. It also ensures you aren’t mixing business expenses with personal accounts which can be a huge headache come tax time.
If you’re starting a new business, you naturally want your business to be successful, don’t you? Then adopting and adapting to the new habit of using separate accounts respectively when spending or receiving funds is the best way to get off on the right foot and stay in the black.
Beyond the basics of avoiding confusion, you also could potentially miss out on lucrative tax breaks come tax time if your recordkeeping is chaotic or messy. We are big on saving time because it is the one resource you cannot actually make more of. That said, this is worth the effort from the get-go and as a habit to maintain through the lifecycle of your business.
Hire an Accountant or Begin Using Accounting Software.
This, too, can be a very important step right out the gate of business ownership. Accounting software is a class of computer programs that enable you to manage your business’s financial transactions. From simple bookkeeping to detailed reports and in-depth invoicing and beyond, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Don’t let the overwhelm of options keep you from committing to one. At Two Sense Consulting, we are happy to offer a suggestion on which programs could be best for you and your business’ budget. We also can manage the software as well with our remote bookkeeping and accounting options. This saves you a ton in time (again the richest resource you have) and can save significant money as well. You don’t need to hire a team! Save big time on payroll and simply pay for the tools or a technician to handle the books.
We are financial accountants by trade who love to get lost in a spreadsheet. Building and maintaining financial reports including profit and loss, balance sheets, cash flow, and budgets are at the core of our accounting services. If you’re starting a new business, we can help you get your books off to the ideal start! If you are one of many small businesses who want to learn it before they hand it off, check out our Be Your Own CFO Course. It’s 100% self-paced, includes two one-hour sessions with us, and has all the things you need to know to start your business off right!
Marketing avenues will be important for visibility and traction to your new business – whether online or a brick and mortar location.
Ever felt like you had to be on all social media outlets in order to have any competitive edge in the online world of marketing? Think again. When it comes to marketing, word-of-mouth is still the top source for continued business success. Now, should you choose to find marketing avenues that will get your initial customer base, while also attracting new consumers, consider which social outlets or advertising routes would house your niche audience first.
You don’t have to be on every outlet. Not only will it waste tons of time but could cost you far more to manage than it brings in profit-wise. Focus on who your niche market is and where they spend most of their time when it comes to where you’ll create a profile and share ads surrounding your products and services.
If you don’t know, consider talking to a freelance social media strategist or a social media agency. But, first and foremost, ensure they offer a free consultation and case studies that prove their efficiency and also don’t pull you into more than you really need to commit to or fund.
Invest in a website that is functional and flexible.
While there are many options available for website design, you’ll want to stick to the professionals when it comes to your online presence. If you’re revamping or starting a new business, we highly recommend trusting your web design with Jared and Tony at Kodeak Digital Media Experts. Not only do they create websites that are fully functional and compelling to look at (something your audience will want and you’ll benefit from) but also flexible sites that can change with the ever-evolving algorithms and strategies that keep you on the map and in the lap of those searching for your very products and services.
They will make your website with you and your exact audience in mind. That’s what makes them different from most of the other web design agencies out there. They actually do the work, versus handing your project off to anyone else. When you need to discuss your project you talk to them directly – something we’ve really benefited from also when it came to last-minute changes that would connect us to more clientele in a safe and strategic way during the pandemic.
Get on the map, virtually, via Google My Business.
With a Google My Business account, you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps. With Google being the largest search engine with the most use, it makes sense to use their listings for favored results. You can post photos and offers to your profile to show what makes your business unique, and give customers reasons to choose you every time.
Your customers can even directly connect to you from the site by calling, messaging, or leaving reviews. Now, with more ways to transact, you can do more business, an obvious need for more profit and cash flow.
Begin and maintain quality communication with email automation.
At Two Sense, we like to utilize MailChimp, an all-in-one marketing platform that helps us manage and talk to our clients, customers, and other interested parties. Their approach to marketing focuses on healthy contact management practices, beautifully designed campaigns, and powerful data analysis.
Fortunately, they have templates that are easy to customize so you can share your brand’s news, products, notifications, and more in a fast and consistent manner. You can send emails manually or by automation and it’ll even track subscribers’ responses to your emails. You’ll know what percentage of email campaigns are opened, deleted, and so on. All of which helps you to tailor your content more and more each time for the highest engagement.
Starting your new business with these 7 steps is sure to put you on a smoother road to revenue! Want help with any of the above? Feel free to call us for more info! We happily honor a first-time free consultation.