Negosentro | 5 Smart Moves For Small Startups | Starting a new business can be an incredibly exciting time. It can also be a time of uncertainty, especially if you’re new to entrepreneurship and the markets are in flux. The process of opening a new business doesn’t have to be fraught with uncertainty, though, as long as you keep a few foundational steps in mind along the way. Here are 5 smart moves that any startup entrepreneurs need to consider.
1. Source Funding Wisely
One of the first considerations in starting a business is where you’re going to get startup capital from. Self-funding (also called bootstrapping) should always be the first option, but for many entrepreneurs, it’s simply not enough. Securing angel donors and especially venture capital can be invaluable to a new business, but they almost always require an iron-clad business plan to be in place first. Thankfully, there are a large number of small business loans available through government organizations like the Small Business Administration or through lending companies, so do your research and find out what’s available in your area.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure
This should actually be your first concern. Deciding exactly what form your business will take can have huge legal and financial ramifications, so don’t undertake it lightly. There are many forms that a business can take. Many freelancers and gig workers operate as a sole proprietorship, which needs little paperwork done to file as, but provides very little protection should you make a legal misstep. Other business types include limited liability company (LLC), S Corporation or partnership. All of these different structures have their advantages and disadvantages, and taking your time to decide could save major headaches down the road.
3. Optimize Internal Organization
Choosing the strongest form of internal structure is critical to business success, but many owners don’t know the breadth of the options available. Traditionally, businesses have a hierarchical structure, which looks like a pyramid. The owner is at the top and the workers at the bottom. That’s good for nurturing specialists and creating strong leadership but can lead to bureaucratic inflexibility and wasted resources. A “flat” organizational structure aims to cut out costly middle management and empower employees to take more responsibility along with more agency. It can also lead to slow reaction time and miscommunication. Learn what structure works with your specific business plan and goals.
4. Leverage the Power of Automation
One of the big stories in the business world over the past few years has been the emergence of business process automation technology. Powered by advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, automation is helping to make businesses run more efficiently by taking care of the tedious jobs to free humans to think creatively. Customer relationship management software, when properly employed, can be a great aid in planning a sales campaign. Accounting programs can aid the accuracy of your general ledger, while business analytics software can employ sophisticated algorithms to monitor your current performance and use that data to forecast future success. In the information age, leveraging big data to help grow your business just makes sense.
5. Protect Your Data
Even if your business is primarily a brick-and-mortar store, the majority of your financial transactions and marketing campaigns will likely be digital. This means that protecting your data from cyberattacks should be a paramount priority from the beginning. According to research by Security Magazine, a serious data breach will cost a small business from $36,000 to $50,000 on average when it happens. The best solution to this is to install antivirus and/or firewall software with the same high quality on every device used for business purposes. This doctrine is called endpoint security, and it takes into account the decentralized nature of computer use in business. Another tip: If you have employees, engage in regular training sessions to keep everyone’s knowledge of online threats fresh.
Nobody knows what the future holds for their business. All any owner can do is set themselves up to succeed by playing it smart. Remember these basics when planning your long and short-term strategic goals.