Negosentro|Business Decisions to Address in the Beginning|Starting a business is a massive undertaking, and it’s nearly impossible to have a “ducks in a row” mentality when starting out. In fact, if you waited until everything was metaphorically “ready,” you’d probably never even get your startup, well, started.
Sooner or later most entrepreneurs solve the question of when to get started by simply diving into the early stages of forming their business and then figuring things out as they go along. If you can relate, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of details that need to be addressed.
That’s where a nice checklist can come in handy. Below are some of the most common business decisions that entrepreneurs face early on, along with a little information and encouragement to help you overcome each hurdle.
Before you get too far into the thick of things, it’s important to take a moment to define what success will look like. If you leave this crucial step unchecked, it’s easy to slip into an Ebenezer Scrooge-esque mentality of “if I could only do this, I could get a little bit more money.”
By setting personal benchmarks, financial objectives, or any other kind of goals from the getgo, you can have a firm picture of what you’re trying to accomplish. Don’t worry, you can adjust them as you go along. Just make sure you start by setting a standard for your success.
Choose a Business Structure
In the early stages of your business, it’s important to choose what business structure you’ll be operating under. Three of the most common small to medium-sized business options include:
- A sole proprietorship: This is the simplest, single-owner option. Just pick a name, get any necessary licenses, and get started.
- An LLC: Limited liability companies (LLCs) provide an extra level of liability of a corporation while streamlining and reducing the hassle.
- An S Corp: Incorporating as an S Corporation is a bit more work, but can provide tax incentives that may make it worth your while.
Make sure to keep any tax or other legal considerations in mind as you go about making your choice. Choosing a proper ownership model will help smooth the path ahead of you.
Choose a Name
You may already have a name, and if so, that’s great! However, whether that part is done yet or not, it’s important to make sure that your name is helping and not harming your entrepreneurial efforts. When crafting your company’s title, consider the following:
- Will the name hold up over time?
- Does it reflect on your vision and who you are as a company?
- Does it set you apart from the competition?
- Will it resonate with customers?
Select a Partner
If you don’t plan on going it alone (and when starting a business, having a solid partner is always a plus) make sure you don’t choose your business partner on a whim. If you’re thinking of teaming up with a close friend or relative, be very careful.
Always choose a partner that has essential skills that complement your own. Make sure they’re reliable and committed as well.
Establish Your Finances
It may be mundane and overwhelming at the same time, but it’s critical that you take the time to flesh out your finances before you get too far into the business-building process. Finances are the bedrock that will make or break your company, and ignoring them is a surefire way to do the latter.
Create a solid financial forecast for your company in order to enable you to make wise, comprehensive, decisions that are within your company’s means.
Equip Yourself for Success
Take stock of your startup and try to gauge what tools you can gather to help enhance your success. Do you need a subscription to Quickbooks for your accounting? What about a Trello board to organize your workflow? Have you set up social media accounts yet? Take the time to list out what tools, digital or otherwise, will help you succeed and then gather and set them up.
In addition, take the time to research and stay informed as you go along. Whether you’re learning about your company’s internal communication or studying up on industry best practices, always be learning.
Adopt a Leadership Style
There are many ways to lead a company. Leadership styles vary from interactive “participative leadership” models to a more dominating “autocratic leadership” approach. Make sure you identify which form of leader your company needs, and then do your best to adopt that style.
Begin to Build a Culture
Along the same vein as adopting a leadership style, make sure to consider the culture that you’re trying to build at your company. The work environment that you provide will be a major factor in how you operate and function.
Consider Your Workforce
What will you do when it comes to hiring a workforce? Will you sacrifice a degree of control in order to access an affordable, tax-exempt source of labor through freelancers and contractors? Or will you go straight for full-time employees? Perhaps a mixture of the two will be the best way to meet your needs and stay within your budget.
Whatever the solution, make sure to consider your options before you’re confronted with a decision.
Making Business Decisions
There are always more decisions that must be made. However, if you can tackle these initial questions upfront, you’ll be better able to organize your company and start off with a firm foundation to build on for the future.