Just like a Broadway production, there are a lot of things to check off your to-do list before opening the doors of a new business. This is true whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or this is your tenth business opening. Rushing any of these items can lead to an unsuccessful company, or one that isn’t as thriving as it could be. Unfortunately, many of these items aren’t fun, exciting, and don’t always make you feel like you’re moving forward.
From securing a great business attorney to researching a quality CPA, here are a few of the tasks at hand. Jumping the gun can leave you back pedaling or doing double work at best. At worst, skipping them can shut down your business for good.
Drafting a business plan
Unless you’re a writer or have your MBA, this is usually the most dreaded of tasks. While there are some who say you don’t always need a business plan, including Entrepreneur, it’s better to play it safe. This is where you outline your weaknesses, skills, and make feasible goals. For help, contact your local Small Business Association and get free guidance.
Hire a fantastic business attorney
Yes, attorneys are relatively expensive and you might not have a need at the moment. You might not need to retain an attorney either (right now), but it’s always a good idea to have a connection with one before disaster strikes. Meet and greets are usually complimentary and, just like a physician, you need to find a right “fit” before you’re scrambling during a lawsuit down the road.
Save, save, save
It’s very common for a business to not turn a profit for several years, and as the founder you’re the last in line to get paid. Take a look at the tips from Real Simple on how to save more, and aim for one year’s worth of income. You should also have a Plan B in place, but don’t split your time between your company and working for someone else. The only potential income you should have, besides potentially from your company, is passive.
Get a CPA on your side
A CPA can help you and your business avoid an IRS audit, will get you the most deductions and write-offs possible, and basically ensure your business is a well-oiled machine. Don’t do taxes yourself.
This is just the tip of the startup iceberg. Have a written plan in place, and follow it, if you want to succeed.