We live in the best time in human history for entrepreneurs. Starting a business is less of a challenge than it was decades ago. On the other hand, the enormous amount of choices, from buying software to hiring marketers, makes it hard for professionals to know where to start. Here are a few considerations to include on your company’s startup checklist.
Manage Your Finances
The basic GAAP profit formula reads sales – expenses = profits. However, Mike Michalowicz, author of Profit First, suggests a variation on that formula: sales – profits = expenses. While a mathematically identical formula, the distinction is critical – pay yourself first. Determine what percentage of the revenues you want to take home as profits and deposit that percent of every invoice in a separate account (setting aside some for taxes, of course). Once a quarter, pay yourself that profit. Budget carefully so you can consistently operate out of the remaining expense account. Keep the closest eye on your finances in the first few months of the launch. Monitor your cash flow closely to make sure that your bills are being paid. Professional software is available to help you create, sort and manage the financial data.
Start Your Website
Most of today’s businesses have active websites and blogs, overwhelmingly on a WordPress platform. They could receive twice as many customers with an online presence that makes it easier for people to find them. In virtually every industry, your startup needs a website! With the growing need for websites, many Web hosting providers have easy-to-use templates and control panels. The average business site is simple in design and may consist of only a few pages.
Connect with your customers from day one. Start by targeting people who look for businesses online. For many brands, at least half of the customers are found online.
Even in the age of social media, your content strategy needs to be primarily focused on onsite content. Write blog content that interests people looking for information related to your business, especially likely buyers. Also, set up your profiles on social networking websites and find thousands of new leads.
Go online to connect with other professionals near you or remotely. Some business networking sites have millions of users with many of them working actively in your industry. Make contacts with people who could help in your legal, accounting or marketing departments.
Keep track of your competitors from the beginning. As a business owner, you gain a lot of knowledge by learning from other people’s mistakes and achievements. Learn more about how individuals turned small ideas into multimillion-dollar companies. Figure out how they got started and took the first step toward success.
Most professionals start with a checklist to complete every major project they do. When you start a company, this list helps you to remain focused on the most important steps. During the startup, you must pay the most attention to your spending and saving accounts. Know all of the tasks that are necessary to launch your business successfully.