Have you just opened the doors of your new company? Or are you still at the stage where you’re wondering what to include in a business plan, or where those first few dollars will come from? Either way, it’s important to know some common ingredients of successful entrepreneurship. Here are the most vital pieces of the success puzzle for those brave souls who venture out into the vast world in hopes of making a name for themselves:
Money is the root of all wealth. It’s also the first necessary ingredient for every startup on the planet. Unless you have access to a vast pool of cash, you’ll need to figure out where those early dollars will come from. The majority of entrepreneurs use savings and credit to get their doors opened. Immediately after that, they either survive on revenue from a handful of clients, apply for a small business loan, or employ some combination of those two solutions. Know where your money is coming from. Ask yourself how you intend to raise it, who you’ll look to for financial resources and how you’ll pay back anyone who takes a chance on loaning you startup capital.
Before you can blink, it’ll be time to file your first tax return. Utilizing online tax tools is a smart, thrifty approach for new owners who don’t have the resources to hire a team of CPAs, or even one CPA. If you keep detailed financial records, the first filing won’t be too complex. However, unless you are adept at tax matters, consider using one of the better online tax services. Remember to find one that caters to businesses and not just to individuals.
A Business Plan:
Make a detailed business plan. There are two reasons for doing so. First, you’ll need a comprehensive listing of everything you expect to happen during the first two years of your operation. This is your personal roadmap for day-to-day activities. You should be able to consult the plan and find out how much to spend on marketing in a given month, whether it’s time to hire extra help, what revenue targets are, and more.
Second, the plan will be your main tool for borrowing money from a financial institution or an angel investor. The first thing they’ll ask you for is a copy of your business plan. If you don’t have one, then you can kiss the loan goodbye. If you have a not-so-good one, you likely won’t be successful at raising money. Make sure your business plan is solid, logical, detailed and well written.
If you are looking to work out of a home office, you’ll need some physical space to conduct your work. Don’t make the mistake of having a home office that serves dual functions of work space and family/personal space. You won’t be able to deduct the expense of a home office if you use the area for anything other than work. Plus, you really need a private, work-only zone where you can concentrate, enjoy privacy and get things done.