5 Must-Haves for New Business Owners

5 Must-Haves for New Business Owners
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If you’re considering starting a business, congratulations. It’s a worthy endeavor, but one that will require an unbelievable amount of time, planning, and energy. Before you open the doors to your business — real or virtual — make sure you’ve got these items checked off your must-have list.

1. Business and Marketing Plan
Every business needs a plan. It doesn’t have to be a super-professional, 200-page document, but it should cover the basics of how you will operate and market your business, including:

● Overview of what your company sells, its mission, and objectives
● Who will run it
● Your pricing
● Your target audience
● How you will market to your audience

To start with, sketch out your ideas. They will change over time, and that’s perfectly normal. Just remember to refer back to your planning documents several times a year to ensure you’re on the right path. If you’ve pivoted away from your initial ideas for your business, edit your business plan accordingly.

If you plan to seek financing, you will need a more professional and all-encompassing business and marketing plan, as any investors interested in your company will want to know you have a thought-out plan for how you will take the business to profitability.

2. Financial Tools
Before you set yourself up for bad habits (tracking expenses in a spreadsheet and sending paper invoices, to start with), find the right financial tools and applications to make managing your finances easy from the beginning.

This will likely include an accounting platform like FreshBooks, as well as invoicing services (ahem) and other add-ons that will help you analyze your spending, get paid faster, and avoid errors in your accounting.

3. Money in the Bank
One of the most important things any entrepreneur needs to start a business is: money. Even if you start your business out of your home, you will have expenses you will need to cover from Day 1, such as:

● Business licenses and permits
● Office supplies
● Freelance marketing or design help
● Payroll for you

If you’ve got millions socked away in savings, this should be no problem. If not, consider how you will get money. It could come from investors, a loan, or even personal credit cards (though we don’t advise that unless you have zero fees for using it). Plan to have enough money to cover six months to a year’s worth of expenses, both business and personal. You may not turn a profit as quickly as you think you will, so it’s important that cash flow is not an issue in the early months.

4. Network of Support
Another invaluable must-have is a network of people you can turn to for help or advice. Even solopreneurs can benefit from the aid of a lawyer, accountant, marketer, and designer. Don’t know any of these folks? Turn to social media to build a network of people who offer great advice to business owners. Read blogs and participate in forums to get free advice when you need it.

5. Patience
Starting a business is a challenge unlike any you’ve ever had, and it will take time for you to turn your fledgling company into the success you dream of. But have patience; you’ll get there. Just constantly seek to educate yourself so that you continue to grow as a business owner.

Photo: PhotoSpin


Drs Jeroen Volk RA

CEO, InvoiceSharing

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