Whether you’re tired of working for someone else or have an entrepreneurial spirit that refuses to quit, making the decision to go into business for yourself is a big one. There are a lot of legal and financial matters that you have to handle before you even open up your doors. Before you dive into selling products or services, make sure you have these matters thoroughly worked out.
One of the biggest things you have to worry about when you’re working for yourself, whether you have employees or start off operating it by yourself, is taxes. As a business with employees, you’ll have to make sure you understand withholding taxes and pay them on time. If you don’t withhold enough, it can hurt your employees come tax time. It can also backfire on you as well so be sure to consult a CPA to make sure you have the proper figures and your payroll software is up to date.
If you’re a sole proprietor, you’re responsible for filing your taxes and paying the amount due each year. Seeking the services of a local tax prep company can help ensure you don’t miss any deductions or underpay.
When you form your company, you have to decide on the type of business you want to form: a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or an LLC. Each of these offers different levels of protection when it comes to your personal assets. Seek out a lawyer to get an idea of which is the best route for you. Your decision will be based on the type of business you start because they don’t all carry the same risk of being sued or putting your personal assets at risk.
A lawyer can help you navigate the legal speak and set up a business that’s airtight when it comes to protection. In addition, they can file all the forms for you and represent you should any issues arise after you open your doors.
Marketing and Customer Service
Every business needs a marketing plan, a way to reach your potential customers and draw them in. Come up with this prior to opening, or you’ll be wondering why nobody shows up or places orders. The old age adage “build it and they will come” doesn’t apply here, not in today’s society where competition is fierce. Figure out your demographic and the best ways to advertise, whether it’s in the local newspaper or via social media sites.
Customer service is a very big part of your business, no matter how big or small it is. There are three essential rules you want to follow and you also want to make sure you include these in any employee manuals so your workers know how to handle specific matters that arise and so that all of you are on the same page.
Starting your own business from the ground up is an exciting time, but don’t let your eagerness make you miss the important steps. Once these are out of the way, welcome your customers and pat yourself on the back for taking a gigantic first step.