Tips Every Business Needs deserves the chance to succeed. It can be daunting to start a business without the right resources. Where do you start? This checklist might help.
#1: BUILD YOUR BUSINESS ‘BRAND’ FROM THE VERY EARLY ‘GET-GO.
It is important to think carefully about your business identity. Your business name should communicate a clear idea of what you offer to your customers. It should be easy to remember, but not too ‘cute’ to convey that you care about your business.
Make sure you do a domain name search and a trademark check before you make your choice. This will ensure that it is an original URL and that you are not violating the rights of anyone else who is an existing provider or who has been there before you.
It is also a good idea to have a second or third option. If your first choice is taken, you will need to give up on it. You might want to brainstorm names with some other bright, imaginative people. Sometimes, a twist on the name of the first or second choice might be the best.
#2: BUILD A WEB PRESENCE TO CONVEY YOUR VISION
The World Wide Web is a great way to increase awareness about your business. Virtual reality is real and most consumers are more likely to search for you online than they are in the yellow pages. This assumes that they are open to the idea of doing business together.
Many consumers won’t be so proactive. When they realize the need, they start searching for the right provider. Your web presence should address this need from the beginning.
Too many businesses overwhelm customers with too much information. It’s easy to become lost. Keep your website clean and clutter-free. Your customers will enjoy visiting your website. This makes it easier to recommend other potential customers.
#3 IDENTIFY YOUR CUSTOMER CHARTISTICS
It’s surprising how many business owners view their customers as a faceless mass of people. The best business enterprises create a composite of their ideal customer and plan their marketing strategy to reach that customer.
It’s not common to meet the ideal customer every day. One of my friends used to say to me that the prince sometimes comes to the maidens by having them kiss many frogs. You’ll be able to better meet the needs of real people if you create a customer profile from a combination of multiple customers.
#4: ORGANIZE AN ENTITY BUSINESS
Today, the sole proprietor is the most popular form of business ownership. This is often seen in the newest’mom-and-pop’ small business owner, who just gets some business cards and a business license. Then, he or she opens a checking account for business and ‘opens shop’.
A sole proprietorship is where you and your business are one-and the same. Your business doesn’t have a separate legal entity from you, so you are completely and personally exposed to all risks. However, it is possible to reduce or manage legal risks by operating as a limited liability corporation.
In my workshops across the country, I explain the differences in a down-to-earth manner that is easy to understand. If you plan to keep Tips Every Business Needs going after your death, or if the company is to be ‘go public’ (i.e. You can sell stock on the Stock Exchange. A limited liability company (‘LLC) is a good idea if you want to “stay private”, which makes sense for most people.
It is far simpler to manage and maintain an LLC. There are fewer formalities required and there is a trend in America to register more LLCs each year than corporations. Based on the statistics, I believe this trend will continue for the next few years.
#5 – ESTABLISH A STRONG BUSINESS PLANN
Many people believe that creating a strong, dynamic Business Plan is an academic exercise and has no practical application in today’s market. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Your business’s foundation should be a well-written Business Plan. This plan should include your vision, message, organization, marketing, financing, and even your financing. A capital loan application without a detailed and written Business Plan is unlikely to be approved. With a well-written and detailed Business Plan, lenders will have a better understanding of your goals and, frankly, so will you.
Most business owners experience what I call “Widgetitis”, which is when they get so caught up in their widget idea and become so involved in its creation that they overwhelm potential Lenders when it comes to financing the business.
#6 – WHAT ABOUT A OFFICE?
You may choose to start your home-based business depending on how big or small it is. This means that your home could become your principal place of business. You can deduct the business portion of your home in such cases. You can treat a particular area of your home as your business workspace if you do so. This means that you should have your primary work space there.
It will require a computer, an internet connection, a facsimile machine, a dedicated business phone line, answering service, office supplies, and all other necessary equipment to run your business. You might need more than one space. You might have inventory, for example. This inventory could be stored in one room, a section of your garage, or another structure on your property.
You may be eligible to deduct expenses for the portion of your home you use for business if you are self-employed. You must use the portion of your home that you want to deduct for business purposes only.
The deduction will not be approved if the space (such as a bedroom that has been converted into an office) isn’t used exclusively for business purposes. If this is the area where your most important business activities take place on a regular basis and you spend the majority of your time doing business in that area, you may be eligible for the deduction. The One-Minute Tax Coach explains that if your home-based company is your principal place of business, then your deductions for business expenses may include your business portion of real estate taxes, deductible mortgage interests, rent, casualty loss, related utilities (such phone and electricity), property insurance, business-related maintenance, and repairs. It is not possible to deduct lawn care and painting rooms that aren’t used for business purposes.
You must document your deductions so you can defend them if necessary. It is surprising to see how many people ignore deductions they are entitled to and how many people claim home-based business deductions because of unreasonable fear or insecurity.
The dollar amount of expenses that are directly attributable to the home being used for business purposes is what you can use to calculate the business-related amount. The percentage of your house used for business determines the amount that you can deduct. This percentage can be calculated by dividing the square footage of your home used for Tips Every Business Needs only by the total square footage.
Another option is to use the number of rooms. If all rooms are roughly equal in size, divide the number of rooms that you use for business by your total home. This will allow you to calculate the business portion of the expenses.
Remember that your gross income from your business use of the home is limited if it exceeds your annual total business expenses. If this happens, your deduction for outgoing expenses (other than mortgage interest and taxes, casualty loss, etc.) will be reduced. Your deduction for outgoing expenses for the business use of your home (other than mortgage interest, taxes, casualty losses, etc.) is limited. These same business expenses cannot be deducted due to the gross income limit. However, they can be “carried forward” to the next year as long as the deduction limit is met.