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Things to Consider When Starting Your Small Business

Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? Do you believe in your vision and feel confident in making it a reality? The fact is, you can. Take action. Be motivated and aim for a strong start.  Starting a business may be your pathway to financial security. It is important, though, as a budding entrepreneur, to take necessary precautions. Keep these tips in mind when taking off.

Plan before you begin a new venture
Many good ideas are not profitable—think, then act. All businesses begin with a personal vision. However, it is important to be realistic and adapt appropriately to the market. Although it is important to be passionate about your endeavor, consider what people want to buy, not simply what you want to sell. Will your business create a steady income? Research the market and similar businesses to determine their success-rate. Craft a basic business plan identifying the product or service, the target market, what the product or service will cost you, and how much you will charge for the product or service. Then, plan your method of action.

Identify target market and convert them to customers
Of course, in order to sustain any business, you will need customers. Thus, attracting their attention must be your number one priority. Begin with a list of 50-100 potential prospects and take the necessary steps to reach them. Spread your company’s message through direct phone calls, flyers, and word of mouth. Be sure to utilize all social media platforms to engage directly with your target market and promote your service or product regularly. Find creative and innovative ways to attract interest.

Be smart about your spending
The key is to bring in more money than you spend. Starting out, it is important overestimate expenses and underestimate revenues. When launching a start-up, you must keep costs down. Aim to save money by strategically budgeting. A service business is much more inexpensive to maintain than a product business where it costs money to create a certain product. Being conservative in your spending will only benefit your business down the road. Once in a business be sure to keep the benefits of your employees in mind. Set up a pension and profit sharing program to ensure a prosperous retirement for you and your employees.

Keep in mind the employee vs. independent contractor issue
You must understand that utilizing workers is a responsibility and the government is becoming more aggressive on the manner in which workers are compensated. Both on the federal and state level, there are strict guidelines regarding the treatment of workers and harsh penalties if these rules aren’t followed. Workers are classified as either employees or independent contractors depending on behavioral control, financial control, and type of relationship. Both employers and workers may ask the IRS to determine whether a specific individual is an independent contractor or an employee by filing a Form SS-8. This classification is important, as employers who misname their workers may end up with a hefty tax bill.

Look to helpful resources
There are a number of resources available to help your business get off to a great start. Your local Small Development Business Center (SBDC) and SCORE offices, associated with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), are useful assets when developing a start-up. You may also contact the IRS to receive free assistance in accounting, record-keeping, and organizational endeavors. The IRS stresses that it is imperative to keep good records in order to monitor the progress of your business and prepare accurate financial statements.

Cubicle By Design has over 25 years of experience aiding small businesses with their office furniture solutions. We not only provided services and products, but spent the years listening to our customers vent about all of their small business needs. These are helpful tips based off of their input and what we have learned. You can find more small business tips on our CBD Blog.