Starting a business? No easy feat. It’s a bit tricky isn’t it?  Most times, the prospect of owning your own business sounds exciting and fun. But the downside is that we may just be ill-informed about the depth and requirements of being a business owner.

So while we don’t want to talk you out of it, you may want to keep a few things in mind.

You may need to:

  • schedule a consultation with a lawyer
  • meet with an entrepreneur and pick his/her brain
  • figure out your accounting
  • study marketing strategies
  • set some goals

Here are 8 things you need to know before starting your business (consider it a cheat sheet)

You need a Name

First make sure the domain is available and that you an potentially trademark your company name. You an earch online to see if a trademark is available. Save  yourself time and money and look through the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website to know if a name has been previously used. Most business owners don’t think of this simple step, and it ends up costing them down the road.

Have a Business Plan

Don’t underestimate the power of a business plan. Whether you are seeking outside funding or not, a business plan helps you identify your vision for your business and the marketing strategies you need to deploy to prove you have a viable business model.

Cost Planning (cha-ching)

How much do you need to live? You may need to factor in every cost including your rent, health insurance and the wages for your employees. You should also have an account for unforeseen or unexpected expenses. Sort of like a business savings account – a cushion to fall back on when crap hits the fan because it always does in business!

Cash is always king for anyone who is starting a business. You need to consider where and how to get funding for your new venture. Perhaps you’ve saved up or you have a side gig? Don’t negate the power of budgeting.

Know your Customers

Whether you are creating a product or supplying a service, you’ll need to have a target audience. Who are you targeting? If you don’t know, you don’t have a business. Research and investigate how you can optimize your service for your customers. Create your avatar!

Get to know your Employees

You can’t do it all alone. Unless you prefer to be a solopreneuer, being an entrepreneur means leveraging a team to scale your business. It’s important to know what kind of employees you will need to get your business on track. Hire people who will fit into your long term plan and objectives.

Get in with the Law

Understand the legalities of starting a business, the regularities, the taxes and licenses you will need to follow. If you need to employ the services of a lawyer to help you understand the structure of your business, it’s worth every penny. When your business is off the ground, you wouldn’t want administrative details or technical legalities standing in your way of succeeding.

Know your Competition

“I don’t have any competition!” Uh, of course you do! Who else is doing what you are considering doing? How an you do it better? Think outside the box.

Have a web presence – get Social! 

We are in a digital age and there is so much to take advantage of. Every business needs a digital strategy – and every business needs to be incorporating technology into the way they do commerce. If you don’t, you are already behind the times and guess what? You will NOT be able to compete.

Many small businesses still don’t have a website. What? Really? Get one. And a good one. Stand out from the rest.

Explore your online options your business go global!

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