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5 Things to Remember When Setting Up Your Business

We live in exciting times. Recession or not, there are still thousands of new small businesses starting out every single day.  According to the Kauffmann Foundation, there are 565,000 new businesses in the U.S. right now, which is the highest level of entrepreneurship the country has seen in the past 15 years. Today, there are more government backed incentives and programs to help you start your new business than ever before. So why haven’t you jumped on the entrepreneur bandwagon yet?

Successful entrepreneurs naturally embrace the challenge of making their dream a reality. As you start to think about your particular new business idea, here are 5 things to consider.

1.      Develop a Clear Business Plan

You’ve probably heard it a million times, but it’s worth repeating that often. Business owners who fail to plan are planning to fail. You must take the time to develop and write a business plan. Writing a business plan is a labor of love, as well as an exercise in logic and forethought. A business plan is a critical tool that will help you to map out your business on paper, identifying opportunities and obstacles so that you can deal with them appropriately. It also serves as a benchmark against which actual performance can be measured and reviewed.

If you plan to acquire financing, a well-written business plan is essential to recruiting investors and/or getting loans from local banks. Most lenders and investors want to see a plan that reflects your thorough understanding of the market and your business’ role within it.  Take the time to write one, and your business will not regret it.

2.      Create a Great Business Name

When starting a new business, you need a good business name. A business name tells how your business operates legally, and it can also be used as a marketing tool. It is what you will use to start building a brand. You should create a name that:

  • o Identifies what your business does
  • o Distinguishes you from other businesses
  • o Is memorable to your potential clients

A name should describe your business and its unique qualities. You could use your own name like “John’s Limo Service” or be creative with your business concept like “Peace Keepers” for a private security company.  Keeping your name simple and memorable is most important.

3.                  Protect Yourself

What business form will your small business take? It’s likely that you will start off doing business using your own name, address and social security number or working with partners who have limited experience in managing identities.  Protect yourself and your assets by establishing yourself as a corporation, limited liability company or similar entity. Consider the various structures and choose one that works for your business and grants you the greatest degree of protection as well. It’s one of the simplest and most meaningful first steps that you can take to get your business started on the right footing. ICS can help you to incorporate easily and affordably.

4.                  Recruit Your Support Team

Most employers are quick to hire and slow to fire. If you want to maximize the odds of building an effective team, begin to do exactly the opposite. Be slow to hire, and quick to fire. Interview each prospective team member, both to make sure that their characteristics and expertise are a good fit for the team, and that the team is also a good fit for them.

Unless you plan to operate a large corporation with all support in-house, you will likely need to recruit an outside support team. Your business must have a support team with members who are capable of critical thinking and problem-solving, can effectively communicate, collaborate across networks, analyze information and are adaptable. You may also have need of finding reliable and professional people like an attorney, CPA, and insurance agent who can help you with these types of legal and financial business issues.

5.                  Be Sure to Register

Before you begin business operations and starting a new business, you should also consider any official requirements you need from government agencies. A federal Tax ID (EIN) number will be essential for reporting your annual tax filings with the IRS, as well as keeping up with self-employment and employee taxes. Local business licenses will keep you in legal compliance with your city and county, while registering your business with the state business registry prevents any confusion with any other businesses of the same name.

Surely, starting a new business can be a daunting task. When you get ready to set up your new business, take time out to consider the above factors. The above list is important, but it is certainly not complete. Keep in mind that there may be plenty of other things to consider, which may be specific to your business, and breaking your list down into easy-to-manage tasks will help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and allow you to stay on track.

About ICS

ICS has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs just like you form their companies and evaluate the viability of their business ideas quickly and affordably. Our commitment to simplifying the business start-up and formation process doesn’t end after you form your company. We provide a host of services that make it easy for you to manage your business while we take care of the initial compliance and registration details. Give us a call and take the first step towards protecting your personal assets and building your business credibility today.  (626) 824-0399

James Rounds is the founder and principal advisor of Integrated Corporate Solutions, a business development and advisory services firm which specializes in helping business owners Start, Grow and Maintain their businesses. A veteran business advisor, James works directly with business owners and civic organizations on the issues and challenges that they face in each stage of their business life cycle. To find out how he can help you to form your new corporation and remain in compliance or take your existing business to the next level, visit his site at http://www.mycorporatesolutions.net