Entrepreneurs have already put in too much hard work and investment to let unpreparedness sink their businesses early. Unfortunately, not being prepared and not understanding the ins and outs of basic business sense is what tanks new startups. Before business is open, entrepreneurs should prepare to ensure they do not join the many business which fail in one year. There are a few things to know and prepare for right away. If you are ready to succeed, but need some help while just starting out, here are some tips for your first year open and how to make it a success.
Excellent status with the IRS is essential for business success. Entrepreneurs should register a federal tax ID number, or Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is required for entrepreneurs with employees, or “corporation” and “partnership” status. Entrepreneurs also use it to issue employee W-2 and contractor W-9 statements at the end of the year. The IRS lists other guidelines for entrepreneurs to determine if an EIN is necessary. The Small Business Administration offers excellent resources to help entrepreneurs meet their tax obligations every year. Make sure you know how to categorize your business and what to list it as in your first year of doing taxes.
Proper Insurances and Licensing
State licensing, regulation, and insurance agencies give entrepreneurs public credibility and trust. Almost all trade, health, and human services industries require strict insurance coverage and proper licensing. Other industries like manufacturing and transportation must maintain licensing and regulation examinations on an annual basis. Entrepreneurs should prepare to have these completed and documented on record with the appropriate agencies ahead of time. They could close in the first year without them. Talk to a professional in the field if you aren’t sure what other licenses you might need.
A Secure Office
A robbery or natural disaster can demolish years of hard work in minutes. Inventory, sensitive data, and records, and profits must be secured, safe, and recoverable from financial loss. Whether an entrepreneur works from home, a leased office space, or an owned building, a secure business is a prepared business. A home security system with home automation and ADT Pulse technologies, and renters or homeowner’s insurance is usually enough to protect home-based entrepreneurs in the event of fires, break-ins and home invasion. Entrepreneurs who lease space should supplement their building owner’s insurance and security system with another one that reinforces their particular space. Private building owners must maintain superior insurance and consult with a security firm on guarding their property during and after business hours. If you are a smaller startup, just go with the basics at first and as you grow, make sure you update security technology all the time.
Website & Social Media Marketing
Today’s consumers are tech-savvy and mobile. They have a much higher need than past generations for constant engagement with businesses they patronize. Other businesses entrepreneurs may partner with will judge their credibility from their online image. Entrepreneurs must have a website with contact information. Before business launches and heavily throughout the first year, they should be active on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. These promotional vehicles keep current customers and clients engaged and informed plus acquire new ones. Be sure to take advantage of marketing on new platforms like these as well.
Preparation for business is an ongoing process entrepreneurs must be committed to. It may take a year to firmly establish it, but the payoff is undeniable. Laying the groundwork with preparation for the first year increases the chances entrepreneurs will beat the odds and have a second one.