When it comes to setting up a business, many often think that it is a complicated and costly process. This might indeed be the case, once you think about all the work that needs to be done. However, knowing how to do all of these the right way will help in making the process an easier task to undertake.
The Initial Steps
Turning your business idea into an actual company is the first task you have to work on. Many will likely tell you to incorporate the business right at the start. This, of course, has its benefits, such as being afforded significant legal protection. However, there are downsides when you do incorporation early. For one, it will be costly, which can burden the business a lot. Also, since the company is still a fledgling enterprise, it is unlikely to encounter any major legal stumbling blocks, which defeats the purpose of early incorporation.
Note that different states also require you to get particular licenses. For instance, if yours is a home-based enterprise, some states decree that you declare so in order to be issued the appropriate license. There are also specific licenses for certain aspects of your business, like operation of particular equipment.
Having a dedicated bank account for your business dealings is also a good idea. This will free you from the confusion of having to manage both your personal and business transactions in a single account. A dedicated account would also be useful in quickly assessing your business’ finances and progress. Setting up a business account is relatively quick and easy. Also, many banks offer special deals for small businesses opening accounts with them, you will find very useful.
Setting up Shop
Once your business is established in principle, the next step is to set up an office. No need to worry about having to lease office space in a commercial building. Your home itself can become an office. All you need is a computer and a fast internet connection. And if the business is all about selling stuff, a spare room in the house can be used as a warehouse.
However, there are a few disadvantages when it comes to using your home as an office. For those privy when it comes to revealing personal information, listing their home address as a business address is out of the question. A good way of working around this is by using a virtual mailbox. This is a better option than using a PO box since you will be able to receive not just mail but also packages as well. Plus, the physical address provided by the virtual mailbox service will give your customers of a more professional service than that of a simple PO Box.
If your business involves delivering goods, you also need to work out shipping process this early. For orders within your city or nearby provinces, local carriers would be the best option, since they offer two days pickup and delivery to customers. On the other hand, if you intend to service customers from different states or even overseas, getting major international carriers like DHL and FedEx is more preferred. Shipping in bulk is much preferred to maximize the cost these carriers charge.
For most part, there is no need to hire people outside of your immediate circle this early. The work load might not be that large such that you can handle everything by yourself. Family members can also pitch in to run the business. If you need help with some minor tasks, such as packaging goods to be delivered, the neighborhood kids are more than willing to help for a small charge.
Of course, you do need to get qualified people for vital work like accounting of the company’s finances. Again, there is no need to go out of your circle yet, as you can get someone you know who fit the bill. Since you are more than likely to know the other person’s quality of work, you can be rest assured he or she will get everything done properly.
One of the growing trends nowadays for many start-ups is to hire people offshore to work on virtual offices. A major advantage of this is the cost; many virtual office workers are willing to work at lower rates, since they themselves don’t have to worry about extra costs like commuter fares. However, there are some concerns you need to take into account. As you and your prospective employee don’t meet face to face, you can’t personally assess him. It would be wise to go through the applicant’s job history in order to see how he handled similar virtual office setups.
Up next: the tricks to jumpstarting your small business’ promotions.