Five steps to starting a business off right

Five steps to starting a business off right

You have a great idea for a product, solution, and/or service and you are ready to start your own business.  Here are five steps you need to take.

1) Make it legal - Consult with a lawyer-ensure you are recognized as a legal business and are organized in the correct structure for you.  A lawyer can also consult on other things you will need such as contracts, employee policies, trademarks and insurances.

2) Keep the money separate - Once your business entity is set, you can open business bank accounts. Make sure you have separate credit and debit cards for your business and be diligent about using them for business purposes only.

3) Find an experienced bookkeeper or accountant - Hire someone to organize, record, manage and report your finances.  If you are just starting out, they can help you structure your accounting system and teach you the basics of income and expense tracking. A CPA is essential come tax time.  One that works in tandem with your bookkeeper/accountant will make your life easier and facilitate success through organization, managing cash flow, and goal setting. The search for an accountant should be one of a personality fit. You should feel comfortable talking about all aspects of your business and never feel intimidated.  Your accountant is there to help drive you toward success. 

A great accountant can also help find the right banker when you need a loan, line of credit, and competitive merchant service rates  

4) Accounting software - There are really great ones out there these days that are customizable and will make your clients/customers feel as though you have an entire accounting staff behind you.  Xero is the best-suited, scalable solution for start-up businesses.  With automatic bank feeds, your online accounting system Xero is able to provide real time information.  No longer are the days when your books would be out of date the moment your bookkeeper left the office. With cloud SaaS, the office is always open. Ask your accountant which set-up is best for you. 

5) Communication – Connect with your team regularly; let each of your advisors know this is a requirement going in to the relationship.  Introduce your team to each other -your lawyer, your bookkeeper/accountant, your CPA.  The people you are entrusting to guide you toward your goals should be aware of each other and be willing to work together for YOU.  Having everyone work together will make your business stronger.

Now, go get your team!