So, You’ve Started a Business…Now What?: Top 10 Considerations for any New Business
When starting a business, it is imperative to plan for success. The uncertainties that businesses face are ever-changing. However, there are certain considerations that will protect your business from these uncertainties and ensure its growth.
- Business Planning: This will serve as foundation for your company’s growth and success
a. Gauge market’s potential size.
b. Recognize customer needs.
c. Identify advertising strategies
d. Identify your competitors.
2. Financial Planning
a. Efficiently manage funds. Identify additional sources of revenue.
b. Identify appropriate loans, only if necessary.
c. Set aside a collateral.
d. Consider cash-flow management: forecasting, budgeting, controlling, disbursing, and investing
e. Improve liquidity and increase profits
f. Identify all expenses going out on a separate list. This means down to the last penny. g. Identify all income on a separate list.
3. Market Your Business
a. Identify and respond to emerging trends where your business could fill a need.
b. Find new outlets through which to market your business from the very beginning.
4. Select the proper Legal Structure
a. There are around 15 different types of business entities. Your chosen legal structure will affect how you run your business. It will also have implications on how you pay your taxes and keep your accounts.
b. Make sure to choose the right one and be aware of the benefits that each type of entity provides. You have selected your entity and you will want to discuss with your accountant any and all the tax benefits that might be available.
5. Manage Business Risk
a. It is highly recommended to carry out a risk assessment to help identify the risks posed to individuals by business activities. Mitigate these risks or hazards as much as possible. Make sure to acquire the correct type of insurance. Most business zones require all businesses that employ a number of workers to get employer’s liability insurance. Additionally, acquire public liability or professional indemnity as well. These types of coverage will help protect your business from compensation claims if something goes awry.
b. Non-Disclosure agreements are important in order to keep your business’ information private and avoid any unwanted leaks.
c. Trademark or Copyright registration is also important. This will prevent others from registering their company under the same name. It will also protect the business’ brand from being used anywhere else.
d. Apply for the right licenses. Each state has its own licensing guidelines and applying for the correct licenses will safeguard your business from any uncertainties.
6. Managing the Workforce
a. Set standards of performance in order to ensure an efficient workforce
b. Implement things like a time recording system; a new employee orientation program; a training program that includes policies and procedures dealing with internal controls; and a performance measurement system.
c. Even if you do not have any employees, your ownership team will want to be trained on the key areas of the business from marketing, tracking financials, bringing in new business, and more.
7. Utilize Technology
a. Technology will serve to facilitate all aspects of the business.
b. From daily performance to marketing your business always consider implementing and programs that will help you scale your business. This could be in terms of database management, scheduling, or any models of event design or services you will offer.
8. Succession Planning is especially important to keep the business alive for the future.
a. Consider transferring management to somebody else before succeeding
b. Transfer equal share of the business to the next leader
c. Plan ahead to a minimum of five years in order to avoid any uncertainties when leaving
d. Develop strategies for minimizing taxes upon your death or leave so that business assets do not need to be liquidated to pay any estate tax liability.
9. Protect Against Fraud
a. Make sure to consult experts on the matter to keep your information and your client’s information secure.
b. Make sure your staff is trained to not open suspicious emails, use unknown USB drives.
c. Use ant-virus software and anti-malware protection. You may also consider options for cybersecurity insurance.
10. Use Professional Advisors
a. Choose the right attorney to aid you with all legal matters. Many matters can be complicated and require assistance. Hiring an attorney to help with all matters of your company will facilitate the process and ensure nothing is being overlooked. You have done this and we look forward to continuing to work with you all on future projects as well.
b. You will also want to consider an accountant to review your financial documents and to assist with tax filings.
c. You may also consider hiring a fractional CFO service to assist with setting pricing and maximize revenues. One great company we have used is Nperspectives Fractional CFO Advisory Firm.
Nouvelle Gonzalo is a U.S. and international corporate lawyer who works with companies across the globe. She is the managing attorney of Gonzalo Law LLC, a U.S. and international corporate law firm with offices in Florida and Ohio. In addition to the active practice of law, she has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Florida Levin College of Law where she has taught international corporate law for several years. She was recognized as a rising star by the national organization, Super Lawyers, in 2019 and 2020. Her practice areas include: international corporate law, intellectual property law, and nonprofit law.
Macarena Bazan is a current sophomore at the University of Florida majoring in Political Science and Business Administration with a specialization in Pre-Law. Macarena is a Legal Intern for Gonzalo Law a U.S. and International Corporate Law Firm, the Vice President of the University of Florida chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, and a member of the Honors College. She placed 3rd in the National Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial competition and has received the President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List throughout her college career. Macarena has been with Gonzalo Law since January 2020. She focuses on case research, drafting and editing contracts, and additional research.