Starting a business requires a certain level of business acumen and experience. There are plenty of business resources around to help navigate the steps of getting started, but most advice focuses on the general paperwork and planning tasks.
Most business advice focuses on what to do to be successful, but not what to avoid to prevent failure. Explore some tips and tricks in this guide on becoming an entrepreneur and the dos and don’ts of starting a business.
Let’s take a brief look at the dos and don’ts of starting a business. The following are the dos of business:
- Choose the type of business incorporation wisely to limit financial liability. An attorney can help explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Rely on the expertise of an attorney to draft a buy-sell agreement with any business partners, as well as the drafting of an employee handbook and employment agreements with non-disclosure and non-competition clauses.
- Apply for a federal tax identification number and consult with a tax professional about taxes before starting a business.
- Networking is essential to business, so take advantage of professional resources by getting involved with Small Business Development Centers, join the local chamber of commerce and entrepreneurs organizations, and trade groups.
- Invest in technology that will make daily operations easier. Services like Smart Payables are a great example of taking the legwork out of mailing services. Patient statement printing by Smart Payables creates user-friendly documents that give creative license for mailing campaigns. With a full range of accounts payable solutions for businesses of any size, Smart Payables utilizes secure, innovative technology to help clients keep things running smoothly.
While performing the do’s of business, avoid the don’ts:
- Less is more, especially in the early stages of a business when finances are tied up. Don’t become preoccupied with expensive office space and furnishings unless starting an “image” business.
- Don’t print any stationery, business cards, or promotional materials until confirming that the trademark is available. The business name and brand logo have to be available for use in order to avoid any costly and inconvenient trademark infringement.
- Never sign company contracts as an individual, always sign on behalf of the company as an officer.
- Don’t use earmarked tax money for operational costs, never give up 50 percent of the business to investors in the first round of fundraising, and don’t procrastinate on buying insurance.
- Don’t be stubborn about seeking advice or help setting up a business. It’s complicated and time-consuming to launch a new business, but reaching out to a business law attorney to help make the right decisions will save a lot of stress.
There is a fine line between confident and cocky, and there is no room for ego in business. A successful business has employees of varied backgrounds that take on the responsibilities of different roles. In the launch phase of business, an entrepreneur will wear all the hats, but bring on employees who specialize in specific fields as the business grows.
Avoid going with a gut feeling instead of sharing an idea. Figure out if there is a demand for an idea and consult with professional peers for feedback about the feasibility of pursuing an idea. Remember, networking is essential to a business, so take the opportunity to learn and consult whenever possible.
Take for example RV auctions. Auto Auction Mall is an online used car auction site that gives customers exclusive access to the same auctions that dealers use to source their inventory. RV’s are expensive to run and maintain, and large to store.
It wouldn’t be a wise business decision to buy an RV without understanding the full requirements for owning one. And if the idea is to resell RV’s, tap into the market to figure out if there is a demand for them and how to market them.