Having been down the road of entrepreneurship (and there’s definitely a road!) I can say that there are some things that people may not initially be aware of. The road to being a successful business owner can be very tough if you don’t make sure that you have everything in order from the start. I have seen quite a few times where people say they are a business, but without following the proper steps, they end up being a liability, and things come grinding to a halt rather quickly. You should always ensure that you have everything in place so when things get tough (and they will!) you can weather the storm. A major question that you as a business owner, should really ask yourself is “Am I a business, or A liability?”
One of the first and most important steps you can take to ensure that you’re a business, and not a liability, is to go through the planning process. Part of ‘Planning’will consist of creating a business plan. A business plan is a road map that will help you in those tough times where you have those questions that don’t have easy answers; your business plan is your go-to guide. When you’re trying to figure out where to go next, what your “break even” points are, or even a checklist to make sure everything is done properly, your business plan will have that answer for you. Always be willing to look at it at any given moment! (You can always register for the self-paced webinar on ‘How To Create Your Business Plan’ here)
Another step to ensuring that you are a business, and not a liability, is to actually legitimize your business (With the Government/State/County)! It seems obvious, but if it were, there wouldn’t be any liabilities, and that sadly isn’t the case! What this means is registering with all the proper channels to ensure that you’re operating in accordance with your state or county’s business laws. Make sure that you have an EIN. Check patent offices to be sure that your business name and/or slogan aren’t already in use. Make sure that your business insurance policies are in place. The last thing you want is for someone to take legal action against you because you didn’t take the steps to be legit!
Going back to the business insurance policies for a moment, I really can’t stress this enough! From day one, you as an entrepreneur will have certain risks that unfortunately come with the territory. All it takes is one lawsuit or disaster to take you off the business road altogether and leave you back at the drawing board, wondering where it went wrong. Say that you have an office, and your equipment gets stolen, what do you do? If you have a store, and people have to swipe their cards, someone’s information may get stolen; who would that person come to with the blame? If there’s some sort of catastrophic event at your office that prevents you from operating, you lose out on money and potential clients. What do you do in these sorts of situations? I don’t bring these things up to scare you, it’s just reality! Having business owner’s insurance will ensure that you are a business and not a liability when these things come up. For a small business, business owner’s insurance isn’t expensive at all. Most small business owner policies can be obtained for anywhere from $400 to $600 annually. Let’s be honest here, a little bit goes a long way into protecting everything that you’ve worked for. Is it worth it to you to invest up front, to be covered later on down the road? Remember, you want to be a business, not a liability.
I’m all about giving back, and giving advice to those starting on the road to. Making sure that you’re a business and not a liability has numerous benefits. You don’t end up taking unnecessary money out of your pocket, as well as other people’s pockets. Manifesting your business ideas into reality is an awesome feeling, but if you’re not doing it properly, you’ll be getting nowhere fast. Don’t just take my advice either; keep like minded positive people around you, Join in networking groups. Take in as much information as you can from multiple sources and Google it if you have to. Above all, if you’re going into business, protect yourself, and be in business! If you need any additional information, you can always go to my site and book a complimentary consultation, I will be sure to get you exactly what you need to do things the right way.
Angel Radcliffe @MissRMBA