General Question

Jude's avatar

Any tips that you'd give someone who is starting their own business?

Asked by Jude (32131points) April 17th, 2012

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Get a business license.

Consider the tax implications of the different types of business structure: LLC, S Corp, sole proprietorship.

Get a good accountant or bookkeeper to set up your accounts.

Coloma's avatar

Number 1. Make sure you calculate and set aside taxes on a quarterly basis so you have no unexpected surprises down the road. Keep impeccable records/receipts for any and all potential write offs. Plan a good marketing strategy dependent on the biz. in question. If you are offering services of some sort advertise and offer introductory discounts in local papers, print fliers and tack them up on community bulletin boards at busy local haunts.

If your biz. idea ties into previous work experience share feedback and client recommendations in your advertising or website.
Constantly look for creative ways to continue to promote your biz. Have friends, family and aquaintences network for you via word of mouth.
Be prepared to spend at least the first year promoting and gathering clients and don’t become discouraged.

A year is not too long to become established and you must be patient in the building/launching process. The first year is usually going to be a “make or break” situation.
The majority of new small businesses fail within the first 2 years so you must have a creative and proactive plan to promote, promote, promote!

Good luck!

Jude's avatar

Thanks!

CWOTUS's avatar

My best advice to a prospective entrepreneur would be “Just put your head down and go for it.”

The longer one thinks, plans, weighs pros and cons and tries to “be sensible about this”, the less likely it is to go. So… just go and do it. There’s time to be sensible about all this later when you absolutely have to figure out how to make a thing go. Do it then.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Two things a business need:

1) A good attorney.

2) A good CPA.

3) Entrepreneur follows their ^^^ advice.

Oh, that was three.

annewilliams5's avatar

Just remember this: The customer is not always right. Educating the perspective customer offers the ability for both of you to work together. You are not going to know the ins and outs of your customer’s line of work, and they will only know what they’ve been told about yours.
Write everything down, including quotes and what they include. Do most of the detail work, with the customer, through email; ie: questions and answers about specifics that come up. Keep all correspondence for reference. Ask questions. Don’t guess about what the customer wants. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Talk to a CPA first and give them an outline of what you want to do and what you expect for income. They’ll be able to advise you if your business looks lucrative enough to warrant licenses and stuff or if you’d make more money keeping your venture as a hobby.

dabbler's avatar

Starting along the lines of @Neizvestnaya‘s advice, Make a Business Plan !
Know how you are going to get paid, for what, and how much it will cost you to provide that.

I’ll agree with @CWOTUS “Just put your head down and go for it.” if the first thing you go for is a detailed business plan. If you don’t know how you are going to spend money and make money in your business you can run into a fatal (business-wise) flaw in your scheme after investing plenty of time and money. That’s just unnecessary. The time to solve, or at least identify those problems is right now.

Good Luck ! May you be wildly successful.

anartist's avatar

Work hard!

If you have a salable skillset but not a particularly good business sense, find a partner/employee who does. [I always wanted to go into my design business with my close friend and accountant, but life got in the way]

Network and join all those groups that relate to your skillset [I belong to a writer/editor/publisher/designer/etc group called dcpubs and another for web work DC WebWomen and a local user group for InDesign, among others].

Don’t give up your dream when the going gets tough.

What business are you contemplating going into?

Unless it is a large or risky business, I’d wait on the lawyer, but accountant/CPA no.
If it is something you mostly do solo, sort of like freelancing, you can postpone getting things like business checking accounts, telephone services and other things of that ilk. If your bank won’t cash checks made out to your business, have your clients make checks out to [your name TA [your business name] and deposit them in your personal account.

If you go the above starter route, be very careful to earmark every deposit and withdrawal and purchase for tax season.

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