8 practical things to do BEFORE YOU OPEN THE DOORS
September 4, 2014
Once you have gone through all of the formalities of the business planning stage of your business and you’ve said “right let’s have a go at this” then there are some basic things you need to make sure you have checked off! Wherever possible never try and do all of the below before you have gone through and completed your business plan (as a refresh check out our 11 things you need to do HERE). Why? Because you don’t want to spend money un-necessarily!
Register your company name: always make sure you are legal! If you are unsure as to how to set up a company registration get some advice from an accountant or your local chamber of commerce (if you have one). Often Governments will have agencies that can help such as the Small Business Administration in the USA, ASIC in Australia and the Ministry of Economic Development in New Zealand (as examples). Don’t try and trade without a legal business name!
Make sure you have trademarked or copyrighted your idea / business / name: this will not be for everyone but it is worth investigating and is certainly warranted if you have a unique business name or product. You don’t want to build something really big only to find someone else has taken your trademark and copyright! If in doubt seek some legal advice from a trademark lawyer or attorney.
Register yourself for tax: don’t not do it! Always make sure you are registered for tax for no other reason than you don’t need to deal with the tax authorities at a future date unless you need to. Many small business start-ups may not need to pay tax in the first years and there could also be great deductions available. Also, if you want to bid for Government contracts or large corporate work you may need to be registered for things such as VAT or Goods and Services Tax. If in doubt speak with an accountant.
Set-up your business bank accounts: in order to open a business account you may need to be officially registered as a company. Our advice is never try and use your personal accounts as a business account – always try and keep personal and business separate! Shop around for deals and remember -don’t spend money unless you have to!
Sign off on your brand and logo: always sign off on your brand and logo before you get going. Remember, your brand and logo will often be the first thing people see that represents your business so get the consistency, look and feel right at the beginning. It is also important because it will determine how you present on everything from your business cards to your website.
Order your business cards: your business cards should look professional and are worth spending the extra money on. Look cheap and cheap will follow you. Make sure your brand and logo are consistent and your contact details are clear!
Have your first website ready: you will need a website irrespective of what business you are in because in doing so you offer validity and legitimacy that you do exist. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a start-up website and you can get great deals from template sites such as Wix.com. Always make sure that your brand and logo are consistent from your website to your business cards to your social media presence!
Set-up your business email: always make sure you have a business email address. Using Yahoo and Gmail are great for personal use but the truth is, when someone tries to sell you something as if they are a business and they send you an email from Yahoo or Gmail you see it as spam or junk. So, don’t leave your potential clients and customers that your emails are like the many others they might get on a daily basis. Email hosting and business email is not expensive and Yahoo Small Business have them for as little as $20 per month.
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