Whether you’re migrating from employment to freelance or kick starting your game-changing idea, it’s easy to get ahead of yourself. It’s not as simple as quitting your job and filling out a few forms, there is a process you’re going to have to go through. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a complicated. As long as you have these 5 things in order, you can start your business tomorrow.
1. A Business Plan
Whether you’re dealing with banks, partners, or suppliers, you’re going to be asked for your business plan. This document gives a detailed overview of your business in three different sections. Your business concept explains what you want to do. The marketplace overview is where you identify your competitors, and demonstrate that there is demand for your product or service. Finally, the financial section highlights your resources and your projected income for the following year.
2. You’re Personal Finance
It’s hard for a new business to get credit. As the owner, you’re going to be asked to personally guarantee any business loans. You’ll want to take stock of all your assets and income. Are you receiving dividends, investment income, or payments from a reverse mortgage? Or will your only income be from your business? Take a detailed inventory and keep it with your business plan. Financial institutions want to see that you have your affairs in order.
3. Your Legal Obligations
Before you begin, you’ll want to speak with legal and financial professionals to make sure there are no contingencies with your plan. There are many regulations, licenses, and tax obligations that you may not be aware of. Failing to understand or follow these procedures could land you in trouble, or force you to face a stiff fine. Even if you didn’t intend to break the law, the courts expect business owners to do their research.
4. Your Schedule
Everyone has fantasised about quitting their 9 to 5 job and working for themselves. They imagine that they’ll be kicking back in a lawn chair and sipping cocktails by the early afternoon. But when you’re first starting a business, you’ll find that you are working a huge number of hours. This isn’t to say that it’s not rewarding, it’s just that you’ll be so aware of your obligations that it will be the only thing on your mind. Before you start your business, set a very clear schedule for yourself. This will prevent you from overbooking yourself, giving you time to enjoy the things that matter.
5. Your Business Relationships
Nobody can run a business on their own. Even if you don’t have a partner, you’re certainly going to be relying on professional contacts in some way. Before you jump head first into your business, now is the time to solidify these relationships. Get everything in writing, and work out all the details. The last thing that anyone wants is to start up a company, only to realise that one of the core components has just become more expensive, or more challenging. Even if you’re only getting a verbal confirmation, this is the perfect opportunity to double check your plan and make sure you can get all the wheels in motion.