It’s National Small Business Week, which is something that causes two reactions around here. First, it is great to be a small business ourselves that is operating outside of a large corporate structure. Second, it is great to be able to help other small businesses succeed.
Last week, I wrote a good bit in this space to existing businesses about not allowing recordkeeping to lapse now that tax season is over. It is not always high on the list priorities for a small business owner, since their efforts are often better utilized in other aspects of the business. Since that time, the IRS has also chimed in with the kinds of records small businesses should keep. That’s a good place to start if you just want to know what you should be keeping and for how long. Just remember that being sure everything is recorded correctly is also key.
I want to steer away from existing businesses now, though, and use the spirit of the week to talk to those who want to start new businesses. This does not even have to be a huge thing, it can be a small side gig you do outside of your normal work hours. I would wager that most people give thought to some business idea along these lines at some point in their life.
The biggest roadblock to this can be time. If you already have a lot of commitments between work, family, hobbies, etc., it can be difficult to feel that you have the time necessary to make a new endeavor a success. I would remind you, though, that most of these ideas do not need to be huge (at least to start). Chances are you are having these thoughts because it’s something you WANT to do. It is possible that this could feel like another hobby – just one that can make you some money. So take stock of the things you do spend your time on. If you do have a schedule full of things you want to do more than pursue any business idea, great, you are living a fulfilling life. But if you do have a small amount of time and want to pursue it, that can be enough.
I say that can be enough because if you begin with the right mindset and planning your setup will free up some time. I think the right mindset is a combination of being prepared and not going at it alone. Preparation involves some simple questions (although the answers can be very difficult and call for deeper discussions than I can offer here) such as what service/good you are providing, who will want it, and how you are going to let them know you offer it. You must also be sure that the legal and financial pieces of it are set up correctly. It is much easier to do that at the start than to go back and try to clean up messes in the future.
Therein is where you should not start doing it alone. A little help with legally creating your entity comes with the comfort of knowing you did it right. A little help with best financial practices gives you a better chance to succeed and really know how things are going. If you’ve made it this far, hopefully you already feel that we will be on your side, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you want a little more guidance in getting off the ground.
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