You may think starting a business is just coming up with a great idea, determining a product or service, and offering it to your potential customers. Can I tell you a secret?
I thought the same thing when I started my first business over fifteen years ago. Sadly, I made some terrible mistakes along the way.
That’s why I am here to tell you about my experience, and the journey I took when I started my ventures. It is possible that after reading this article, you will learn from those of us who have stumbled along the way and prepare yourself to avoid making the same mistakes.
- Speak to a lawyer: When I started my first business, I assumed I didn’t need to hire a lawyer. I now understand that this is a big mistake that many entrepreneurs make. It is important to meet with an expert who can explain the legalities, liabilities and/or implications of starting a business, registering a trademark, closing a franchise agreement, or simply signing a business contract. Having an attorney by your side would not only save you money, but also avoid many pitfalls.
- Get financial advice: Even if you are starting with very little capital, it is critical to obtain advice from a financial expert to ensure that your money is invested in the most significant parts of your business. They can also draft a financial plan including a timeline with your goals in mind, which will help with keeping you accountable. Not having a business or financial plan at the start of a business is one of the causes of why business fail and end in bankruptcy.
- Salary: Don’t think twice about it. Speak to an accountant to include you in your business payroll and assign yourself a reasonable salary. It will prevent you from taking money from the business to pay your bills. It’s also important to remember not to mix personal finances with business finances.
I am sure there are many other aspects to consider, such as developing a good sales strategy, building a team, and educating yourself in the specific industry that interests you. However, the three I listed above are the most common ones that almost every entrepreneur overlooks, either because they think they don’t need them or they assume that professionals are too expensive. Believe me, it is way more expensive to see your entrepreneurial dream fade away.
So take action and consider implementing these 3 simple tips. They will save you from some scary experiences or a potential failure in the future.