Starting your own business is a big adventure. There are a lot of moving parts that need to come together so your newly created business can flourish—but there are fewer parts than you might think. Business gurus have created hundreds of to-do lists that can halt your progress in its tracks because they have too much fluff. Instead of bogging down your business with a lot of purchases and delays, get your business idea off the ground with the essentials, and nothing extra.
In this quick list, we'll look at business start up essentials and a couple of popular distractions that should wait.
1. Incorporate Your Business
Creating a business entity is crucial as it protects your personal finances, as well as the finances of anyone who's funding you. When you legally establish a separate business entity, it holds the liability and obligation for most financial debts and legal issues. So, if someone sues you or your business goes bankrupt, that will have much less effect on your assets than if you had a sole proprietorship.
As businesses get bigger, they incorporate and often become C Corps. But if you're just starting out, filling as an S Corp gives you similar protections and a much simpler financial structure.
2. Separate Your Personal and Business Finances
As you're building that business entity, start to separate your personal and business finances. This is crucial for every business. If you're bootstrapping with your own funds, having clean financial records makes it easier to file taxes, manage business expenses, and maximize your savings. If you have investors, separating your finances prevents any accusation of misappropriating the funds. In fact, many investors may require evidence of good bookkeeping before funding your venture.
3. Establish Your Website
Virtually every business needs a website. Whether you sell products or services online or not, a website performs these functions:
- Establishes your reputation
- Reaches new clients or prospects
- Allowsnew leads to research your brand
- Provides your contact information and business details
Networking is a business necessity, regardless of your industry or objective. If you have a funded startup, you and any other founders must constantly be networking, communicating with potential investors, and spreading the word about your idea. If you sell services, networking with adjacent business owners can help you build a professional network for referrals. All businesses also benefit from hosting community or charity events, being present in networking organizations, and otherwise making their brand name a known entity.
5. Non-Essentials That Can Get In Your Way
The "business essentials" you truly need are very rarely things—they're actions. But there's a lot of conflicting advice online, and many resources will tell you there are expensive purchases you need to make before you can really get started. However, that is not the case.
Here are three pricy "business essentials" that can wait. (In fact, you may never need them.)
Your Own Office Building
Today's businesses don't often need a conventional office workspace that you directly own or lease year after year. Startups and new businesses can thrive with hybrid office options that provide you and your team have a calm and engaging workspace without all the obligations of 9 to 5s and facility management. Many freelancers, contractors, and employees that you may hire will also prefer coworking spaces over traditional offices.
Instead of entering a lease, consider engaging in a subscription to hybrid workspaces in your neighborhood. You can test out different work arrangements, be flexible, and still have access to formal meeting rooms or private offices for professional meeting with clients.
1. A Full Staff of Employees
Hiring employees is expensive, and it can bulk up your company beyond what you can support. Instead, hire contractors or use virtual office services for reception, mail handling, organization, and other administrative tasks. Make your business as lean as possible so you can manage cash flow and turbulent revenue cycles more successfully.
2. A "Real" Business Structure
While creating a business entity is essential for taxes, legal liability, and finances, you don't need a business structure on top of that. A regimented org chart with a board of directors, leadership executives, and all the trappings that bigger businesses require won't help your business grow. It can even be a hindrance. Just be sure everyone on the team is aware of their responsibilities, and then you can operate fluidly.
Start Your Business With the Basics
By trimming down your to-do list for starting a business, you can get started faster. All you need is incorporation, a website, a few networking events on your calendar, and a hybrid office where you can get to work without distractions. Start by exploring your local options from Quest Workspaces. We have coworking spaces throughout New York City and Florida and each office is designed to help business owners like you enjoy coming into work.
Reach out today to arrange a tour or learn more about our spaces.