Entrepreneurs are consummate go-getters with innovative ventures ready for consumers. However, there are six important factors they need to know about including business classifications, insurance, taxes, and branding. An essential step is to put the vision in a well-developed business plan. Completing other documents such as a SWOT analysis and strategic goals is also a prudent decision. They will bolster the blueprint further with intricate details about the competition, consumer markets, and growth strategies. Here is a synopsis of each area with rationales and suggestions to consider.
Type of business classification
There are five distinct business structures to choose from. They are sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, S corporation, and LLC (Limited Liability Corporation). Each has specific tax and liability burdens that affect daily operations. Regardless of the one chosen, it will have to be registered with the Secretary of State where the main or registered office is located. The business plan will flesh out the appropriate status to pursue based on the model and mission of the enterprise. Choose wisely so resources are used accordingly.
Tax filings with local, state, and federal governments are a critical function that demands attention to detail. Hiring a single employee to be responsible or contracting an outside firm are options that ensure dedicated assets are in place to meet this requirement. Weighing the cost factor against projected budgets generally dictate the best fit for each entrepreneur. Be prepared to file quarterly and pay estimated taxes based on unexpected revenue growth from the previous year.
Adherence to a broad and diverse set of mandates will include having the necessary insurance in place at all time during operations. The business structure plays a role in the type(s) of business insurance needed. For example, workman’s comp and unemployment insurance is required for all entities with employees regardless of the structure. Liability and bonds are more coverage that may be needed for theft and damage in both personal and property loss scenarios. If benefits will be provided to employees, packages will need to be addressed. Partnering with a reputable insurance broker that has experience and comprehensive plans would be the best approach.
Developing and establishing your brand
Entrepreneurs rightfully want to be the hottest commodity in the market. To attain this status will require building a reputable brand. With the advent of social media and the ubiquitous internet, branding any business is easier than ever. Creating a logo, letterhead, slogan, and more can be implemented seamlessly to raise awareness and visibility about what you have to offer consumers. This is true for both B2B and B2C companies. The most effective method is to hire a savvy professional to cover all ecosystems. This will include a website and accounts on every popular social media outlet. Most are free with Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and others providing a built-in, affordable advertising platform. This responsibility can also be outsourced, but financial capital is finite and demands wise stewardship so decide carefully.
Know your competition
The SWOT analysis mentioned earlier will provide an in-depth review of the competition, market landscape, and other critical variables that can be used to navigate to success. S stands for strengths, which is what your business model brings to the table. W is for weaknesses that require special attention until strength is achieved. O covers the opportunities available as it highlights the weaknesses of the competitors. T reviews the threats that must be overcome in your specific niche and the broader industry where the business operates. It will clearly denote areas to develop and those where you do and can excel. This audit should be performed initially with the business plan and at least every five years when the strategic goals are being drafted.
Understanding market trends
This is a make-it or break-it factor that all entrepreneurs try to harness. It commands the business sense to blend with the initial passion for starting down this career path. Several solutions are available with the potential to position companies as leaders and influencers. Content marketing is one of those solutions and not just a buzz phrase that can be used as a weapon that delivers sustainable growth. It also elicits periods of viral consumer engagement. Strategies will include working with mixed-media outlets especially the digital medium. The established branding guidelines will drive presentation, timing, and audiences targeted by this resource.
Prepared entrepreneurs will excel in garnering market share and growing revenue and profits. This review facilitates the process by covering the important elements such as insurance and tax mandates to ensure compliance at all times. Once these objectives are accomplished, the sky is the limit.