Know The Resources Your Business Has
Starting a new business is hard. According to Lending Tree, 20% of businesses will fail before the first year, and about 50% will fail by the fifth year. Most of the time, failure happens because new businesses don’t know some key element of running their business, most often the financial side. Bad money management is one of the top four reasons why businesses fail. Fortunately, there are resources that small businesses can get access to. Here are the most important ones.
According to Stapley Accounting, an accounting firm based in Cache Valley, Utah, accounting is one of the most important aspects of business management, yet the one that is least thought of by business owners. It’s a behind the scenes operation that never affects customers, but can make or break your business. Accounting is the process of calculating your company’s finances so you have a complete understanding of where your money is going, how much money is coming in, and what processes are most useful to your business. You need this information to make good business decisions.
Accounting can be difficult. It’s a lot of math, to be sure, but one also has to be good at analyzing the data and understanding what it means in context. It can be hard for someone who’s not trained in accounting to actually do it. Fortunately, there are plenty of accounting companies out there willing to offer their services to you. If you don’t have a head for it, or know someone who does, be sure to look for professional help.
What’s the difference between bookkeeping and accounting? A lot of people think they’re the same thing, but they’re not. According to Dragon Financial, a bookkeeping company based in Portland, Oregon, where accounting is about running the math and analyzing the data, bookkeeping is about organizing and storing the records. Both are important parts of the financial side of your business. A good bookkeeper helps you organize the data and makes sure it can be easily located and recalled. It’s no good having an accountant if he can’t find the data he needs to account for, right?
Bookkeeping can be easier to manage than accounting, but it can still be a problem for you if you aren’t good at organizing. Just as with accounting, there are bookkeeping companies that are willing to help you out. Many bookkeeping companies also manage accounting, so you can save a little money by hiring a company that does both.
3. Legal Resources
What sort of business are you running? Are you a partnership, an LLC, or something else entirely? Each type of business is taxed in its own way; do you know the details? What about trademarking business logos? Do you know how to do that? These and other concerns are things you should consider when starting a business. The legal world is a vast and complicated place where things that should be simple have twists and turns that are difficult to navigate.
There are plenty of legal resources to help you in this. You can find lawyers all over the place, but every lawyer has a specialty. The whole body of US law is too complicated for any single person to learn everything. When connecting with legal resources, make sure you’re looking for the right kind of lawyer.
4. Marketing Resources
Marketing seems simple at first glance. You have product/service, people want product/service, you tell people product/service exists. Only, it’s not. According to Atlas Internet Marketing, marketing has many facets to it. How you say something is more important than what you say. What medium you say it through – TV, radio, internet, etc. – makes a huge difference to what groups of people you reach. It’s not easy to get people’s attention. Even if you get their attention, how you go about it might be good for getting their interest.
Like all of the above, there are plenty of companies out there willing to help you. You should take time to find out what you can from marketing gurus on how to best approach the market you want a share of. Plan out who you’re trying to target so you know the best way to get them interested in what you have to offer.
Planning Is Everything
Jumping forward without a business plan is a great way to see your business implode before it even gets off the ground. It’s easy to start a business, but not so easy to run it. You need to be able to manage your finances, register your business type for tax purposes, and plan for how you will get your target market interested in what you’re selling. Without a plan, your business will quickly fail as you get crushed under the weight of a hundred little mistakes that all add up to a giant mess.
You’re not alone. There are plenty of companies out there with extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of running a business. They’ll be happy to provide you with insight and offer services to make sure it all gets done. You just have to know what’s out there. These four resources are most critical to getting a business started and there are lots of companies willing to help you out. So go out and see what resources are available. It will help you keep your business alive when others go the way of the dinosaurs.