For any business to grow sustainably, beginning with a strong foundation is crucial. This involves business goals, financing details, marketing strategy, and more. If your company is already established but you ignored some important details, it’s not too late to reorganize. If your business consists of you and a home office, but if you’re thinking about expanding, now is the time to set up these processes so everything flows smoothly when things get more complex. Here are just a few of the foundation building blocks you might want to consider as your business grows.
Think About When to Incorporate
Does your state allow delayed filing?
Many states provide the option of filing paperwork ahead of time and requesting an effective date in the future, such as January 1st. Choosing the first of the year makes tax time a bit easier, especially if you’re changing your business entity type. If you change the entity in the middle of the year, you will have to file two tax returns that year.
Plus, if you want to request a date early in the year, by filing a couple months beforehand, you will miss the busy time for state offices in early January. Each state has different requirements for how soon you’re able to turn in the paperwork for a delayed filing, but this is often one to three months in advance.
Define Clear Goals
Many people are hesitant about setting clear goals, partly due to a fear of failing, and partly because many do not know what really is achievable in a given period of time. It’s not the end of the world if those first goals are not achieved, it just means you’re learning what is possible and in what time frame.
This whole process makes it easier to measure progress and improve processes along the way.
- State clearly what you want to achieve. For example, if you want to increase revenue, state the exact amount you want.
- Determine an exact date to achieve this by. Make it challenging but make it believable and possible. Then set milestones. If you miss important milestones, change the deadline.
- List everything you need to achieve the goal, including as many small steps as you can think of. Prioritize.
- Write everything down.
- Do something on this list every day if possible.
Put Systems in Place, Especially for Employees
When you’re ready to hire employees, having systems for them to follow is essential so they always know what to do and when it should be done. Online tools that tasks can be created in for each team member are useful with notifications and reminders. Shared calendars, progress reports, and even reward systems for everyone including yourself will keep the business moving forward. Integrate automation wherever possible to decrease costs and improve efficiency.
Prepare a Backup Cashflow Solution
One of the biggest problems small businesses face is a lack of funding and cash flow. Lenders are not always keen on funding small businesses because of a lack of credit history and simply the fact that they’re not worth the risk because the bank makes more money lending to larger entities.
Your business is much more likely to be approved for a credit line when you don’t really need the funding. A business that is desperate for cash does not look good to banks or alternative lenders. See if you qualify for a loan or credit line today.
Don’t Forget About Marketing
Without marketing, people won’t ever know about your business. Unless you have an incredible website that is already ranking on Google search for all the terms you could ever want, marketing by attending trade shows, networking in the local area, and developing digital strategies are necessary for continued growth and staying ahead of your competitors.
If you don’t have time to do this yourself, hire a professional advertising agency to handle it for you, so you can stick to what you know best – your business.
Gather a Reliable Team
You may not be ready for employees yet, but having a team in place to take care of details you don’t have time for is necessary to ensure the backend of things is taken care of in the best way possible.
- Create a relationship with a lawyer to review contracts and for the “just in case” scenarios.
- Get in touch with an accounting firm that is well versed in small business tax strategy and knows how to keep your books precisely in line with the changing laws while saving you as much money as possible.
With these beginning steps in your small business foundation taken care of carefully and thoughtfully, you will be well on your way to profitable and continued future growth.