Our family recently welcomed the new addition of a bouncing, bubbly baby boy! It was such a joyous moment to behold that tiny face with big brown eyes. Most people love new baby arrivals, but the process of before and after tend to be downplayed. Every mother has a pre- and post-labor experience because it’s part of a proper foundation. However, the experience can vary based upon a number of factors. Much like the birthing process, here are some practical steps to start a brand, new business.
1. Preparing for Conception: The SBA reports that 95% of new businesses fail in the first five years. Most likely, the failure largely resulted in a plan that went wrong. Feasibility analysis is a very critical step that can save you time and money. This process helps you to vet that you have a viable plan. It’s important to scrutinize your idea, marketplace sector, management team, and financial projections in order to detect possible pitfalls. This will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to modify your business, stop before your start or move forward full speed ahead. Simply, is this a “go or no go?”
2. Preparing for Arrival: If you’ve given the business concept a green light, then it’s time to establish the plan. A business plan is a living, breathing document that should be updated during the business life cycle. Your business plan is a tool to help you outline financial information, organized facts, future activities and communication sources for potential investors or bankers.
3. Creating The Right Environment: Your business structure provides protection, governs operating guidelines and regulates taxation requirements. There are various options of legal structures and one size does not fit all. You need to identify the best legal structure for this phase of your business. Your structure could change as your business expands.
4. Making Sound Financial Decisions: It’s extremely important to understand the numbers behind your business. Many times business owners confuse the movement of money with profit. The only way to truly understand the financial condition of your business is through proper accounting. It’s important to have a systematic infrastructure for tracking income, expense, assets, liability and equity. Your accounting system allows you to make informed business decisions and is a tool for present and future tax planning. Business owners are sometimes shocked by yearly tax results because of failure to execute the right plan.
5. Getting To The Real Work: Some business owners plan, plan and…plan some more! However, if you don’t ever get started then you’ll get stuck in “the process of planning” and never advance to the next phase. Determine what steps you should take daily, monthly and yearly to achieve the desired goals in the business plan. As a general rule, always start before you’re ready. The operative word–START!
6. Scheduling Regular Checkups: Just as newborns have well-baby checkups, so should your business. If the steps you’re taking aren’t yielding the desired goals then you have to change your steps. Working in the business is different than working on the business. This could be an ideal time to allow mentors, advisors, board members or trusted individuals inside of the nursery room of your business. Sometimes you need midwives to help bring your business vision to life and to ensure a healthy delivery.
Keep your eyes open and push!
Marquita Miller is the founder and CEO of Five Star Tax and Business Solutions— a full service accounting firm in Kansas City, Missouri. A small business expert contributor on CBS & FOX morning shows, Miller is a published author, business strategist, motivational speaker and well known advocate for entrepreneurship. A recipient of Kansas City’s Influential Woman and Woman Who Means Business award, Miller is also a conference speaker and workshop facilitator for TD Jakes Ministries. www.marquitamiller.com. Twitter:@MarquitaMMiller Facebook: Marquita M Miller