I remember the day I left my full time job to invest in myself. That day there was as much fear in me as the will to be my own boss. I was not sure how I would end up, but I definitely knew where to begin. It helped being a CPA and having helped many other business owners realize their dreams. Here are seven steps that are very vital for the success of your business.1. Business Plan.
To get the ball rolling you will need a business plan. It does not have to be an elaborate description of every aspect of your business. It should serve as a guide for you to see the big picture. You will modify this many times in the years to come as the economy and the demand for your product or service changes.2. Budget.
Make sure you set forth your expectations clearly in your initial budget. You should clearly define each class of expense and assign maximum allowed expenses. You should also check your actual expenses on a monthly basis and compare it to the budget. Set milestones and keep a regular check. Make modifications in your budget as needed.3. Initial Financing.
It takes money to make money. You should plan on having either personal funds or pre-approved initial financing for your business. The best way to obtain this is to talk to your CPA or bank. Your CPA may have business contacts that you might be able to tap into. 4. Recordkeeping.
It is very important to have a good set of books and records. Plan on attending seminars at your local colleges or Chamber of Commerce on how to set up your books. Good software like QuickBooks should help. QuickBooks also has a free edition called “Simple Start” to get you started. Get advice from your financial advisor or CPA on what software will suit your business. Well-kept records can save you money near the tax season.5. Advertising.
The best way to get attention is to make your business known to many. One-on-one networking is the best form of advertising. Joining local networking groups might pay off very well and help you make some good contacts. Summer is the best time to network, especially at local fairs. Make sure you carry a lot of business cards and hand them generously to as many people as you can. Initially this is where most of your money should be spent, especially in the first few years.6. Selling.
No matter what you sell, customer service is what will make or break you. Make sure that you work on customer satisfaction and make it one of the top priorities. Clients tend to associate a good business with the level of customer satisfaction they receive. The key is to deliver the same product as your competitor but with superior customer service.7. Accounting and Taxes.
Another very important step is having the right professional to guide you on how to maximize your profits by setting up the right company structure. Interview a few accountants before you make a decision.
Business ownership is a combination of hard work and commitment. It requires a lot or perseverance but the journey is worth the destination. You will make many mistakes along the way. The key is to learn from them and come up with a better strategy to deal with the same situation. It worked for many and it can work for you too. You just have to believe in yourself. Jatinder Singh is a Certified Public Accountant and owner of Account Vision, LLC located in Marlton, New Jersey. She is also Treasurer of the New Jersey Society of CPAs Southwest Jersey Chapter. Jatinder can be reached by calling (856) 383-1446 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at www.accountvision.net. As seen in Camden County Woman and Burlington County Woman