When You Are Starting a Business, Don’t Forget These Little Things That Make a Big Difference
Whether you are starting your first business or your tenth, there will always be a handful of things that fly under the radar. You simply can’t account for everything on day one. Sometimes, you just have to launch even if there are things you know you have to get done in the process. The goal is to be sure to get all the big things done and make sure the little things that are left over are small enough to manage as you go. It doesn’t always work out that way. But that is always the goal.
Sometimes, even the big things fall apart at the last minute. You thought you had all the financing in order and a loan didn’t come through, or the money is late hitting your account. That might mean that the sign above the door doesn’t light up because you can’t pay the electrician to do the wiring. The internet connection is down and you have to do all transactions by hand with a manual credit card reader. You are going to have to figure it out because it is too important for your business. Then, there are the little things that might not seem like a big deal but make a difference in the long run. Here are a few of those little things you don’t want to forget:
All Regulatory Paperwork
It is easy to get your business started without all the regulatory paperwork. It is very unlikely anyone from the city is going to immediately come by and check to see that all of your licensing is in order. It could happen. It is just unlikely. Sometimes you might not know how to apply for certain licenses or if your business needs a particular license.
Do you have an employer ID number? Do you need one? There is a good chance you will need to apply for an EIN if you have an LLC,, partnership, or C-Corp. What about a sole proprietorship? It might depend on the particular jurisdiction where you do business.The first time you realize you need an EIN might be when you try to apply for a service that requires it. Some credit card processing services require an EIN. Suddenly, you have to scramble to get something that you should have had from the beginning. Once the local government does get around to discovering you, the lack of an EIN could prove to be a very expensive oversight.
In some ways, your brand is your business. That becomes more true the bigger and more established you get. For that to happen at all, it has to start early. Don’t forget to design your brand. You do that by making intentional decisions about your brand as early as possible. At some point, you are going to need a logo. That is the sort of thing you should start working on the moment you have your business name. The name and the logo should be a matched pair. You should not be able to think of one independent of the other.
Branding is not just about names and logos. It is also about reputation. Every bad customer interaction can potentially become a part of your brand. You don’t want to be known as unprofessional, clueless, or rude. It doesn’t take long before your brand is not something you control, but is something controlled by others.
Printed business cards are so old-fashion, they’re new again. Despite our advances in communication, there is still no better way to pass along your contact information than just handing it to them on something tangible and permanent. How do you tell someone where to find your website? No matter how short and pithy the URL, they will forget it. They will not stop to write down your business name and phone number. Even if they want to do business with you, they will forget your information. Give them something physical to refer to and some percentage of those cards will bring you new business. They are inexpensive, fast, and effective.
No matter how many businesses you have, there are always things left out, or left to the last minute. Make sure you don’t forget to file all of your regulatory paperwork, mind your branding, and secure a way to quickly share your business information to potential customers.