With the calendar turning to 2016, people around the globe have begun to settle on New Year’s resolutions that they will make to either start doing something to improve their lives or to quit something that’s been hindering them. What better time than the beginning of a new year for entrepreneurs to actually put their money where their mouths are and finally launch a formal business venture they’ve been thinking about for a long time?
If this describes you, consider these New Year’s resolution ideas for 2016 in which you can go from “aspiring entrepreneur” to “successful business owner”:
1. Develop a formal business plan.
When asked about how they’ve achieved success, many small business owners quickly point to the thorough business plans that they took the time to clearly lay out prior to taking the plunge into small business ownership. A business plan should consist of a list of specific business goals, why these goals are attainable, and specific steps on how they can be reached. Business plans should also include a section with financial information about how much money is needed for the small business, along with strategically conceived profit projections. (See “How to Effectively Craft a Top-Notch Business Plan” for more on writing a business plan.)
2. Search high and low for business funding.
It’s critical to have enough working capital in the beginning. So make a concerted effort to locate the funding you’ll need to succeed. Consider these strategies:
- Personal funding: If you have money in your personal bank account that is not just a safety net, consider using some of it to fund your startup.
- Borrowing money: Business loans can be obtained from a bank, the Small Business Administration, and through other direct lenders. The key is to have good personal and business credit, which can take time to build up over time.
- Angel investors: Crafting a top-notch business plan with solid profit projections is the most effective way to secure angel investors in the early stages of a business.
- Crowdfunding: Kickstarter and Indiegogo are just a few sites that help entrepreneurs present their ideas to the world in hopes of finding interested investors.
3. Establish an LLC or corporation.
If you’ve done some work as an entrepreneur on the sole proprietor rung of the ladder, it’s time to move on up. Establish a formal legal business entity for your endeavor. You could choose to open a limited liability company (LLC), an S corporation, or a C corporation. Dressing up your business so that it is more formal – and official – can lead to more credibility, tax benefits, limited liability, and an overall improved image for future success.
4. Surround yourself with the right resources & people.
The nice thing about occupying a spot in the small business landscape is that there is a lengthy list of resources designed to support those in pursuit of the American dream. It’s essential to research these resources to find out which ones can benefit you the most. Many business services are free or quite inexpensive. First-time small business owners have to endure many unexpected twists and turns, so having a support team of experts around you is a must. It’s also wise to have a mentor, along with employees or contractors who can assist you in the areas you are not as adept at handling. Entrepreneurs who move mountains in the future always point to the people who have helped them along the way.
For all of your small business startup, accounting, and IRS compliance needs, turn to the accounting experts at 1-800Accountant today. Call the national tax and business consulting firm at 1-800-222-6868 or visit www.1-800Accountant.