The Ten Things New Business Needs
By: Kevin Tien Phan, Golden Shield
Taking the initial step into self-employment is already a major milestone in life. The stability of the monthly salary is usually the biggest barrier in opening a business. However, starting off the wrong ways will tend to stick with the business and becomes a norm that may be quite challenging to fix over time. There are so many moving parts in opening a business, and this list will go over the Ten Basic Things a Business Needs during startup.
- Fictitious Business Name Filing: This is a “Doing Business As” name filed with the Sacramento County so Businesses can look professional and also accept Payments with its Business Name rather than an individual. Customers may question making payments to individuals.
- Business License: Filed with the City to get permission to open that specific type of Business.
- Business Insurance: Protection is one of the most common overlooked topic of all. Business Insurance should be purchased before the business opens, rather than after. Business Insurance protects the owner’s Business Personal Property and against frivolous lawsuits.
- Business Cards & Marketing Materials: A new business should always have business cards to pass out and a new marketing campaign to bring in new customers. Owners should hire a professional to design and print these materials rather than making it from home.
- Business Website: Consumers today are very conscious about who they do business with, mainly for a sense of safety and security. Consumers tend to check out the business’ online presence before doing business with them. And a business without a website is similar to a business without a physical location. Hire a professional to design and host the website rather than doing it by yourself. It may look unprofessional and tacky, hurting the business in the long run.
- Online Media Presence: The world is becoming smaller and consumers refer a lot of business to friends and family online. Having an online Media presence is another avenue to advertise. Start a Facebook Page, a LinkedIn account, a Google Plus page, etc., will help promote your business in many ways. Especially being actively engaging with these online hubs will show your business’ expertise and credibility.
- Professional E-mail Address: Most new business owners tend to have a generic free e-mail account. That may not be a big deal until you land on a bigger customer who judges the business’ professionalism by their e-mail address. According to Google’s Survey, businesses who switched from personal generic e-mail addresses to a professional one under their domain increased 60% in customer engagement and 42% in sales.
- Business Phone: A cell phone seems to be a simple solution to communicate with customers in the beginning. But business owners should also consider a dedicated business line as well. That way when they are ready to hire a dedicated front desk assistant, customers are already calling the right number, rather than having their cell phone blow up and constantly having to forward the calls to their assistant at the business line.
- Business Consultant: Business owners tend to have a passion in something they want to offer. They love what they do or sell, but forget that there is a whole business side as well. Such including business structure, employment, marketing, advertising, legal contracts, and so much more. Business owners should focus on their talent, and hire someone who is talented on consulting and providing guidance to business owners.
- Office Space: Having a dedicated professional office will make the difference between a sale or not. Meeting someone at your home is not only unprofessional, but also risky. Meeting at a coffee shop or donut shop can only go so far. Even if business owners have to rent Shared Office space for 10 days per month costing less than $200, it will get more sales than not having one.