• Succeeding in Business is Exciting — But First, the Basics

    Managing the intricacies of human capital reminds us that the challenges, successes, and even the setbacks we encounter every day can actually help prepare us for the obstacles to come — and nowhere is that more evident than when you’re starting your own business. Here are some essential steps to help you build a strong foundation for your new business.

    Taking on Accounting 

    Unless you have a penchant for numbers, accounting may be a dreaded task. Yet it is absolutely critical to the success of businesses of any size. As The Startup Garage explains, getting your accounting and bookkeeping tasks right from the start will create a solid foundation, including bill pay. 

    Much like with your personal budget, being able to track and pay your business bills on time will help you build credit and credibility with lenders, business partners, and more. To make short work of this task, invest in a powerful platform that will allow for batch processing for faster invoicing, automating and streamlining payments with custom reminders and one-click payments, and managing related workflows. 

    Building a Business Plan 

    Another key step in getting any business up and running is having a plan. Far too many businesses get launched without proper planning and preparation, meaning they’re most likely doomed from the start. If you want your business to thrive, a comprehensive plan backed by thorough training is critical; training ensures your staff feels valued, stays safe, handles equipment and procedures properly, and that they provide the best possible experience to your customers. 

    Also, one of the most crucial elements in any business plan involves developing a successful marketing strategy — and a great place to start is by designing a custom logo that represents your company and can become your digital footprint as your marketing efforts unfold. This is something that all your customers will see, so ensure that it stands out. Once you have a proper logo in place, you can then begin putting together a marketing campaign, whether it’s a simple social media blast or a full-blown video campaign. 

    Setting Up the Right Structure 

    Again, accounting and a proper plan can build the foundation for your new business. You also need to think about establishing the right business structure. A legal business structure is what determines how your startup is organized, the legal steps needed to set up and maintain that business, and various protections and tax benefits. 

    Of the most common small business structures, many entrepreneurs tend to choose either a sole proprietorship or an LLC in Virginia. Each comes with unique potential benefits and drawbacks, so you should think carefully about which structure best protects and serves your business. 

    Finding Sources of Startup Funding 

    This is another money matter that can be a little challenging for entrepreneurs. If you want some tips for padding your bank account and getting the funds you need without relying on loans or investors, you can take measures that range from selling at local flea markets to enlisting the help of friends and loved ones. 

    Brex notes that there are also other options for getting the funds your new business needs. You could look into SBA loans and loans from private lenders, but you’ll need to pay attention to things such as your debt-to-income ratio and credit score to get a good rate. Also, while you’ll get a more affordable loan through private lenders, remember that these are often much more difficult to obtain. Or, you can connect with a business partner or investor. You may be surprised how common it is for wealthy people to invest in new businesses — especially when they can tell the founder has done their homework. 

    Remember, with the proper planning and preparation — not to mention hard work and confidence in what you have to offer — there’s nothing your business can’t achieve! 

    Network with your fellow local entrepreneurs by joining the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce.

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