How to Launch Your Dream Business
Owning your own business is one of the most rewarding career paths you can follow. More and more young people are seeing the benefits of self-employment, and over 62% of Millennials have considered starting their own business, with 72% feeling that startups and entrepreneurs are a necessary economic force for creating jobs and driving innovation. Starting a business takes hard work, dedication and maybe even a few sleepless nights, but the satisfaction of running your own profitable company is incredibly powerful.
No matter your idea, there are plenty of tools and resources to help you start your dream business—and keep it growing—if you know where to look. For many budding entrepreneurs, credit unions can be an irreplaceable partner when starting a small business.
WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN
So you’ve got an idea, but how’s it going to work? Writing a business plan is the first step in starting your own business. A good business plan explains your company, where you are, and where you intend to go. It should be a roadmap to guide you and lure potential investors, employees, and even enterprise clients that will put you on the map.
REGISTER AND STRUCTURE YOUR BUSINESS
Before you start bringing in revenue, you need to register your business, determine its legal structure, and obtain tax identification. You can easily register your business name and receive a tax ID with your state government. To determine your business’ structure, you need to choose between a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation. Don’t be afraid to consult a local business expert or accountant to determine what’s best for you and your business.
THE FUNDING CONUNDRUM
Whether or not to seek out a business partner or investors for your big idea is a dilemma that every new business owner faces. There are pros and cons to both. While investors will help give you the capital and resources to get your business off the ground, it also means you will have less of an ownership stake in your company. For many startups, those concerns are offset by the promise of financial stability and actually seeing your business launch.
TAKE OUT A SMALL BUSINESS LOAN
If you don’t want to take on investors, you should look for small business loans. Whether you’re just launching or want a bigger piece of the market, a small business loan can be just what you need to start or scale your dream company. These loans are incredibly versatile and can help you purchase equipment, supplies, or real estate (or really anything you need!). If you’re having trouble finding a loan from a bank, credit unions typically tend to be more flexible and willing to invest in small businesses. There are lots of types of loans out there so make sure you speak to creditable loan officer to find the perfect loan in line with your business plan.
NETWORK WITH OTHER ENTREPRENEURS
Get out and meet your fellow local entrepreneurs. They know the ins and outs of filing out all the government and financial paperwork, where to set up shop, and how to market your product. Entrepreneurs want to help other startups bloom and can be a key knowledge resource when starting a business from scratch. No matter your location, there are often groups dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs, like Philly Startup Leaders.
OPEN A BUSINESS CHECKING ACCOUNTS WITH A DEBIT CARD
Running a small business requires materials to make or offer your unique good or service. Get your company off to a strong start with an exclusive business checking account that comes with a responsive debit card. A good business checking account needs to be flexible, accessible, and trustworthy. If you can, look for a checking account for your business that doesn’t have any fees or penalties. You can usually open a free business checking account with just $25.
Today’s small business owners are spoiled with organizational apps and software to help manage and run everyday operations. Workflow tools like Asana, Basecamp, and Slack make it easy to see projects through, while Salesforce is great at managing marketing and sales. On the accounting side, FreshBooks, SpendWise, and others are essential for tracking spending and revenue, administering payroll, managing invoices and orders, and corralling annual taxes.
FIND A (COLLABORATIVE) SPACE
Plenty of small business start out of a spare bedroom or a garage, but eventually you’ll need to find some legroom with a storefront, office, or workshop. Most small business owners prefer to rent a commercial space while they launch. Speak to a local real estate agent to find the perfect spot for your company and make sure it has all the amenities and utilities your business requires.
If that’s not for you, many fresh entrepreneurs choose to rent a co-working space. These innovative shared office spaces offer flexible rental plans, organic networking, conference rooms and built-in utilities, and hip, modern design. WeWork has locations in cities across the world, but nearly every city is home to its own unique and independent co-working spaces.
GET YOUR BUSINESS TAXES IN ORDER
Paying taxes may not be any small business owner’s favorite activity, but it is essential to running a successful and solid company. Small businesses have their own specific tax rules and vary in every city and state. Consult a local accountant who specializes in small business taxes to make sure you’re in compliance with the law. Most importantly, make sure you set aside money for taxes all year long so they don’t sneak up on you in April!
EARN CAPITAL WITH HIGH YIELD BUSINESS SAVINGS
Stack that cash! Let your profits grow with a high yield business savings account. And here’s a tip: Business money market savings accounts from credit unions offer higher returns than anything you’d earn at a bank.
These accounts are important to maximizing your money and reaching your financial goals. Be sure you find a place where you can easily access your account so your assets are always within reach. Opening an account is easy and only requires a small minimum deposit to start earning interest.
No one says starting your own small business is easy, but you can achieve your dreams with smart financial decision-making and some amazing resources that can usually be found around the corner. If you bring the passion, there are plenty of people and tools there to help you create your very own small business. Contact American Heritage Credit Union if you have questions about small business banking!