Getting ready to start a new business? While the beginning of a new professional adventure is incredibly exciting, it's also important to make sure the vital details aren't lost in your enthusiastic rush to get started. Here are five things you must do when first getting your company off the ground:
1. Create a business plan
"A comprehensive business plan can convince potential investors."
A detailed, comprehensive business plan is the foundation of any new endeavor. Make sure you draft a document that lays out not only the concept for your business, but how you plan to approach everything from initial hires to dealing with expansion down the road. You should cover marketing ideas, target audience and profit projections in this document as well. Not only will this kind of plan give you a clear vision of how you want your business's future to go, it will also give you something to show potential employees and investors.
2. Register your business
In Canada, all new businesses need to be registered in their respective province. Learn what the rules and steps for registration are in your area, and get your business registered ASAP - delaying this could result in legal charges and hefty fees.
3. Purchase insurance
If you're planning on hiring anyone, you'll need to get a group insurance plan for your employees. These plans cover your employees' general health needs, and often include dental, death and dismemberment, travel and other forms of coverage. The right plan for you will depend on the size of your business and your employees' needs.
4. Get any needed permits
The nature of your business may require that you apply for permits or licenses before you begin working. Check the rules for your area - what applies in one province or city might not apply elsewhere. Like business registration, you must get this done before you start reaching out to customers - otherwise you may end up in legal trouble.
5. Record everything
Business owners are required to keep records for a certain period of time - usually six years - so that they can handle any discrepancies that show up down the line. Make sure you're holding on to any documentation of money coming into or going out of your business. This does more than simply making sure you're following the rules - it also can help you have a clear vision of how your business progresses over time.