When you’re starting a business, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed with the details. You have to worry about the products and services you are going to provide, as well as sales, the need for office space or a store front, and all of the paperwork it takes to get a business going and keep accurate files.
We aren’t talking about the physical tools right now, though. In the modern world, the tools you need to start a business are less tangible, but in some cases just as important.
Do you have a great website?
Even if you plan to open a store front in a small, word-of-mouth type town, you can’t operate in the modern business world without a great website. Your prospects may drive by your building and see your sign, but they will often want to learn more about you before they give you their patronage, and when they seek this information, they’ll head to the internet.
With the prevalence of review and opinion websites out there, chances are someone is going to talk about you. If you don’t have your own official website for your company, then the reviews will be the only thing prospective clients can find when they do the online search.
Now imagine a misunderstanding causes someone to post a bad review of your business. That bad review can end up taking the number one spot in the search engines, so that when someone goes online to learn about your business they get a message crafted by someone unhappy with their experience.
Create an official website when you start your business, though, and you’ll be the one in control of the message.
Are you incorporated?
You may think that crafting items in your home or providing on-site services is something you can do on a freelance basis without creating a business entity, but that’s far too risky a prospect to be practical for most businesses.
It’s incredibly easy these days to incorporate online, and the benefits cannot be overstated. When you form an LLC, for example, you legally separate your business assets from your personal ones. Though you are keeping your eye on success, it’s never a wise idea to jump without a net, and operating a business without incorporating is exactly that.
Keeping your business and personal holdings separate with the use of a business entity means that should the worst come to pass and your business fails or ends up on the wrong side of a legal battle, your home and property is protected. If you don’t make sure to have this type of legal separation, everything you own is legally tied to your business, and it all becomes fair game should you end up paying a settlement or filing for bankruptcy.
Do you need a registered agent?
The process of building a business will keep you busy, and if you are planning to operate in a state outside of the one in which you reside, forming your business may require quite a bit of travel, unless you obtain a registered agent.
A registered agent serves as your representative for out-of-state business operations. He or she stands in for you in all legal matters during the process of forming your business. Some may choose to let an employee or family member serve in this capacity, but a professional registered agent carries many more benefits.
These professionals are registered with the state and familiar with all of the legal wrangling it will take to protect your business operations outside of your home state.
When you are ready to start a business, the tools you need will be many, but with the right planning you can effectively and successfully meet your goals.