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If you’re starting a new business, you will quickly become aware that there is a tremendous amount to take care of. Business owners’ hours quickly climb tens of hours per week above the national average, though luckily for most business owners, the passion they feel for their project makes time fly. However, it’s important for the future of any company that when it starts, it has everything it needs in place. Use this checklist to make sure you’ve thought of everything.
You can’t make bank without a bank account – make sure you set up a business account with a bank that understands how much you expect to make in the first year, as well as how you are going to receive payments. Make sure you have a good idea about your cash flow and communicate this to your bank.
You need to check up on your cash flow regularly and update your bank if anything changes so that they can more easily pick up suspicious activity and fraudulent transactions. It’s a good idea for you too, so that you can make sure that your customers are paying you and also to identify any cost-cutting opportunities.
You will likely be aware of the essential tech you need in order to get your company going, but you should not tread lightly when planning your cybersecurity. 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, as they often have an attractive amount of data with very little security in place.
There are good cybersecurity practices that you should implement, and you can also get a hardware appliance that takes care of issues such as firewalls and VPNs – see checkpointdirect.co.uk for small-business cybersecurity appliances in more detail.
It can be incredibly tempting to let the brand evolve as your business evolves, but not having a brand strategy can be a killer for both B2C and B2B companies alike.
The basics of branding involve detailed customer/target audience research, understanding which problems your customers face and how you can solve them on several levels, including psychologically. For example, with Vue cinemas’ rebrand in 2015, they identified that deep down, users wanted some respite from the world of constant multi-tasking; once they positioned themselves as a brand that got viewers lost in entertainment instead of their phones, they accounted for 80% of the UK’s cinema growth. They found a place for cinema in the age of streaming. Thought-through branding gets results.
It is very easy to put off accountancy. What starts with a couple of receipts can build into a massive collection of paperwork that can be very hard to deal with. It’s best to sort out your accountancy immediately, creating a database of invoices, payments, cash purchases and receipts (including petty cash). You should file invoices properly so that you can access them easily – separated into categories such as bills, payments, supplier payments and cash purchases.
If you are using an online accountancy tool, you should update it regularly. If you use a brick-and-mortar accountant, you should prepare and send all paperwork as promptly as you can. This serves the additional benefit of informing you of any potential cash-flow issues.