Taking the leap to entrepreneurship is exciting, motivating, and empowering—especially if you lost your job recently due to COVID-19. While it’s a great career move, it’s not without challenges. Be sure to map out some key steps, such as what business structure to set up, how to find office space, and how to afford your launch.
Business structure options
For entrepreneurs who are setting up a business for the first time, it’s important to know the different types of business structures. Many new business owners will set up an LLC, which can make taxes more simple and straightforward. Understanding tax differences between business structures can be complex; for help with tax services, companies such as Reckenen can be major time-savers for entrepreneurs.
Depending on your business type and whether you’re going at it alone or with a partner, you may want to set up a sole proprietorship or partnership. However, an LLC would allow you to take advantage of the benefits of both the corporation and partnership business structures, and has the added bonus of protecting you from personal liability in case your company faces bankruptcy or a lawsuit. Do some research on all business structure types before committing to one for your company.
Regardless of your business type, you’ll need to adopt some basic technology to make it all happen. A laptop or desktop computer is necessary for virtually all companies in order to communicate with customers and handle business operations. You’ll also want to invest in a smartphone that can allow you to keep in touch with clients and monitor your business. And, consider installing software that can help with tasks such as accounting or inventory tracking.
One key element of a successful business is finding the right office or work space. For some businesses, this can be as simple as a desk, chair, laptop, and internet connection. However, if you’re planning on having inventory, seeing clients, or providing services, you’ll need to think bigger.
If you’re starting your business at home, aim to have a separate room for your office. This is especially important for people who have family members at home; working alongside your kid who is playing video games could be very distracting, so see if you can take over a spare bedroom, or consider renovating an attic or basement to establish some office space.
If you plan to see clients, it’s important to have either a separate entrance in your home office, or find office space you can rent somewhere outside your home. There are coworking spaces in almost every city that have great amenities for short-term use, available to rent either by the hour or day. If you know you’ll be seeing clients regularly, it might be worth looking into costs for weekly use.
Costs of launching
Typically, setting up a business can require some funding. If you’re struggling with coming up with the initial start-up costs, consider applying for financial help from government loans or grants. Options include the SBA Express Bridge Loans and Main Street Business Lending Program. There are also non-government options including corporate grants and lending programs, so do some research and see what you may qualify for.
Business growth research
The momentum and excitement of starting a business will eventually wear off, which is why it’s important to learn about business growth. Along with financial assistance, do some research on how to run your business virtually—vital skills to learn in the age of COVID-19. It’s also important to discover ways to adapt your business to operate during the pandemic, whether it’s adopting strict health guidelines for in-person meetings or facilitating contact-free sales for customers.
When you’re ready to start your own business, be sure to follow these tips for a successful launch. Determine what business structure is best, acquire the right technology, and find a functional office space. Be sure to look into financial assistance options if funding is tight, and remember to look ahead and plan for the future even in the early days of your business.
Content provided by Jim McKinley
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