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Every year in the U.S., roughly 600,000 new businesses open. One thing they all have in common – whether their Walmart, Amazon, or your local drug store – is they all had to deal with a lot of the same issues when they started.
Before you officially open for business, there is a lot to get done and a lot of questions to get answered. We’ve gathered 10 tips to help any first-time entrepreneur in Arkansas get their business started.
You may want to devote all of your time to your new venture but abandoning your current job to focus on the new business isn’t a smart financial decision.
It may be a while before your new business actually makes any profits. Being employed while you’re getting started will allow you to have money in your pocket to pay the bills and invest in the new business.
Starting a new business is going to be a lot of work and a good amount of stress. Having a support system in place will go a long way in helping you find success.
Having a family member or friend that you can bounce ideas off of or vent to about the latest crisis is a must-have. Having someone with experience to talk through problems with and provide guidance is invaluable. Find someone in your industry, through a social media group or local meetings, that has already been through the start-up process, who can serve as a mentor.
It’s unfortunate, but a lot of the time, once you’ve decided to start a business you can’t just go out and start selling things.
It’s best to contact your Secretary of State's office to find out if there are forms you need to file. If you're selling products, you’ll likely need a vendor’s license. You'll also need to register to collect and submit sales tax. If you have employees, you'll need to register to withhold and submit income taxes to the state and the federal government.
One great resource for helping get the word out about your new business is to contact your local Chamber of Commerce. Many offer business classes and resources to help get your venture off the ground. There are also often opportunities to network with other local business owners, advertising opportunities, and information about local events you may want to be involved with.
Even after doing plenty of research, you’re not going to be an expert on every aspect of business. If you’re not a bookkeeper, hire one. If you don’t know how to write up a contract or legal document, hire a lawyer.
When it comes to tax season, even if you’ve been doing your own personal taxes for years, it would be smart to hire a CPA. Even if your business is simple and you can handle the returns yourself using a program like TurboTax, it would be wise to initially hire a professional to make sure you know everything you need to know.
No matter what your business provides, be it a product or service, you are the face of the brand, its steward. That means for every interaction you have, whether it’s talking to clients, giving an interview, posting on social media, or having dinner with friends, your words and actions can have a major impact on your business.
From the way you dress to the things you say and what you post on social media, conveying yourself in a serious manner will similarly convey that you are running a professional business.
Set up a business phone number, a business email, and business cards. And above all else, always be courteous, treating everyone like a potential customer or client.
It’s a fact of life for all of us, including in business; failures happen. The only thing to do is to turn those failures into learning opportunities. Recognize that setbacks actually present you with chances that you wouldn’t otherwise have if everything had gone as planned and make the most of them.
While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how many business owners started their business out of their personal bank account. Before you get your business going, set up a separate business banking account. You can find information about RiverWind Business accounts here.
Your business is important, but so is the rest of your life. Throwing all of your time into the business is a good way to burn yourself out early, which can threaten the future of your endeavor. Make time for friends, family, and hobbies. Use your personal time when you can so you can better devote your “business” time to making your venture successful.
The only way you’re ever really going to know if you can succeed with your business idea, is to go out and do it. If you keep sitting around waiting for funding, waiting for someone to discover you and invest in your idea, or complaining that you don’t have the time, it’s never going to happen.
We suggest a good place to start is looking at a business loan. Visit our website to learn more information on the different types of loans available.
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