Monday, November 6, 2017
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Own your name. Make sure the company name you choose is one with an available trademark and Internet domain name. To see if a trademark is available, you can do a trademark search online through the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website. Failure to properly obtain a trademark could put your fledgling business at risk -- not to mention that the time and money you have invested in establishing your business name could go to waste if someone else owns the trademark. Don't assume your new business name is not trademarked because you were unsuccessful finding such name on the Internet, either. Someone could have used the name for a business that closed, or filed a trademark and never used it.
Get in with the law. Understand what regulations, licenses and taxes you will need to follow, obtain and pay for your new business. After doing some initial research on your own, consult with a lawyer and accountant to confirm your understanding and to help structure your business to be in compliance with the law. Generally speaking, you will need to need to (i) ensure you are charging the correct amount of tax your service or product that your business is promoting, if applicable and (ii) obtain all of the proper licenses needed to run your new business, at a minimum. Establishing a successful business is hard enough. The last thing you need is some technical legality or administrative detail to stand in the way of your success.
How much do you need to live? When working on your business plan, do not forget about the most important factor: YOU. You need to take into account your living costs. Rent, mortgages, and health insurance -- these are all things that don’t pay for themselves. You will most likely need to cut out all the unnecessary extras you can live without. Make sure you account for unforeseen or unexpected expenses by factoring a little flexibility into your budget for those “just-in-case” moments. You might even consider taking a part-time job until things pick up with your new venture and speak to a financial planner to help you budget yourself properly.
Where are you in your life? Starting a new business takes brains, bravery, and what will seem to be endless hours of hard work. When you own your own company, there is always something that has to get done. You will most likely find yourself working at least 60-80 hours a week for the first two years. With that said, I’ll ask you one very important question: Are you ready to give up your personal life for the next three years?
Don’t over -- or under -- spend. Starting a business can be incredibly financially taxing on you and your family. You will need to learn where and when to spend. It’s important not to waste those precious seed dollars but it’s equally important to spend where necessary. In any business, you often have to spend money to make money. Don’t skimp out on things your company needs. For example, it may be worth it to put $1500 in an online vendor listing, but it may not be necessary to give every new customer a $15 mug. Be sure to keep up with technology too -- there are many time-saving programs and apps (including free or inexpensive ones) that can help you keep track of it all, and as we all know, “time is money."
Monday, February 2, 2015
Plan to fail if you;
- Don't research the market you wish to enter
- Don't develop a business plan
- Don't create a business model
- Don't adjust your goals and plans as you move forward
- Don't create 3 year revenue and expense projections
- Don't understand the meaning of Cash Flow
- Don't create a budget and stick to it
- Don't keep receipts for every purchase no matter how small
- Don't keep good records
- Don't set money aside for tax payments. GST, PST, Income Tax
- Don't learn what is deductible and what is not. Accountants are not babysitters
- Don't set up a good bookkeeping system with the help of a good accountant
- Don't avail yourself of a good insurance agent
- Don't have insurance covering yourself and your key employees.
- Don't have business interruption insurance
- Don't treat people as you would like to be treated
- Don't listen to good advice from peers
- Don't listen to your customers and clients
- Aren't prepared to go all out to satisfy an unhappy client or customer
- Don't consistently check your revenues against your expenses
- Don't pay your suppliers on time
- Don't contact your suppliers if your cash flow has slowed down and you need an extension
- Don't keep a journal and jot down ideas as they come to you
- Provide a product or a service no one wants
- Let your ego take over and ignore good advice
- Get married to your idea and don't listen to people offering ways to improve upon your idea
- Are arrogant and unbending
- Stop learning because you know it all
- Hire relatives and friends to save money instead of qualified personnel
- Aren't prepared to work long hours
- Aren't prepared to learn how to work smarter
- Don't take courses to improve your knowledge
- Don't join groups who can provide referrals
- Aren't prepared to network
- Chose cheaper materials for your products to save money
- Cut back on advertising and marketing during busy times.
- Don't take your accountants advice
- Don't do your research on what is the best bank for your business. Not all banks are alike
- Don't keep money aside for a rainy day.
- Are not prepared to negotiate deals. Therefore give up something to get something
- Don't learn to bargain
- Don't become web savvy.
- Don't take the time to learn more about marketing in the 21st century
- Don't use your family in the business to create additional tax benefits.
- Don't become tax smarter
- Don't read, read and read more about your industry and your clients industries
- Don't subscribe to influential trade magazines in your business
- Don't manage your time efficiently
- Are late for appointments, particularly with clients
- Don'r recognize good employees for their handwork and diligence
These are listed in no particular order of importance but do cover many of the reasons businesses fail. The old saying; "if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" is as true today as when it was first stated by Benjamin Franklin.
IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF THOMAS EDISON:
IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF THOMAS EDISON: