4 Tips for Owners and Founders

Advice for Small Business Owners and Startup Founders

Having a terrific idea for a business is only the beginning. Getting that idea from the “drawing board” to production is going to be a long and challenging journey.

The good news is that there are many resources and experienced folks standing by to help in your endeavor. The moment you embrace the simple fact that you’re not on your own, the better off you’ll be. Here are some other helpful tips for small business owners and startup founders:

1. Bank Working Capital

You’re going to need money for your startup. There’s no way around that. Beyond lining up investors to back your business plan, you also should have some capital in the bank. This might not necessarily be for your business, but for your personal expenses. There will come a time in the initial phase of your start up when you’re transitioning from a salaried position to entrepreneur. In other words, you’re not going to have a steady paycheck, but you still need to pay the bills. A good starting point would be to have savings for at least four to six months of personal expenses. A decent size savings account will also let you float loans to your company to cover a wide range of expenses.

2. Start Small, But Aim Big

Every great business owner has a story about humble beginnings. This is when a handful of employees worked together in “low rent” conditions to get things going. Although you know how big you’d like your business to become, it is not going to start out that way. Start small, working out of a space that won’t cost you a lot of money. Your current home, apartment or parent’s garage is as good a place as any. You also don’t want to hire staff unless you’ve got a lot of work for them to do and all of that work should be generating income. The goal is to ramp up towards success.

3. Keep Records of Everything

No matter what, where or how you spend money for your business, there should be a receipt for that. You want to make sure you’re keeping clean records of all of your expenditures and income. At the same time you also want to protect you personal assets. This is why it is important to incorporate your business and begin to run all your expenses through that entity. It’s not a lot of money to set up a corporation and it will certainly pay for itself many times over.

4. Have a Plan of Action

You need a business plan. This can be a multi-page document or a graphic laden power point presentation. Either way it will become your road map towards success. That doesn’t mean you have to strictly adhere to that business plan. You’re going to make adjustments all along the way. However, with a well thought out business plan you’ll be able to appreciate the trajectory of your business. That is also something your investors are going to embrace.

Originally posted on the Corporation Centre blog. For business registration, incorporation, trademarks and more, start here.

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