It is important to protect yourself and your business from the moment you start doing business. Do not make the mistake of getting too far into doing business before you prioritize properly establishing your business. Separating your business affairs from your personal ones makes things a lot easier when the going gets tough.
Often small businesses start "on a whim" and then before the owner realizes it, business starts booming! Everything can be going smoothly, and then, a minor bump in the road happens. This is when these five steps (below) are critical in keeping your small business going. The risk of owning a business is that its vulnerable to various risks and legal issues.
Stack Strategies Co. is here to help guide small businesses based on our small business and marketing strategies. It is our goal to ensure the success and longevity of your business. In this blog post, we will discuss five essential ways small businesses can safeguard their interests and assets. It's important we prioritize time to complete these tasks as soon as we can, so we can confidently focus on other aspects of the business.
Register your business with the state and federal government
One of the first things small business owners should do is register their business with the state and federal government. The most popular option is to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which protects the business owner's personal assets from any legal issues that may arise. To register as an LLC, you must file articles of organization with the state, pay a fee, and create an operating agreement. Additionally, small business owners should obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. An EIN is a unique identifier for your business that is necessary for opening a bank account, filing taxes, and hiring employees.
These are the two critical ways to start the separation of your new business from your personal business.
Make Business (only) accounts
We're broadly suggesting that you start to separate what is business and what is personal. We're specifically referring to EVERYTHING. From bank accounts, to email accounts, to phone lines and more, it makes life a lot easier to have business-only accounts. We've talked about this extensively on our blog in the past, so we'll leave this topic open for further interpretation.
Create a Business and Marketing Plan
Small business marketing and business plans can be taken for granted when in all reality they should be prioritized from the start. Creating a formal business plan and marketing plan is the framework that ensures the success of a business. These two reports define what the business will do, how it will accomplish those goals, and how it will reach its audience. Through these plans, a business owner can better understand their target market, guide their marketing efforts and prioritize their spending. When a business owner gets lost in the process (which will happen more than once), these plans can provide a roadmap back to success.
Develop a relationship with a business attorney
Create terms and conditions
Having clear terms and conditions is essential for protecting your business and customers. Your terms and conditions should outline the scope of services provided, payment terms, refund policies, liability limitations, and dispute resolution processes. By creating clear terms and conditions, you can avoid misunderstandings and reduce the risk of legal disputes. Make sure your terms and conditions are prominently displayed on your website and included in your contracts and invoices.
Get business insurance
Small business owners should also consider obtaining business insurance to protect their businesses and assets. Business insurance can provide coverage for property damage, liability claims, and other unexpected events that could damage your business. The type of insurance you need will depend on the nature of your business. For example, if you operate a food truck, you will need insurance that covers vehicle damage and liability claims. If you run an online store, you may need coverage for data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Throughout your career, these foundational steps to establishing and protecting your business will take you a long way. It is critical to complete every step. If you have missed a step along the way, carve out some time to get it done. Stack Strategies Co. suggests auditing and editing these documents on an annual basis to keep your company growing. As small business owners, we take our company very seriously, since by dedicating ourselves to our business, we can ensure that we will succeed.
From one small business owner to another, we wish you endless success! Here's to another week of accomplishing our small business goals. Go get 'em!
Stack Strategies Co. is an online digital marketing company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Stack Strategies creates custom WIX websites, travel agent websites with Travefy, and email email automation and digital tools on a variety of platforms! SS leads the way in small business marketing by sharing tips and tricks on our Behind the Strategies Marketing Blog. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Alignable for business-building inspiration. Or contact SS for your next project!