Getting Organized For Business
From the Inkwell of: Bartholomew J. Worthington III
Half of all new businesses fail in the first five years, according to the Small Business Administration. Before your business opens its doors and hangs out its shingle, it is important to ensure you have the processes in place to be successful. The saying goes,' If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.' For a business in the start-up phase, organization in critical areas will determine which half it will end up in: the failing half or the successful half.
Step 1- Create a well-crafted business plan that defines your business identity and details your products and services. Your business plan should outline your goals and the strategies required to achieve them.
Step 2 - Determine the business structure that best suits your needs. Consult a professional to fully understand the pros and cons of different business structures.
Step 3 - Complete the required paperwork to ensure that your business is legally recognized. Obtain any licenses that are required by your state or town.
Step 4 - Create a system for document storage. Important papers should be stored in a secure manner, but also be relatively easy to access. Put processes in place to ensure the secure disposal of sensitive documents.
Step 1- File for an Employer Identification Number with the IRS online. This is required if you have a business structure other than a sole proprietorship. File both an electronic and a paper version for future reference.
Step 2 - Open a business bank account to ensure that your personal and business finances are kept separate. Having your business finances separate will also make it easier to organize your records for tax purposes.
Step 3 - Set up a financial tracking system that streamlines your tax filing process with a simple Excel spreadsheet, or in Quicken or another money management program. Ensure that your expenses are organized for your tax preparation professional.
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