Proper Steps for Months 1 to 3: Nurture Your Baby Business With Strong Financial Roots.
This is the start of a three-part series on how to properly start up a new business with strong financial roots. I get this question a lot: What am I supposed to do? Starting up a new business is quite a daunting task. There are so many things to think about and to do. The last thing you want to worry about is all the legal and financial steps you need to take to start up the business. But…of course…they are a must and cannot be ignored!
Let’s make it easy for you. I’ve broken down all of the tasks into bite-sized pieces. This first post is going to focus on the things you need to do during Months 1 to 3 of your new business. The next two will focus on Months 4 to 12, and Months 13+.
How to Start a Business – Months 1-3
In Months 1 to 3, you have a Baby Business. This new precious business is cute to look at and full of excitement. But taking proper care of it is vital to ensuring its survival. Here are the six things that you need to do to set up your business for success right out the gate:
Hire Professional Team: The very first thing you need to do is find and hire a good business attorney, tax accountant AND management accountant. Do NOT try to run a business without these very important people!
- Form Business Entity: Now you need to legally form your business entity. Work with your attorney, tax accountant and management accountant to do this properly. They will help you select the type of entity you want to be (LLC or Corporation), file the paperwork with your state’s business division, open the necessary tax accounts, apply for your business license, etc.
- Open Bank Accounts: You can now open your bank account. Work with your management accountant to select a good business-friendly bank.
- Set Up & Learn QuickBooks: It is vital to the success of your business that you establish good bookkeeping and record-keeping habits from the very beginning. Subscribe to a QuickBooks Online account…and learn how to use it! Ask your management accountant to help you find a good class to teach you how to quickly and easily use this powerful software properly.
- Open Merchant Account: If you want to accept credit card payments (recommended!), work you’re your management accountant to establish a merchant processing account. QuickBooks has a great option already built into the software, and we highly recommend that you utilize this.
- Track Activity & Record Keeping: With all the pieces in place, it’s time to start running your business! Use QuickBooks to track all the activity of your business: invoices, bills, collections, deposits, reconciliations. And use it to serve as your virtual file cabinet – save images of receipts (if over $75), signed contracts, tax notices, and anything else you want to keep copies of. Have your management accountant periodically double-check your QuickBooks file to make sure that things are looking accurate.
The key message here is: Don’t go at this alone! Build a strong team of professionals to help you build your business and you will be successful. We have a lot of experience in helping businesses get established and grow, and have special products designed specifically for start-up businesses (along with all the QuickBooks training and support you need). So if you’re ready to hire a management accountant and learn about QuickBooks, then schedule a free consultation with us, and let’s chat.