An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
– Benjamin Franklin
This quote from the legendary founding father should be the basis of your every future investment. Whatever the venture is, no matter how small or insignificant it may present itself at the first glance, you should always insist on drawing any quantity of knowledge from it.
Benjamin will serve to us as the perfect example and a role model for all startup enthusiasts, since his vision made him The First American ever. Today, the USA counts almost 320 million people who are proudly following his steps. What company to serve as a better paradigm, than this beautiful land of the prosperous and free?
The cornerstones Ben Franklin laid down ensured the foundation for future generations of people to build one of the wealthiest, richest and most successful countries in the history. The message is: dream big. It is all achievable; all you need to do is to stay diligent, focused and aspiring. Other than that, staying well informed can’t hurt as well. In fact, this is why we have to look upon the famous words of the founding fathers and invest in our knowledge.
Start here and now by finding out about which areas of your startup plan you have to stay focused on, and invest carefully, to ensure inevitable success.
The first thing we will do is break down an average plan, and address the most important aspects of it. No matter what your innovative design and your startup idea is, the following features are included in every model, and their stability is crucial for a thriving execution.
A corporate identity is often regarded to as an overall look of your company. However, other than sounding “cool” and authoritative, the choice of model of corporation will define your tax preferences, your very structure of the company, the authority of your decision makers and their control and influence.
One piece of advice that you can’t hear enough of is to determine everyone’s level of involvement at the very start, and have a contract ready for your co-founders and contributors to sign. By doing so, you are avoiding any further issues down the road, which are almost inevitable when dealing with friends and family, and we can all agree that some of the most popular and profitable startups came from the similar setup and circumstances.
As far as corporate entity goes, one thing that you should be aware of from the very start is corporate taxes. One dominant choice, of the entire decade, is choosing the LLC structure, which stands for “Limited Liability Company.” For further inquiry, do consult this popular article from the Entrepreneur, dating back to the year 2004, which explains how and why this choice is favorable as it is.
So before you decide to register your company, make sure you take into account all these options and invest both money and time into researching these models.
Depending on the type of the company you run, you will need to get liability insurance, property insurance, and many other serious papers to protect your company in case something goes terribly wrong.
You will certainly need Director’s Insurance, which will protect all executives and C-level members; Professional Liability insurance, which will protect your product and everything that might go wrong with it. Of course, you will also have to protect your place of work so keep that in mind as well.
One type of insurance that you will most probably benefit from is data breach insurance. Be aware that we are witnessing a thriving era of cyber-crime, and this year is breaking all records when it comes to security breaches. If your startup is connected in any way to the internet, and it probably is, do inform yourself about data breach policies.
A general suggestion is to always hire a professional consultant to help you develop your business plan. You can always download a business model template and do all the research by yourself, and it is a terrific start to begin with, but there is a reason why these people are professionals.
Hidden costs are living up to their name, and are a cause of many headaches when you are starting a business. Other than taxes, you have to count on the fact that the process of development is never done and never will be. Starting from your website to administration, holidays, and the cost of hiring and firing an employee, it all takes a share in that gap you are witnessing in your first year of business.
Let’s not forget your personal time and how much commitment your startup will require from you in that initial year. Prepare yourself for some long working hours, and as far as your business plan goes – have a consultant standing by at all times.
Marketing and Advertising
This is the part where you have to be inventive but responsible, which is a task often easier said than done. Still, you need to get the best that you can for your money’s worth.
One thing that can work to your benefit is the fact that you will be Googled and searched for online, and it is up to you to deliver an impact to those that will type your name into their search engines. A clear Facebook page is still a must, a LinkedIn profile as well, and of course, a Twitter account. However, probably the best thing you can do is invest in a great domain name that will ensure your virtual business card will always deliver. As one of the best bets for new companies, domain.me lets you choose a recognizable name and build your brand around it easily.
Traditional ways of marketing are getting increasingly inefficient, and soon enough the entire world will get online. It is your responsibility as a business owner to wait for your future clients and offer them a respectable and adequate service, or a high-quality product, and you should start from your very own image. The final piece of advice is to stay original. Invest everything you can in this last part.