There are so many exciting things to look forward to when starting a business in Wisconsin. Opportunities abound for you to flex your creative muscles and mold your budding company into something amazing. However, there are also myriad steps that are, shall we say, less exciting.
Although the more mundane tasks might not be what you’re most looking forward to, they’re some of the most important. Wisconsin Buys Local shares some of the tedious - but necessary - steps you’ll need to take to start out on the right foot.
Deciding on Business Structure
When it comes to choosing your business structure, things can get mind-numbing, quickly. There’s a lot to consider, and it can be extremely challenging to parse relevant from irrelevant information. For most first-time business owners just starting out, however, it really comes down to one of two choices: sole proprietorship and limited liability company.
There are pros and cons to both structures. If you decide to run your business as a sole proprietorship, you’ll be able to get started right away without any costs or fuss. However, your personal assets will be on the line when it comes to settling business debts or litigation. This model can work fine if you’re not taking out loans, or your work carries little legal risk. Otherwise, however, it can lead to disaster.
In that case, an LLC usually makes more sense. This business structure protects your personal assets so that only business assets are at risk. You can also set up an operating agreement here, which will allow you to set up lines of succession, define your business’s assets, and give you a governing framework for your business’s lifespan.
Setting Up Business Account
A crucial step in opening your business is finding the best business bank account for your needs. Ideally, you’ll want to open a bank account that simplifies the process of running your business. Look for an account that works with your payroll software so you can process payments quickly. Other desirable features include high-yield interest, no monthly fees, no-fee ACH transfers, and insights into your company’s cash flow so you can improve your long-term decision making.
Building Smart Financial Habits
Another important and wholly unexciting part of starting a business is building strong financial habits. If you get off to a bad start when it comes to logging expenses and keeping track of your accounting, it can take a long time - and a ton of work - to get back on track. If you start with good accounting practices, however, you’ll have a far easier time.
Your best bet is to develop a relationship with an accountant early on. Not only can they handle the big financial tasks your business will need to tackle, such as filing taxes, but they’ll also be able to give you a framework for the best day-to-day practices. Staying organized, holding onto relevant documents, and keeping close track of your expenses and profits from the start will put you in a great position for the future.
Almost every new business owner will need to find some sort of funding to make their business dreams come true. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there for hopeful business owners. For example, you can look into getting a small business loan. This is a common go-to, and it’s usually enough to get you started. If you want to expand, or you have a big idea, however, you may need to consider pitching to investors.
When it comes to pitching your concept to potential investors, confidence is crucial. Investors need to see that you’ve done the math, of course, but ultimately your belief in your concept is often just as powerful when it comes to convincing them. If you’re not sure how to convey this as well as possible, consider scheduling a session with a business coach. Some one-on-one or group guidance can help you harness your strengths so you can make the best impression when you make your pitch.
Although these tasks may not be the most exciting part of running a business, they serve a valuable purpose. Getting through the less thrilling tasks for business ownership puts you on the path toward the most fulfilling moment of all: Watching your Wisconsin business thrive.
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