So, you’re starting a business. First off, congratulations! It’s rewarding to see an idea come to life, and we’re here to make it easier for you. This new series will show you how to plan and execute a successful business setup. The end goal here is to make everything smooth and simple so you can enjoy the process of starting a business.
Important Questions To Ask Yourself When Starting A Business
It’s important to ask yourself questions before you jump into the world of entrepreneurship. Ensuring that your business is viable is number one when you sit down to make your plan. It’s key to check in with yourself and question whether being a business owner is right for you. Remember, you’ll be doing all the “backend” work as well as running the business. Consider whether your current lifestyle can support a successful business and your personal life. If so, great! If not, perhaps some changes need to be made so you can meet this goal.
How Does Your Business Stand Out?
Brainstorm the unique benefits of your business and how they differ from your competition. A successful business offers something valuable to its customers that can’t necessarily be found anywhere else. It helps to understand who your customer base will be so you can tailor your services to them. Establish your target audience to get familiar with their needs and desires and how you will fill that gap. If it helps, get visual with it! Create a customer persona of your ideal customer and write down everything you know about them. This will help you have a person in mind when you think of who your business is serving.
How To Create A Customer Persona
Start by naming your customer and outlining the goals and values that your business will help them achieve. Next, write down where they get their information from. When doing this, consider the age demographic of your customer. Do they use Facebook or read the newspaper? Do they enjoy reading blogs or watching Instagram Reels? Now that you understand your customer more, figure out their “pain points” and how your business helps them solve these challenges. Last, write down any reasons your customer may not want to book, buy, or work with your business at this point in time. This will help you understand how you can market so that your audience will say YES.
Give Your Business A Name And Solidify It
If you haven’t already, come up with a name for your business. Make sure it reflects what your company offers and is something people will remember. Certain provinces (like British Columbia) require you to submit a name request application to ensure your name isn’t being used already. Another thing to consider when you’re choosing a business name is whether you’ll want to incorporate it later. Stay tuned for more details of that in a future blog. Once you’ve established a name, you’re going to register it. We will release a future blog on this full process for sole proprietors and corporations, so keep your eyes peeled!
How To Think About Marketing When Starting A Business
Think about how you will market your business and reach your target audience. An important first step is to create a website that encapsulates your business. A website works in certain ways so you don’t have to. It explains the entirety of your business while offering a way for people to get in touch and access your services. Creating a website also gives people a platform to share your work/services and spread the word. Set up a Google Business account for free and connect your website so people can find you even easier.
BUILDING AN ONLINE PRESENCE
Another way to ensure people are seeing your business is to get on social media. As soon as you figure out a name for your business, go into all your social accounts and claim that name. Make sure you do this before creating a website as well. Most business benefit from being on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, however, you should consider the age and demographic of your audience when representing yourself. For example, if your target audience is Gen Z, consider mainly marketing your business through Tik Tok and Instagram and using Facebook sparingly.
Creating ads is a great way to market a business. For Facebook, these can be done easily through Meta for Business. Instagram for business allows you to easily make any post an ad, or create multi-platform campaigns. Almost any platform you choose to market your business on will have an option for creating ads. These ads aren’t free, but most of the platforms offer cheaper options. Double-check your budget to see if there is room for ads. If not, consider sticking to a strict social media content plan instead.
It’s OK To Ask For Help When Starting A Business
We’ll let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to create and carry out your business plan by yourself. When you need help, ask for it! It’s going to make the process smoother and much more manageable. If your budget allows it, hire a web design agency, copywriter, or marketing company to take some tasks off your plate. Sometimes spending money to get something done is more worth it in the long run.
Create A Plan For Bookkeeping
Signing up for a reliable accounting software program is going to help you tremendously. For us, QuickBooks takes the prize. It’s efficient, affordable, and will save you a lot of time overall. QuickBooks online is flexible and allows you to work from your smartphone, Mac or PC at any time. You’re also able to perform numerous tasks in one place from creating invoices to adding expenses. You’re going to want to stay as organized as possible with your business to avoid any future headaches. If you’re looking for an easy way to access your data, download our paperless bookkeeping guide. It’s filled with useful information to help you stay on top of things.
SET UP YOUR QUICKBOOKS FOR SUCCESS
To get started with QuickBooks (QB), you’ll need to fill in some details about your business:
- Begin by entering your company name and information (your business address, email address, etc.).
- Tell QB when your business’s fiscal year begins and ends.
- Gear Icon > Account and Settings > Advanced > Accounting
- How will your report your income?
- The accrual method is required for corporations.
- Upload your company logo.
- Gear Icon > Account and Settings > Company > Company Name
- Customize your invoices.
- To do this, create a new invoice and select “Customize” at the bottom of the page.
- Add your own flair by adding your logo and choosing a colour palate and your favourite font.
- Establish your “Net Payment” invoice terms
- This tells your customers when they need to pay you back.
- Gear icon > Account and Settings > Sales > Sales Form content
We will discuss other ways to set up QB so it works best for your business in a future blog post.
Thank you for reading this blog – we hope it makes creating your business plan easier. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, come back to this blog and write down the steps separately. From there, apply your business ideas where needed. Take it step-by-step and get creative with it! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. If you have more questions about bookkeeping for a new or existing business, please come visit Sync Accounting.