What (who) I really needed to know to start my own business
So, Promotional Guidance is a brand-new company. Just started from scratch less than a month ago. As I was looking for advice or checklists for what you need to get started, I really didn’t find what I was looking for. I found lots of great guidance in branding, social media, pricing, and sales. Important, but in my mind step two of the process.
What’s step one? How about the brass tacks?
Do you have a banker? A lawyer? An Operating Agreement or other document establishing your business? A CPA? A Mentor? The right computer? The right software? A budget tracking sheet? The right insurance policy? The right website?
Where does someone starting from scratch go to understand the foundation needed to call yourself a business? Did anyone else have an easy step by step guide handed to them?
Luckily, I had thought a lot about it, I wrote my own checklists, and I had GREAT connections in many fields to turn to for advice. Here are some of the specific people that were the most important to me.
Have a banker! Go to a local bank or credit union. They are going to care more about your small business than the larger national banks. You can most likely get a specific contact point to take your call. Preferably someone who is active in the community, cares about your success, and can become a referral partner for you. A bank can be so much more beneficial to your business than just transactional.
Have a CPA! I couldn’t imagine having started this business without having asked my CPA at least five dozen questions. Is this an expense? How do I handle this? What should I project for? What am I forgetting? Thinking about your finances & taxes once a year at tax time is going to put you behind the eight ball. And, much like the banker, finding someone local who cares about your business, though possibly more expensive, is going to be a better business partner for you than TurboTax or H&R Block.
Have a lawyer set up your business and advise on how best to get started. Much like the CPA, don’t rely on an online program that treats all businesses the same. Find someone who cares about your history, your goals, and your struggles. They will also become an amazing resource!
Find someone local who can answer your tech questions and make sure you’re set up and ready to go. We’re not relying on the big mega chains for this either. It’s worth every penny.
Someone who will review your website, your hosting, your content and give you good advice on how it looks from an outside point of view.
A local business insurance agent who will offer plans that scale as your business does.
If you’re lucky – you’ll also find a designer/copywriter to review, or create, all of your marketing. A telecommunications person to offer communication advice for your business size. A merchant services person to make sure you’re handling transactions efficiently and legally. Etc., etc., etc.
FYI - If you happen to live in the Montgomery County/ Bucks County area in the Greater Philadelphia region, I have recommendations for all these categories!
Who have you found to be the most important people in your journey so far?