When you’re starting a new business, your list of to-dos will seem endless. From refining your idea and securing funding to choosing an office space or storefront, you’ll have a ton of decisions to make as you become a small-business owner. In the midst of such a complex process, sometimes the obvious steps are the easiest ones to forget.
Fortunately, you have a wealth of information for small-business owners at your disposal. Don’t forget the following three questions that are easy to overlook in the rush of getting your business off the ground.
How Are You Going to Find Help?
The sooner you accept that you can’t run your business without help, the sooner you can start looking for the right people to work with you. Small-business owners understandably struggle to delegate work and relinquish responsibility early on, but that can lead to burnout, micromanagement, and inefficiency. Instead of waiting for this to happen, focus on what types of roles you’ll need to fill, either immediately or eventually, and make a plan for how you’re going to find the right people for them.
You may be able to fill some positions simply by word of mouth, but there are plenty of other ways to advertise openings as well. Newer hiring platforms like ZipRecruiter focus on streamlining the application and hiring process, but more established favorites like Indeed and LinkedIn are also great options. For even better results, consider using specialized job boards to appeal to candidates specifically looking to work in your industry.
Once you decide how you want to find employees, figure out a plan for interviewing, hiring, and training. Be sure you comply with federal employment guidelines in your planning to avoid fines or other penalties. And after you’ve put in so much work to find the right employees, you’ll want to think about how you’re going to keep the employees you’ve found, too.
Do You Have Everything You Need to Get Work Done?
You probably already have the goods or services you plan to sell, but don’t forget about the extras that will help you maximize your productivity day in and day out. Step back from your to-do list and envision anything else you’ve overlooked that could make a difference in your day-to-day operations.
For example, if you’re working from home, are you planning to run your business on your family’s internet plan? Even if you’re in a separate office or a brick-and-mortar store, relying on a basic package may not be enough for your commercial needs. Figure out what internet package you’ll need to get your job done efficiently—and don’t cut corners. Your business will rely on the internet to order supplies, maintain a social presence, and more.
But there’s more to consider than just internet. If you’re opening a small shop or cafe, do you have a music subscription to create ambience for your customers? What about an efficient place to house important records and documents? If you’re working from home, do you have a dedicated desk, workspace, or office? Think through the things—big or small—that will increase your productivity and efficiency.
What Is Your Plan for an Online Presence?
At this point, making sure your brand has an online presence is nonnegotiable. While you might
be tempted to get the most basic parts of your business up and running first and then figure out your website later, that’s a mistake. Your website will be the primary way customers find and interact with your brand and the longer you wait to create one, the longer it will take for potential customers to find you.
Realistically, the cheapest option will be to create a website yourself. From Wix to Squarespace to WordPress, you can choose from a wide array of platforms that cater to small businesses and individuals. Best of all, you don’t need a background in developing or design to figure most of them out.
Decide on a pricing plan that will work for you and create a website—even a very minimal one—as soon as you can. Your business will benefit in myriad ways, and you’ll have one less step to worry about when you’re ready to focus on expanding your online presence later.
Starting a small business is a daunting process, but these suggestions will set you on the path to success. You won’t be able to accomplish everything you want to right away, but by focusing the time you do have on efforts that will help your productivity, you’ll set yourself up for success on—and long after—your launch date.
Sage Singleton is a safety expert who enjoys providing individuals, families, and businesses helpful insights and tips to make the community a better, safer place. Her work has been featured on sites like Venture Beat, USA Today, MSN, and Huffington Post. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, and travelling.