Launching and scaling a small business comes with no shortage of questions and uncertainties. Here we tackle some of the most frequent queries entrepreneurs have relating to legalities, marketing, technology, hiring, accounting and more.
How Do I Choose The Right Business Structure?
Factors like tax treatment, liability, investment needs and record-keeping determine ideal structures. Most small businesses begin as sole proprietorships or partnerships and progress to limited companies as they grow. Consult professionals on optimal formations.
When Should I Trademark My Business Name?
Apply for trademark registration even before launching to protect your business name, logo, and other intellectual property. The registration process provides legal rights preventing competitors from using marks deemed confusingly similar. Prioritize IP protections early.
Should I Lease Or Buy Commercial Property?
Leasing provides flexibility if your needs change but means no long-term equity. Buying is costlier upfront but builds eventual value. Weigh factors like finances, business stage, tax implications and local market conditions. Break down total occupancy costs for leasing versus buying.
Should I Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?
Most small businesses benefit from partnering with a digital marketing agency to amplify their online presence through tactics like SEO services, paid ads, content marketing and conversion optimization. Their expertise and broad reach typically provide ROI exceeding the fees.
When Should I Hire My First Employees?
Bring on staff incrementally only as growth in sales and operations demands it. Outsourcing tasks or contractors initially preserves flexibility. Weigh adding employees based on long-term strategy, not just covering immediate needs. Moving too quickly on staffing raises costs and risks.
What Insurance Is Essential?
Start with general liability covering third-party bodily injury and property damage claims. Expand over time to include professional liability, product liability, commercial auto, cyber insurance, and other policies specific to your business type and scale. Work with an agent to customize robust, compliant coverage.
What Bookkeeping System Should I Use?
User-friendly accounting software enables small business owners to handle bookkeeping tasks like invoicing, reporting, payroll, and taxes. Cloud-based options provide accessibility. If struggling with the workload, outsource to a bookkeeper or CPA firm to supplement.
How Can I Make My Brand Stand Out?
Determine your core differentiators – features, values, and specialties separating you from competitors. Extract the unique essence of what you offer. Then ensure all messaging and visuals consistently convey and reinforce that distinct identity across touchpoints like your website, social media, packaging, and campaigns.
How Do I Set Prices?
When pricing products or services, consider all costs and desired profit margins, customer demand factors, competitor pricing, industry benchmarks, and the perceived value of benefits delivered. Ultimately prices must generate adequate profit while aligning to what target buyers are willing to pay based on perceived worth.
How Can I Get New Customers?
Building awareness and sales requires engaging in marketing across multiple channels geared towards high-converting target audiences. Focus both on digital tactics like SEO and paid advertising and real-world methods like partnerships, networking, and local media outreach. Apply promo codes to track campaign performance.
What Questions Should I Ask When Interviewing Accountants?
Beyond assessing qualifications, experience working with similar clients and expertise in your sector, ask about communication frequency, advisory philosophy, and client growth goals. Ensure they help you measure and optimize performance beyond just compliance. The relationship should be strategic and supportive.