With a long list of tasks queued up to start a business, we know your “to-do” list can feel daunting. Where do you start? How can you be sure that you check off all the necessary steps to set your business up for success? Many small business owners want to jump right in, but you’ll save both time and money in the long run by setting your business up properly.
Once you’re able to overcome the mental barriers to starting a small business, you’re ready to move on to the next step and identify the technical aspects of a business you’ll need to manage in order to be successful.
“The most successful businesses are the ones that are highly organized, understand the overall business health and recognize areas of growth,” reports RISBDC Business Counselor Julie Loffredi. “One of the best investments I have made as a small business owner is to purchase business insurance, hire an attorney to help file proper paperwork, and use an accountant to help with bookkeeping and human resources matters.”
As both a business counselor and a small business owner herself, Loffredi shares her insight on technical barriers that entrepreneurs need to keep on their radar, and tips for moving through each one.
Six technical barriers to starting a small business and how to overcome them
There are six common problems that small business owners might run into. It is worth the time and investment to talk with a small business advisor, like one of our no-cost RISBDC business consultants, or an attorney to get a checklist of all the requirements to launch a business in your city or state, that generally fall into one of these categories.
1. Lack of foundation
You want to build your business on a solid and structured foundation. You will need to do some research to
- Perform a trademark search to ensure your business name is not already in use
- Understand any risks
- Know how to pay taxes appropriately
If you’re ready to start your Rhode Island business, be sure to register your business with the RI Department of State.
2. Lack of financial literacy
Financial literacy is extremely vital for a healthy business. If you can understand your business and cash flow available, you can make better decisions about where to make possible future investments to boost your bottom line. Make sure you know how to calculate your gross vs. net income, as well as your expenses. Check out how to conquer financial literacy with Financial Qbits.
3. Lack of a solid financial plan
One essential part to plan out before starting a small business is creating a budget. Without setting a budget, you could be overspending money and start off on the wrong foot.
You’ll also need to make sure you have the funds or financing to cover your budgeted needs. If you’re not sure where to start with finances, consider a business loan or seek funding from family and friends. You can talk to your local bank about financing options, use crowdfunding, or seek investors.
The SBA has a wide variety of guidance on various loan programs, steps to landing a small business loan, financial calculators, and the essentials that lenders look for when considering a loan.
4. Lack of basic infrastructure
These small, basic considerations may seem trivial now, but are necessary in the long run. These include
- Domain names for your business
- Cybersecurity business—and your clients—safe
- A system to track and manage sales or leads
You don’t have to splurge on top-of-the-line business software, but it’s crucial to find a system that helps keep you well organized and can grow with your business.
5. Lack of marketing
Building a business takes a lot of work, especially when it comes to building up a brand. Marketing makes it easier to attract new customers, as well as continue to maintain customers. Consider putting together a marketing plan to outline your goals and tactics.
You can start by
- Launching a website
- Creating social media profiles that utilize organic and paid content
- Crafting email marketing campaigns that keep your business top of mind and share important news
If you need help, read more about ways to start getting your name out there.
6. Lack of leadership
While not a technical matter, business owners can always benefit from brushing up on soft skills, including communication, collaboration, training, and delegation. As a business owner, you have to step into your leadership role confident and prepared for any obstacles. We recommend reading books written by business leaders, watching free videos and webinars from top experts, and reading business blogs and articles for tips.
Reach out for support
We know how overwhelming it can be to figure out where you need help and find resources for these barriers to starting a business. You’re not alone! Helping launch and grow businesses is what we do best. Reach out for a no-cost counseling appointment today to receive free, confidential business advice that can answer your questions and help you clear your biggest obstacles.