Finances

And now on to the section most new business owners find intimidating – the money.

Unless you have plenty of capital lying around doing nothing, you are going to need to approach a bank to fund your business idea. The first thing you need to do is come up with a business plan. This may sound daunting but worry not – the internet is here to help! You will need to be brutally honest and extremely detail oriented when it comes to drawing up your initial costings. Research any services or equipment you need thoroughly and don’t be afraid to ask around – some service providers or retailers may be more inclined to help you with a better deal if they know you are shopping around.

Draw up a timeline for the business. Here you can be a little less specific, after all you will be relying on the timeliness of contractors and other professionals so a close estimate should be enough. In this timeline, you should include the dates you expect your facility to be complete as well as the date you anticipate opening to the public. These two events should not take place on the same day as there will always be finishing touches and things you forgot to do. This is normal. You can also consider hiring a manager to take care of coordinating the next bits, if you can squeeze an extra wage out of your savings.

Factors

You should also take into account other factors. Do you have staff? If not, you will need to hire some, which takes time. If you have staff, is their training up to date? If not, you will need to schedule the relevant training sessions. It’s a good idea to attend yourself, to ensure good continuity of care. You should have a marketing plan too, either one you’ve made yourself or one made by a hired professional. This too will need to be factored in to the timeline – marketing and advertising needs time to be effective. You cannot expect a deluge of bookings from just the one ad in the newspaper. And of course, you will need to pay all these people that are so crucial to your operation. You should factor in two months’ wages into your costing exercise to cover this.

At the very foundation of a successful business is a very simple equation – profit is what’s left over when you subtract your spending from your takings. It’s important to streamline your accounting procedure as much as possible. Organize your office so that paperwork all has a place and invest in a good accounting program to keep track of your money in and money out virtually as well. If it’s not you who is looking after the accounts, make sure you assign the task to someone trustworthy and qualified. Once your business takes off, you can consider hiring an accountant to make sure all is in order – we’d consider this money well spent. Clear, up to date accounts are crucial if you want your tax season to go as smoothly as possible and reduce the risk of falling foul of the IRS.