A lot goes into launching and running a business. Because there is so much to think about, it’s very easy to overlook certain aspects. Some of these aspects could be very important and could cause you a lot of trouble if you forget about them. Below are just some of the important commonly overlooked aspects of running a business and how to make sure that they’re taken care of.
Bookkeeping and filing taxes
Most self-employed people understand that they have to record their expenses and file their own taxes. However, it can be a task that often gets put off until right before the tax return is due. Last-minute bookkeeping is not recommended as it can increase the risk of accounting errors, which may result in fines. Similarly, missing the deadline can result in penalties.
To make accounting easy, it’s best to start organizing your accounts and calculating taxes from day one. Consider investing in accounting software to help make this easy – there are many simple and affordable programs aimed at small businesses. It could be important to get your tax ID number as soon as possible too (this guide explains how to get a tax ID number). Hiring an accountant may be useful in certain industries that handle lots of transactions.
The IRS has a lot of information and provides help free of charge for small businesses that you can access online or by calling one of their toll-free numbers. You can file for your own EIN tax number or learn about tax deductions and credits you can qualify for all at the IRS Small Business and Self-Employment Tax Center
Licenses and permits
To launch certain types of businesses, you may need to apply for various licenses and permits. Many states, counties, and cities require all companies to obtain a business operating license. A seller’s permit is meanwhile required if you plan to sell goods. There could also be individual industry licenses to obtain such as an electrical license. On top of this, there could be other licenses required depending on the nature of your business such as music licenses if you play music and alcohol licenses or you sell alcohol.
You could be fined and even forced to shut down your business if you do not have the relevant licenses and permits. This is why it’s important to do your research when setting up your business. A business legal advisor will be able to help you identify exactly which licenses and permits you need. The United States Small Business Administration can provide you with free help to start and manage your business including helping you apply for state and federal permits, obtain business insurance, and even provide you with potential funding sources to help you start a business.
Blogging and SEO
All business owners understand the importance of marketing. However, there are two related marketing tasks that can often get overlooked – and these are blogging and SEO. Both forms of marketing can draw more visitors to your website, which could be essential if you rely on your website for business. SEO (search engine optimization) achieves this by increasing your rankings so that more potential customers discover your site on search engines. Blogging meanwhile is a crucial part of SEO that can help you integrate keywords and keep your website constantly updated with fresh content.
You can do your own blogging and DIY SEO, however, you may find that it’s easier to simply hire a digital marketing company to handle these services. Some web design companies will also be able to provide these services as part of website maintenance.
There are certain insurance policies that are recommended and sometimes even mandatory when launching a business. An example of a mandatory insurance scheme is worker’s compensation if you plan to take on any employees – this provides cover to employees who are sick or injured as a result of your work, and you can get into legal trouble for not having it in place. Other forms of insurance such as commercial property insurance may not be mandatory, but could still be worth having in place to provide you with cover if the worst happens.
Take the time to shop around for the best rates when taking out these insurance schemes. It’s worth taking out these insurance schemes early before any potential disaster can occur – you don’t want to wish you’d taken out a policy early if disaster strikes and you’re uninsured.
Legal contracts and legal structure
There’s a lot of legal stuff that can often get overlooked when starting a business. Legal contracts are something that you should get written up as soon as possible and they can legally protect you if a customer tries to take advantage of your service or product. Your legal structure meanwhile is a completely different aspect of your business and determines which assets can be seized if you ever get into bad debt.
Both legal contracts and your legal structures are things that you can set up with the help of a business lawyer. Do this before you launch your business for peace of mind.