Allana Akhtar’s article 8 things you should know before starting a small business published by the Business Insider is very good, and worth the read. I agree with a number of tips she highlights, such as:
- Figure out how you’re going to finance the company
- Have a good team
- Find your niche
- Figure out your marketing strategy
Some, I think you may have heard before: don’t quit, just go for it, etc. But what’s left?
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What’s missing from the list of things to know before starting a small business?
There is a big one that she missed. When starting a small business, you need to develop your business plan. It would be very hard to deliver 1, 3, and 4 without one. The business plan provides the backup for acquiring capital. The business plan should clearly spell-out your niche, and a marketing plan devoid of a business plan is like an engine devoid of a car.
Before starting a small business, find an accountant that meets the needs and scale of your business
There is one which I would change, which is “don’t settle for an accountant”. While I think her points are good, the headline could be read the wrong way. I agree that having a good accountant before starting a small business is important if you aren’t an expert in the field. However, there are a lot of pricey accountants that will happily take your money for $200-$400/hr. I think the key is to find a reasonable accountant, who can give your business the attention it needs. On this point, we both agree. Therefore, I would suggest a slightly different headline “Find an accountant that meets the needs and scale of your business”.
Get the Right Help
Starting a small business is hard. Sometimes it helps to have someone who has been through the process help you. Having an experienced person or team can help you avoid some of the more rookie mistakes, ultimately saving you time and money.