Shop before you buy:
QUALIFY the vendors who offer services and know all the relevant costs; both the upfront cost and the ongoing services.
INVESTIGATE merchant service account options. Consider all the costs and the variances in the delivery time for funds to be deposited into your account.
PRICE OUT a POS system if you think it will be helpful? Should you lease is or buy it?)
FIND the right lending institution. Consider the lenders that favor your industry and have full services for SMEs. Most banking can be done on line, therefore location and proximity are not as important as they used to be.
SELECT a qualified insurance agent and make certain the policy terms meet your needs.
DEVELOP a personal relationship with a banker within the institution.
SEEK an accountant and an attorney with a specialty that meets your major business concerns. ie. contracts – intellectual properties – real estate – estate planning.
1. Avoid concentration – of clients or customers and vendors. Create the possibility of many resources.
To not have alternative resources limits your growth and your financing options.
2. Learn more about cyber security in relation to your business.
3. Brand yourself with a logo, a web site and business cards.
Think about how you plan to market your company; online of direct. This will affect your layout, your color selections, and your wording.
4. Protect your intellectual property.
Consider trademarks, copyrights and patents. Learn about the appropriate one for your business and know all the costs before you buy.
5. Work on your elevator pitch; both the wording and the presentation.
6. Attend networking events that are meaningful to the growth of your business.
7. Plan your exit strategy. This will assist you in determine the path you take.
8. Get advice from a professional before you buy or lease hardware and software.
Find an advisor or a mentor who can address your concerns and can provide unbiased advice. (We are living in a world that changes in a flash, therefore seek an advisor who is aware of current trends in your industry, your market and your locale.)
About the author
Marjorie Weber has been educating entrepreneurs and guiding them in their search for capital for the past 16 years: combining business training programs with one-on-one mentoring. Marj is currently a financial advisor for Florida SBDC at FIU. She was Chair of SCORE Miami Dade from 2010 to 2014. She also serves as an advisor to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and the SBA Emerging Leaders Program and provides training for Veterans seeking an entrepreneurial path upon retirement from the service. She has been facilitating workshops under the auspices of Miami Bayside Foundation for the past 3 years. She commenced her career as a real estate investment banker in New York and Miami.She uses these long term relationships to assist her clients in accessing capital. She knows both the process and the people and has assisted in providing financing for hundreds of businesses in Miami Dade.