Good Idea!

Now start creating your business plan and building a team.

You’re ready to launch your own business. Congratulations!

Having your own business has obvious appeal, one reason there are over 20 million single-person businesses in the United States, according to a recent U.S. Census report. What’s more, with the right idea plus discipline, determination and fearlessness -- mixed with a dash of luck – you can make it happen.

The key to getting started is a solid business plan. Outline your idea in real terms. Be clear about the reason you want to launch your venture. Is your goal to make a living? To fulfill a long-held dream? To build something valuable that you can sell later on? Whatever your reason (or reasons) for taking on this risk, include it (or them) in your plan.

To launch properly, the right help is a vital ingredient. Create a professional team that includes your:

Accountant

  • Lawyer
  • Banker
  • Insurance representative
  •  

Each professional will play an important role in your success.  For example: what’s the best type of legal or tax entity to carry you to your ultimate goal? Your accountant, in consultation with you and your lawyer, can help you make the best decision. You also want to be sure that you are in full tax compliance on federal, state and local levels as well as with any kinds of reporting requirement special to your type of business.

Another consideration: possible liability. Your insurance representative will help you determine what your risks might be; together you can work out the right kind and amount of liability coverage you should carry. In addition he or she will help you make decisions about life, disability and medical insurance coverage for you (and possible) employees as well as appropriate coverage for equipment.

Whatever you do, don’t keep your banker at arm’s length. If you’re new to the world of cash flow considerations, equipment financing and credit card availability, your banker is a valuable source of advice and possible financing. Keep the person in the loop at all times.

Because your professional team will be with you throughout your business life, it’s important to select these individuals carefully and to maintain close relationships with each. I have always made it a practice to meet with my team periodically over a breakfast. This keeps everyone informed on what’s happening in my accounting practice which, after all, is a business. A really good advisor will also call you from time to time to see how you’re doing and to offer assistance should you need it.

Pages

About the author

Sandra Napoleon-Hudson

Sandra Napoleon-Hudson is the managing member of Sandra Napoleon-Hudson CPA LLC, based in Atlanta. Her expertise includes multi-state taxation for corporations, partnerships and individuals, business consulting, sports and entertainment taxation and IRS representation. As a former partner of a New York firm, she appeared frequently on television and in print media.

Website