The business of “your business” can be a bit overwhelming—especially for the creative entrepreneur. I don’t know about you, but my mind does not have auto pop-up windows when there are legal or accounting issues to consider. I write this as a fellow, female creative entrepreneur who is by no means an expert at any of this, but I have gone through it from the position of being totally clueless when it comes to managing and running a business.
I heard it over and over again—do it right at the beginning, get a lawyer to help you—you’ll be glad you spent the money, keep it separate, etc… But I did not heed that advice. I tried to do it my way. And here is what I learned.....
You do not have to hire a full-time staff member, but rather reach out for a one-time consultation with an attorney and/or accountant just to be sure that you’re structuring things properly and protecting yourself. They will be able to look at things from a fresh, professional and trained perspective to advise you how to move forward with your business the right way.
Things you need to do before you get too deep into building an empire:
Establish & Register Your Business: This is where an attorney is a life-saver. They can help you choose whether you should incorporate, what form of corporation, etc…and they can also help with the paperwork. It’s an investment well spent.
Open Up a Business Banking Account: This should be pretty straightforward, but it does mean that you have to physically go to the bank and open up a new account. Call first to see what information you are required to have so that you don’t’ have to make more than one trip. Let’s be honest, we’re busy and don’t have time to mess around.
Get Informed About Taxes, Sales & Income: This is where a reliable and trustworthy accountant come in. An accountant can help you determine the ins and outs of taxes for your business. From sales tax to income tax to deductions and all the stuff in between. There are also most likely resources in your province or state —just google it.
Set Up Tracking of Your Finances: There are many software platforms out there, but at the end of the day, it’s really up to you. If you prefer spreadsheets, that is fine. Just be sure you’re using them and keeping track of things properly and timely. As small business owners, we often serve as our own “bookkeeper” so that means we need to be sure to schedule time after month-end to gather the info from the previous month and input it into our chosen system to see where we stand. Whether you use an accountant or not, you need to be tracking your income and expenses.
Business Insurance: Though certainly not at the top of anyone’s list, insurance is a consideration as well. Depending on the type of business you are establishing, insurance may just be a must have on the list. Don’t forget to at least check on it and ask the question.
These are just a few of the many things you must deal with when managing your business. Don’t let it scare you aware into being a business owner, if you are still fairly new. If you handle your business the right way from the very beginning, chances are you will be able to better control it in the long term. But don’t ignore these little things!
With Love | Nikki xo