Getting a new business off the ground is no small task. It may actually end up being one of the most daunting professional challenges an entrepreneur will ever face.
You already know the odds are against you. More than 20 percent of small businesses don’t survive their first year, and half are gone in the first five years. While that sounds discouraging, don’t forget – 90 percent of America’s billionaires are also self-made.
If you’re going to make it to that point, you really better have your ducks in a row. Laying the groundwork for business success starts well before that business ever gets off the ground. These five steps can help new business owners figure out if they’re prepared to be in the race for the long haul – or destined to fall short.
1. Create a business plan
We feel like we shouldn’t even have to say this, but building a business without a business plan is like building a house without a blueprint. It might still work…but your odds of success are much, much lower. While a well-considered business plan will certainly outline initial projections of resources, costs, and other financial considerations, it’s a new business owner’s most tangible way of setting concrete early goals, determining the yardsticks for measuring those goals, and spotting the potential weaknesses before they become real-life weaknesses.
Of course, a well-defined business plan is also the calling card document that proves your idea is legitimate for the type of investors and future stakeholders you want to buy into your vision.
2. Build business credit
Unless you’ve got a deep-pocketed benefactor backing you up, building up your business credit is a critical step in helping any operation grow. A solid business credit score can help make it easier to bring on financing, boost the value of the business, and even safeguard your personal credit from any company stumbles. For the most part, building good business credit happens the same way it happens for an individual – by making smart decisions like paying bills on time, establishing a sound history of stable transactions, and keeping a close eye on your credit report to make sure everything checks out.
3. Separate your personal and business finances
Speaking of protecting your personal credit, this is a step many entrepreneurs neglect, then live to regret it. Even if you open up shop as a one-man band, it’s important to keep personal accounts personal, business accounts for business only – and never the two should meet. Along with making it easier to keep the personal and business sides straight come tax time, it’s also a vital stage in making sure a business loss doesn’t turn into a crippling personal financial loss as well. An attorney or tax accountant can help offer guidance on the specific steps for making sure you’re protected in the event your company doesn’t make it. It’s not planning to fail. It’s just good business sense.
4. Get Insured
Here’s another item that will absolutely help protect you in the long run. Business insurance is the backstop you need to secure yourself against the million factors that can creep up and wreck your new enterprise, often through no fault of your own. Lawsuits, equipment or manufacturing needs, or out-of-the-blue acts of mother nature can all come at a moment’s notice. The protection of business insurance can offer the peace of mind and reduced personal risk that might make all the difference if something horrible actually happens.
5. Get Life Insurance
Ok, we know we already said get insurance around your business, but if your operation takes off, life insurance can help make sure it continues to grow and prosper if something should happen to you.
Even though entrepreneurs have a lot of plates in the air at once, getting protected with a policy from an outlet like Bestow can help make sure the process is fast and easy enough not to distract from the business. Get a free quote after answering just six questions, applications can be completed in about 5 minutes, and a final decision on your coverage comes immediately.
With Bestow, business owners can help protect their business and their family with $50,000 all the way up to $1.5 million of term life insurance covering anywhere from 10 to 30 years. And if you’re afraid of a medical exam (or just hate taking the time to go get one), policies with Bestow don’t require one. Help protect your family today with Bestow!
Life insurance quotes provided by Bestow Agency, LLC dba Bestow Insurance Services in CA, who is the licensed agent. Term Life Insurance Policies offered by Bestow are issued on policy form LS181 and LS182, or state version including all applicable endorsements and riders, by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, Administrative Office, One Sammons Plaza, Sioux Falls, SD 57193. Products or issues ages may not be available in all jurisdictions. Limitations or restrictions may apply. Not available in New York. Our application asks about your lifestyle and health to avoid requiring a medical exam.