We applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of those who take the plunge to start their own business. Whether you will be cleverly filling a retail niche or hanging a professional shingle, there are “must do’s” that apply to virtually all start-ups.
A key takeaway is that even if you are striking out on your own as a solo practitioner, you really do have to build a team to be effective and successful. Most of our tips involve making sure you have the right folks in place to support your nascent enterprise.
When planning your business, add these five “must do’s” to your agenda:
Befriend a banker who understands the story of your business — Start-ups cost money. Even if you are self-financing or have investors in place, it’s wise to have the expertise of a banker on board who understands the intricacies of your business model. At Litchfield Bancorp, we offer small business loans, lines of credit, business checking accounts, and other products that can help your business grow. We provide personal service and are truly invested in the success of our local merchants and professionals.
Manage risk: You can never have too much insurance — Launching a business means taking on risk. Don’t rely on what you think you know when determining if you have the proper coverages in place. Work with a trusted Risk Manager who understands the kind of business you’re starting and can provide educated insight about hidden risks you face. You can never have too much insurance, especially when starting a business. Unsure of who to turn to for counsel? Ask us to provide helpful recommendations.
Build the back office (even if there’s no “office”!) — Professionals who will play an important but less obvious role in your business like accountants and lawyers should be in place before you launch. Otherwise, you could end up scrambling to bring somebody on board when you’re under pressure to get something done. It’s better to take the time in advance to carefully determine who you want on the team.
Grab that anchor — Give your business the best chance to succeed by securing an “anchor” client/customer(s) who will provide steady business initially while you grow the company. This is especially relevant for those who are working full time and want to venture out on their own. Secure your anchor client before you take the plunge.
Get the word out — How will you communicate to the world that you are in business and ready for clients/customers? Marketing is a skill that everybody thinks they know something about, but few have actual expertise to really help move the needle. It’s not as easy as it looks! Even if you plan to self-market initially, consult with an expert who can help you develop a strategic, efficient marketing plan. It’s an investment that will pay you back many times over.
Let me get to know your growing business. Give me a call at 860-393-9174, or visit one of our branch offices in Lakeville, Washington, Torrington and Watertown.
Commercial Lender, Vice President