WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING A BUSINESS

Starting a business is a monumental task. With so many important elements to consider, it’s easy to forget some of the finer points. Here are four important things you must know before you launch your new business.

IT’S ALL IN THE NAME

Naming your business is one of the first things you’ll do before you officially launch your new start-up. While you’re sure to spend a great deal of time and effort coming up with a moniker that perfectly personifies your company, you need to consider far more than how the name rings. Before you put anything down in print, check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make sure a trademark is available. It’s also a good idea to do Google searches to make sure nothing else, trademarked or not, is heavily associated with your chosen name.

YOU NEED A SALARY, TOO

You need to consider a lot of financial information when you’re starting a business. You’ve probably already considered your startup funds, projected profits, and operating costs. One of the easiest factors to overlook is your own salary. Starting a successful business is a full-time job. Can you compensate yourself for your time? If you don’t have enough revenue to take a salary the first few years, make sure you have a supportive spouse with a lucrative job, adequate savings, or another means of securing your own survival.

MARKETING LAWS APPLY

Your ad campaign may have all the creativity of Don Draper, but your efforts will come to nothing if you’re not adhering to the applicable marketing laws. You can only make true, substantiated claims about your product. The law requires that labels contain certain information, especially on food products. Telemarketing campaigns must respect the National Do Not Call Registry. Email campaigns have to take special pains to make sure they don’t count as SPAM. If you’re unfamiliar with business law, turn to resources like Allison Spinner’s blog to brush up on what you need to know. Hiring a lawyer to help you make sure your business plans fall within local and national laws is a good idea if you’re at all unclear on these points yourself, and utilising productivity and collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Project can help you keep on top of everything.

THE FINER POINTS OF EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT

Strong leadership skills and a background in management will give you a head start when it comes to handling your employees, but there’s more to consider than simply keeping everyone satisfied and productive. You need to check your local employment laws and make sure you’re adhering to them. They can regulate everything from how often employees take breaks to how long their shifts are. If your employees are privy to valuable company information, you might use a non-compete agreement to keep the information safe from competitors. These clauses aren’t legal in all states, though. A good lawyer will help you find the best way to legally keep your business safe.

Keep these points in mind as you organize your business plan and launch your new venture and you’ll greatly increase your chances for success.

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