Entrepreneurship is a Black millennial’s American dream. The ability to work on the projects that matter to you and on your terms is freedom. However, businesses need more than just loft ambitions and fancy mission statements to be successful. Here are basic administrative tasks every entrepreneur should accomplish in the early stages of the business:
1. Determine What You Are Selling
The concept of entrepreneurship can be glamourous. Although sometimes, young entrepreneurs can get into trouble because they haven’t clearly defined the products and services they are offering. While you might have multiple interests and talents, it’s essential to know precisely what services you are offering and why people should care about it. Determining your product may require extensive research and analysis, but time invested up front may save you years of working on an unsellable product.
2. Open a Business Checking Account
Separating business and personal finance will save you a world of headaches come tax time. Once you’ve registered your company and obtained an employer identification number (EIN), you should be able to open a business checking account at any major bank. Like personal accounts, business checking accounts come in many flavors. Shop around to find the best terms and conditions.
3. Establish Online Presence
It’s 2019, if you’re not online, you don’t exist. Your company needs to have an online and social media presence. Reserve a domain and set up a website that explains your company’s services. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr are teeming with low-cost web designers, so you won’t have to spend a fortune to get a starter website designed. If you still aren’t ready to fork up the money for a designer just yet, there are some free options to help you get started.
4. Set Up a Business Email
At a certain point, you really should separate your business and personal correspondence. Ideally, you will have a business email address associated with your domain name to make it easier for potential clients to find you. Let’s be honest; that email address you’ve been using since the 9th grade probably won’t inspire trust and confidence from clients and business partners. Choose something professional yet reflective of your company’s culture and services.
5. Accounting System
Establishing good accounting practices early in the game can set you up for success when the bigger checks start to roll in. Personally, I love QuickBooks Self-Employed for this. I can link all my business accounts to it, and it helps me categorize all of my transactions. However, with QuickBooks Self-Employed, I can also invoice my clients and accept credit card transactions. Keep in mind, if your company grows and you take on employees, you may have to adopt new accounting systems to handle the business’s changing needs.
Entrepreneurship can be an incredible experience. For some people, it might be the only option for doing meaningful and enjoyable work. Remember, even though you might not be reporting to another person anymore, you are still accountable to something: the business. Your success will directly depend on you managing the tedious administrative responsibilities just as well as you guiding the company’s mission and product development.