I originally wrote this post over at Blue Lotus Collective but would also love to share here if you’re in the process if starting your own business…
Getting clients is just one of the many aspects of launching a startup. Setting everything up in itself is a full-time job, and much of it should be done before you throw clients into the mix. Contracts, NDAs, proposals and so forth are not tasks you can just throw together overnight. All of it requires a good amount of time and research to put together, especially if you have never taken a business class.
Sensible tips for startup entrepreneurs
According to the Gaurdian, “it’s a tough road to success: about 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years, and tech startups fail at a rate that’s estimated to be as high as 90%.” It’s rough out in these entrepreneurial streets, which is why it’s so imperative you check the following off your list:
A lawyer – There are plenty of businesses that start with a URL and a dream, and have achieved tons of success without the help of a lawyer. However, we’ve seen it all when it comes to business owners not knowing their rights. We suggest consulting with one to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. It’s a huge expense but better to pay now than to really pay for it later. Forbes has a great on article on when you should you hire a lawyer for your startup.
LLC/S-Corp – Whatever you decide, you have to think about things like taxes, entities, trademarks and by-laws. All the not-so-fun stuff, especially if you’re a creative who just wants to show the world your amazing talents. Protect yourself first. Legalzoom has a lot of great information on which one is best for you.
A website – We get many Linkedin DMs from people who would like to partner with us but do not have a website yet. No website, no reply. Sounds cold but a website is your real estate. It’s imperative to have one in today’s market. If websites are not your speciality, hire someone who can create a simple format for you. You can always upgrade later when your business starts to take off. If you’re on a tight budget, give a Wix or Squarespace a try. Their templates are fairly simple to update.
A planner – Digital or hand-written (or both!) will be your life-saver. Sounds like overly simple and obvious advice but managing a full day for yourself requires a lot of self-discipline. It’s important to set short and long-term goals, and your day to day tasks. Otherwise, you will start to feel overwhelmed. We rely on Google Calendar but there are other planners worth a try – Todoist, Trello, TripIt, One Note, and Evernote to name a few.