A No-frills Guide to Running a Business and Self-employment

Starting your own business can be challenging. Let’s rephrase: starting a business is hard, but it’s not impossible. As many people discover soon after establishing a start-up, these ventures can be incredibly draining to manage.

However, when done right, running your own business could very well be the key to your financial freedom, and financial security.

In this quick guide, we share a few critical things you should know about self-employment and successfully running your own business.

Understand that it’s a full-time commitment

A business requires significant resources, energy and time in order to run successfully. It’s essential to be prepared for this when venturing into entrepreneurship, as many successful entrepreneurs will know.

There are countless challenges to look out for, including how to deal with your competition, hacking cash flow management, working long hours and hiring the right people for the job. Anticipating these challenges from the get-go will make it easier for you to address them when they crop up.

Protect yourself from financial liability

This is the #1 rule in the self-employment and entrepreneurship bible. When starting a business, it’s crucial that you protect your personal assets by forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company). This separates you from the business; the business, in essence, becomes an individual legal entity that files taxes, pays employees, takes out loans, etc.

Conducting your business through an LLC will leave you personally exempt from the debts and liabilities of your business. Once you open your company, you should make sure to follow all the corporate formalities of running an LLC. You should only pay company taxes from the business accounts.

You should also ensure the board of directors conduct an annual board meeting – and that the minutes are written.

Get life insurance for the self-employed

While becoming self-employed is an empowering step towards financial independence, it strips you of certain perks that come with being employed. These include maternity leave, paid sick leave, compensation for death-in-service and more. These are really important benefits, and it’s crucial to ensure you have them one way or another. If you’re self-employed, this will mean providing them for yourself.

Getting a self-employed insurance policy will give you the financial protection you and your family need. A few useful life policies to consider here are income protection, critical illness protection and family protection plans.

Be intentional with the name, logo, tagline, etc.

Another integral part of starting and running a successful business is coming up with a good name and logo for it. In this age of social media and online buying, branding is everything. This is why you should be deliberate about the name you give your business.

For one, it should be easy to spell and pronounce. You should also make sure it’s not trademarked, and that there are no other registered businesses with the same name.

Once you find a good name that’s free to use, make sure to trademark it. You can then get a domain name and have a website set up.

Focus on providing great services or products

As far as we know, there’s no shortcut to having a successful business. However, ensuring that your business is providing high-quality products or services almost always guarantees success.

Competition is bound to be steep, and if there are other businesses offering better products at better prices, you’re likely to get forced out of business.

You should also ask for customer feedback from the beginning so that you can make critical improvements as you go. This way, you will completely tailor your product to your audiences’ needs, and that’s a good thing.

Assemble the perfect workforce

This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of running a business. It’s pretty hard to staff your business, especially when you’re just getting started. A start-up requires lots of devotion and care, and you need team members that are willing to put in the extra hours.

If you find someone that’s half as committed as you are, keep them and treat them well. Try to figure out what everyone’s strengths are and delegate duties based on them.

Pay attention to what your team members say and promptly address any issues that may arise. This will make them feel heard and respected, and like their input is vital, making them more likely to fulfil their duties enthusiastically.

Ready to run a business?

Starting and running your own business is no easy feat, so if you’ve managed to do it, congratulations! If you’ve been running a venture for a few months or years and are wondering whether you’ll ever get enough sleep again, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.

Although being a self-employed entrepreneur can be so challenging, it’s incredibly fulfilling to watch your brainchild come to life and eventually become successful. That could be your reality if you remain focused on the goal.

So keep going, better days are surely ahead. Good luck!

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