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5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Starting a Business

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Hard timesWhen you’re starting your very own business, there are a lot of things for which you’re going to be responsible. Putting together any kind of organization is going to mean that you’re dealing with a serious amount of moving parts, but a business can especially sensitive. Today, there are a ton of ways that you might set up your business. You can open up a brick-and-mortar location, but it’s also perfectly conceivable for you to earn your living completely on the Internet. There are definitely a lot of options from which you might choose when you’re getting ready to start up a new business. No matter what you wind up doing, however, it’s going to be smart for you to avoid some of these common problems that new entrepreneurs often run into. When you’re getting everything started for the first time, your new business can be tricky to handle. Keep these tips in mind, though, and you’ll be guaranteed to have a much easier time getting everything off the ground.

1. Not Using a Contract. Always use a contract, no matter what you’re doing. Especially when you’re in your early days, everything has to be written down and explicitly agreed upon. When you’re going into business for the first time, you want to make sure that every agreement you make with a customer or client is clearly-defined so that there are no questions or disputes that show up. This is no fun when you’re a new business owner.

2. Misunderstanding Your Payment Terms. If you’re going to work by yourself as a freelancer or if you’re starting up your own small business, you’re going to need to understand when you’ll be getting your first payments. Structure the rest of your business’ operations around this so that you can make sure you’ve got a steady amount of cash coming in.

3. Not Using Business Systems. If you start up a small business, you’re going to definitely want to make sure you’ve got a system or two in place to help you run things. There are a ton of options that can help just about any business owner automate sensitive processes — look into ways that you can purchase systems which will help you run your business.

4. Being Unprepared for Taxes. There are a lot of complicated tax codes, rules, and regulations that come with owning a business. If you can’t afford to hire your own CPA, you definitely want to make sure that you educate yourself when it comes to all the new tax information that you’re going to have to handle.

5. Not Clearly Defining Working Relationships. This is especially important when you’re looking to start your own online business. Working in a brick-and-mortar location is one thing, but it’s easy for online working relationships to remain a little bit more nebulous. Make sure you clearly define whether or not your workers are employees or independent contractors. These options have different implications for both you and your workers, so it’s important to have this detail ironed out.

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