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Small Business Checklist: Top 5 Areas to Address First

Whether you’re looking to run a side hustle or a full-on business endeavor, starting a small business takes a lot of hard work, commitment, and planning. You’ve probably thought through your ideas and are wondering where to begin. It can be daunting to figure out what to tackle first when starting your business and a Google search may lead you down too many rabbit holes.

If you’re looking for a short overview of the first things to address on your small business checklist then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a few suggestions of the top 5 areas you need to address first when starting your small business. From registering your business, to creating an attractive brand and website with powerful tools, we’ll fill you in on what you need to have prepared in order to ensure success and growth in the coming year. 


1. Register Your Business 

Registering your business is an important first step for any business. By doing so, you add your name and business name to your state’s business registry, making things truly official and allowing you to form a legal entity in your state. You may have started out as a sole proprietorship, which is the simplest way to start your business but also invites risk as you grow. As a sole proprietorship, the law sees no difference between your personal assets and your business assets, meaning that if an accident occurs you are fully liable. When you incorporate, your business takes on that liability and not you personally. 

Take the guesswork out of incorporating with the help of With Incorporate, you’ll be able to form a corporation by simply submitting an application. Just send in your information and Incorporate does the rest. You don’t have to worry about filling out additional paperwork when their agents are standing by ready to do it for you. And, after incorporating through them, you get the support you need whenever you need it. Check your state’s guidelines for incorporation to be sure you’re following the right protocol. You can find out more here. 


2. Open Business Bank Accounts

After you’ve created your business entity, you want to be sure you have the necessary bank accounts open to run your business. Keeping your business expenses separate from your personal ones is important and will help you maintain records of what you’ve spent and earned as a business, making for a smoother tax season next year. 

If you’re not sure where to go to open business accounts, you can always try your personal banking institution first. They might be able to offer you more options or better benefits when opening a new account through them. A few other banking institutions that you could also consider are Wells Fargo, Chase, or Capital One

Aside from offering different options for business checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards they also offer different merchant services, SBA lending programs, and payroll services. However, we recommend utilizing the Small Business Administration’s guidelines of criteria to consider when choosing a financial institution for your small business.  


3. Set Up Payroll Services 

You might not think that having a payroll service could be of much help when running a small business. After all, it might just be you and a few employees at the beginning, or just you. Even if it’s just you and a few others, having a payroll service can greatly benefit the way you manage your business by increasing efficiency and reducing the time you spend on it, allowing you to focus on other important activities to grow your business. 

Payroll services, such as Helpside, make it easy for you to pay your employees, manage any benefits, and address risk management. Helpside specializes in serving small businesses as they strive to be more efficient, more focused, and more productive. Helpside will work with you to find the best combination of solutions for you and your employees. Check out Helpside’s payroll plans and find out more about how they could benefit your small business here.


4. Protect Your Business With Insurance 

Every business owner will face risks that could cost you down the road. These risks vary greatly depending on the type of business you have, the number of employees, the products or services you sell, and more. As a small business owner, you will want to consider insurance coverages like  General Liability Insurance, Product Liability Insurance, Workers’ Compensation, and others. 

General Liability is one of the most common coverages and insures you against third-party bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury claims. For example, if a customer slipped and fell in your business resulting in an injury then General Liability policy could cover a claim like this. Product Liability is designed to cover claims arising out of the use of your products that cause bodily harm or property damage. For example, if you sold soap and a consumer had an allergic reaction to it then this type of policy could cover costs associated with that type of claim. 

You face many risks when running a small business and you need to put up proper safeguards to protect it. Just like you wouldn’t drive your car with the right insurance, you shouldn’t want to operate your business without the needed coverage. 

For your insurance needs, check out a small business insurance marketplace like Insurance Canopy for a variety of insurance coverages based on industry and specific needs. Insurance Canopy offers A + rated insurance from the best carriers in the nation. Their application is completely online and their agents can get you quoted in as little as 48 hours. Premiums depend on the kind of business you run, your annual revenue, number of employees, and a few other factors. Visit Insurance Canopy to get the right insurance coverage for your business.   


5. Utilize Marketing and Branding Tools

Marketing and branding your company may seem like an overwhelming task. A simple web search to find the best business-building practices and tools provides you with a daunting amount of information to sift through. To ease your burden, the professionally trained marketing and branding team at Big Red Jelly comes in to save the day.

Big Red Jelly helps you navigate the digital landscape by providing you with the necessary services to develop your brand further, set up the right digital tools, and grow with our support. Our team is dedicated to helping businesses succeed and will support you every step of the way by helping you manage your digital platforms. Check out some of the other services we offer to see if they could help you grow too. 

Big Red Jelly can help get you found through their strategic marketing and branding services:

  • Brand Research
  • Brand Development
  • Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Digital Tool Integration
  • Hosting/Web Services
  • Digital Strategy & Support
  • Marketing Automation
  • & More 

To get started with Big Red Jelly, sign up for a free consultation today!


Checking Off The Boxes

There’s a lot that goes into running a small business and maintaining your efforts. You need access to the right tools that will enhance your business and keep you on top of your game. By utilizing Big Red Jelly’s branding and marketing skills and Helpside’s payroll services early on, you’ll set yourself up for success and avoid some of the more common mishaps business owners run into when they start out. We hope you’ve found some quality advice and put it to use.