Starting a small business is an exciting and challenging time. As a small business owner, you don’t need to be reminded that it will take dedication, hard work, and persistence, but as long as you have a great product and solid foundation, there’s no reason you won’t be successful. Here are some essential tips to consider.

Keep Track of Your Finances

Setting a budget and sticking to it are different things. Many small business owners need additional financial support when they start, such as small business loans, credit, help from investors, and more. While you have probably thoroughly planned your finances, you must also track them.

Record-keeping will help you track additional purchases or unexpected expenses that arise. Remembering how much you spent on a shipment or bill might be easy right now, but it will get harder to follow where your money is going with time. You want spreadsheets you can look back on months or years from now and understand.

While you own your company, you are also legally required to disclose your financial information to certain entities, such as the US government. All FDIC-insured institutions must disclose their financial information in quarterly reports called Call Reports. Don’t wait until your financial statements are due to organize them. Keep consistent, accurate records year-round to avoid mistakes or confusion later.

Seek Professional Advice

Unless you are running a financial firm, your area of expertise is unlikely to be accounting. Five out of six small business owners consider their accountants to be valuable resources, according to Global Newswire. They provide valuable insights into various aspects of your business, such as legal compliance, tax planning, and marketing strategies. It’s always best to get guidance from an industry expert who is experienced in working with small company owners.

Understand Your Legal Obligations

As a small business owner, you have a list of laws and regulations that you must comply with, such as employment laws, tax laws, and consumer protection laws. Take the time to understand your legal obligations and consider consulting with a lawyer. Failure to comply with any of these laws or regulations could devastate your company and your life, resulting in fines, penalties, or even legal action.

Hire the Right People

You are only one person, and it’s unrealistic to think you can perform every necessary task to ensure the company runs well. Hire people who understand your vision and bring experience you might not have. During interviews, consider candidates’ knowledge, skills, mindset, and work ethic.

Maintain a Positive Work Culture

A positive work environment that encourages ideas, diversity, and productivity is huge for employee satisfaction. Nobody wants to feel like a number or that their thoughts or opinions don’t matter. Let your employees know how important they are, and they’ll be much more likely to stay long-term.

Part of having a positive work environment is paying employees what they deserve. This goes all the way to interns, who often feel like they are the least important people in an office. Avoid unpaid internships, as they are becoming outdated and can be seen as exploitative. Instead, offering at least minimum wage compensation alleviates the risk of having to defend against a Fair Labor Standards Act allegation.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategies don’t have to be expensive. You can use social media, a cheap website creator, and word-of-mouth to attract people’s attention and gain brand recognition. Utilize SEO keywords, maintain a strong website, and consider creating an app.

Small business owners must be resilient and willing to change when necessary. There are many factors to consider to ensure your company is running optimally. Taking the time to invest in your workforce, consult with professionals, keep solid records, and create a strong marketing strategy will put you in a great position to succeed.