7 Steps to Starting a Small Business

Step 1: Put together a business plan

There are a lot of resources on the Internet with guides on how to build a business plan.

What exactly is a business plan? A business plan is essentially a detailed roadmap on how you plan to achieve defined goals.

The level of detail in the plan varies greatly depending on the entrepreneur. Some plans have very elaborate projections, industry and competitor analyses, and financial forecasts. While other plans simply set some goals, some steps to take, a location, and a financing strategy. Regardless of how detailed it is, setting a realistic plan is an important first step for both evaluating the idea before spending money on it and for giving you a sense of direction during the building process. Be sure to have a plan for a difficult first year or two; the beginning is often more difficult than anticipated!

Step 2: Reach out to an advisor

Many small business owners try to pinch pennies and wait to consult with a certified public accountant (CPAs), attorney, or business coach until there is a legal issue, tax filing requirement, or something else is going unexpectedly wrong. This is a major mistake that happens far too often.

First off, many CPAs will provide a lot of great ideas and advice in an initial meeting that will help with the rest of the setup process. In fact, it is not unusual for CPAs and other advisors to provide a free or low cost consultation, especially with an agreement to become a client.

Secondly, you can usually get very good feedback from advisors that may present new ideas that could change your approach or tip you off to something you are not considering already. CPAs in particular are a great sounding board for providing feedback on your business plan’s goals and estimated figures.

Lastly, a CPA, attorney, or business coach is very likely to have other clients or connections in your industry that they will be willing to introduce you to.

Step 3: Determine the legal structure and register the business

There are many different business structures available, and they all have pros and cons. The most popular entity for a small business of the last few years has been a limited liability company (LLC), but it isn’t always the best choice. There are a lot of considerations when choosing a business entity, especially from a taxation perspective. This decision should be something you discuss with a CPA or attorney.

Step 4: Get a tax identification number from the IRS

Once your business entity is set, you can easily get a tax identification number from the IRS website. If you are having a service or attorney setup your business entity, they will often offer this step as part of the package.

Step 5: Register with state and local tax, business license, and permit departments

Speak to your CPA and/or attorney about registering for state and local taxes, a business license, and any applicable business permits. Depending on your industry and location, you will have different requirements.

Step 6: Create a bank account for the business

Once you have a business registered with the state, a tax identification number, and business license, you are ready to open a business bank account.

Step 7: Reevaluate your business plan one more time and… profit!

The first year is typically far more difficult than entrepreneurs anticipate. But being a small business owner can be very rewarding.

Continue to reevaluate your business plan and update it as your business grows. Good luck!

IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: IRS regulations require that we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this article is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Business Transcription Outsourcing Explained Part I

The basics of business transcription outsourcing aren’t much being discussed today, but it seems that with the continuous rise of business startups, entrepreneurs would probably need to run through this valuable concept again.

To simplify it firsthand, a transcription service basically means converting a live or recorded speech to text which is read on paper, either written or electronically. There are lots of types of transcription services and those include legal, medical, tourism and travel, manufacturing and certainly, general business. Business transcription, then, means transliterating any means of communication or recordings done under any business activity that don’t have hard copies or duplicates yet. The concept of outsourcing has created an immense impact on business transcription because it has become in parallel with the rise of BPO companies offering such services. In line with this, new and innovative companies have also emerged and seen the advantages they can get by outsourcing to companies offering business transcription services. This is when the concept of business transcription outsourcing has begun.

When does business transcription outsourcing take place?

Generally, a transcription service is looked-for whenever there’s an important occurrence that a company needs or wants to convert into hard copies or documentation. It simply means that business transcription outsourcing can actually take place in almost any type of business. It is merely because verbal communication cannot be absent in business. On the other hand, it is also possible for companies that focus mostly on typing, research or business conversations (e.g. contact centers) to require duplicates for future references as well. Those companies deal with a lot of data and can also take advantage of such services. Business activities that are commonly transcribed are the following:

  • Conferences and Seminars
  • Teleconferences
  • Meetings
  • Speeches
  • Lectures
  • Lecture Videos and Webinars
  • Focus Groups
  • Group Discussions
  • Workshops and Trainings
  • Interviews and Dictations
  • Telephone Calls
  • Symposiums
  • Market Research Surveys
  • Audio Visual Content
  • Language Translations
  • Court Hearings and Other Legal Measures

Who outsource business transcription?

As discussed above, business transcription outsourcing can be done by companies that deal with a huge amount of data, specifically, verbal data, every day. Various industries can be involved such as those in IT, Legal, Medical, Manufacturing, Travel and Tourism, Finance, Professional Services and more. Some CEOs of huge companies also become decisive of outsourcing the transcription of their daily business activities since they deal with a lot of it every day and cannot simply remember everything all at once.

Why do they outsource?

The reasons why such companies consider business transcription outsourcing are itemized and discussed below:

  • Reduction of Costs: Instead of companies incurring costs in hiring and training new staff for just transcribing the indefinite number of business activities and communications, they can just let their outsourcing partner do that and save a lot.
  • Availability of Outsourcing Companies vs. Your Secretary: If a company doesn’t want to hire or train new staff, then it’s possible that they will just let the secretary do the transcription. However, secretaries do a lot of things every day. It’s unclear whether yours will be available on a specific time that you’ll need her to do business transcription. Unlike with an outsourcing partner, it will always be available to cater your needs. They guarantee easy recovery or access of data that you will need as well.
  • Free Time to Focus on Your Business’ Core Activities: Letting your outsourcing partner do the business transcription will give you more time to focus on creating strategies for your business’ success and growth. Whilst reducing expenses, companies get to increase profitability as well.
  • More Professional Formats: Outsourcing companies can provide their clients a more professional format for the transcription results or reports. Companies who will outsource do not have to worry how the outputs will look like. While there are companies that discuss their output preferences to their outsourcing partners, the latter will see to it that they’ll certainly follow all of it. This also eases the flow of work on both parties.

There can be additional benefits aside from the ones mentioned above. These advantages can actually depend upon the type of company that will outsource its operations and preferences.

Nonetheless, there are also other factors that a company would need to consider whenever they decide to outsource to BPO companies providing business transcription services. Those include the rates, technology and other resources, security, turnaround time and accuracy. The search for the right outsourcing partner could, and should, also depend on these.