When it comes to opening a new business, there’s no secret, magical formula that guarantees success.

After years working with and speaking to countless business owners in their first year, McNabb Lucuk LLP has learned a few simple strategies that can help set any business on the right path, wherever that may lead you. If you have questions on how any of these recommendations can apply to your business, reach out to us by phone or email.

Don’t Think You Can Do It All

Your interest or knowledge about an industry, product or service was likely a major deciding factor when choosing what type of business to open. Understanding your areas of strength and how they can be leveraged to meet your business goals is a fairly obvious, yet important part of planning a new business.

Knowing where your weaknesses are is almost equally as important as your strengths, especially during that first year while establishing a brand, position in the market and growing your customer base. Acknowledging your weaker points and identifying where you can bring in outside expertise to perform these functions can not only save time, money, and reputation but it provides opportunity to focus on areas where you are more specialized to build a better foundation for the future.

Work smarter by choosing a task or function of the business that you least enjoy or that takes you the most time to complete. Start by outsourcing a person, business or even a technology that can perform that function better or faster than you can.

As your business grows, you may find bringing in specialized team members or outsourcing non-core business functions continues to allow the business to focus on the areas they are strongest in to succeed.

Know What Future Success Looks Like

Your goals and vision of what success looks like for your business should remain clear. This “bigger picture” mentality helps new business owners stay focused on what needs to be done now to get where you want to be in the future. Set short, medium and long-term goals and celebrate, or at least recognize, when a milestone is reached or a goal accomplished.

Don’t Be Distracted by New Opportunities

Avoid temptations to expand your business too early. Stay focused on your business plan and core functions to build a strong foundation during the first year. You likely put in a lot of thought and investment into opening your business and you owe it to yourself to carefully evaluate all expansion or growth opportunities. Jumping too quickly at new ideas could put you on the path to become the next “general store”, offering a breadth of products or services with no depth or focus.

Pay Yourself

Owners often choose to either collect a salary as an employee or take dividends from the business as a way to collect proceeds from their business. Whichever income model your business decides upon, it’s important that owners actually make an income. In the first year, it’s common for shareholders to invest in getting the business open and operational and to forgo some remuneration but at some point, personal investment and a suitable income should be withdrawn.

Keep Business & Personal Expenses Separate

Set up a new bank account and credit card for your business. Keeping business and personal expenses separated early on makes it easier for owners, bookkeepers and accountants to reconcile expenses at the end of the fiscal year.

Shareholders can simply apply for a business bank account or credit card under the business name or open a separate personal account for business purposes.

At McNabb Lucuk LLP., we can provide a full review of your business and personal accounting and offer taxation, business growth and succession planning strategies to help make your goals as a business owner a reality. Contact us by phone at 780-539-3400, or email [email protected] or [email protected] today to get started.

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We’ve compiled a list of five easy to follow recommendations for new business owners in our latest blog. Follow these simple strategies to remain focused, motivated and ready for year-end without having to do-it-all.