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New Year’s resolutions are the traditional time to start working on your goals and dreams. If you’re planning on starting a business, prepare now, not when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. Especially for a first-time entrepreneur, there are several crucial issues that you should tackle early to get your business up and running.

Getting started with a business can be very challenging, especially regarding the various legal issues that will go with it. You will encounter problems you have never faced, such as human resources, tax matters, and licensing requirements. To protect your name, you must ensure it is unique and register it at the federal and state levels. Having the proper legal support can help minimize the risk of getting sued. 

Apart from obtaining legal counsel, the most crucial step before starting a business is to make sure you have a solid business plan. This will allow you to develop a strategy that will help you attract and retain potential customers. It will also help you set and adhere to short- and long-term goals, establish present and future competition, and solidify your customer base. If you require funding, the business plan will have everything needed to show potential lenders or investors.

The executive summary lists everything you aim to achieve with your organization and is your document’s first and most crucial portion. This is also the first mention of your business name, chosen carefully to ensure that it represents who you are and what you’re about. Your company’s legal status—sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or S corporation—is specified in the legal description of your business plan. The items or services you want to provide clients and customers are included in the goods and services section. Your company’s organizational structure outlines how teams will be structured and how staffing is done. There should be a section on intellectual property and other vital assets. The cost of everything described in the preceding parts is laid out in the financials, along with your financial strategy to meet expenditures.

Even if you have the best idea in the world, you still need to tell people about it. Most companies succeed because they rely on something other than word of mouth to sell their goods and services. When it comes to promoting your business, think long-term. With the increasing number of online outlets, it’s important to let people know about your company and set yourself apart from the rest.