5 Items Business Owners Must Include on Their To-Do List

5 Items Business Owners Must Include on Their To-Do ListStarting up a new business takes a lot of proverbial blood, sweat and tears. From the most basic tasks like choosing what products you will sell and a company name to more complex decisions like how you’ll handle payments and if it’s a good idea to hire your Uncle Bob as manager, it’s a time-consuming and even stressful process. For people who are getting their new business ducks in a row, the following to-do list can help streamline and simplify the entire process.

Register Your Business Name

Have done your homework to make sure your new business name is not shared by anyone else? A business name availability check can find out if your business name is currently being used and can help you avoid spending money branding a name that you cannot adopt. The free, non-binding business name search is simple—the form requires information including your contact information, business name and state. After you have secured your name, you can move forward by filing your Articles of Incorporation with your state or regulatory agency. Each set of Articles of Incorporation forms and fees differ from state to state; follow these four steps to make the filing process quick and seamless. For more on name search and business and trademark information, visit the Learning Center and click “Business Name.”

Learn All You can About Google Analytics

New business owners need all the tools they can get to make their new venture a success. One of these helpful tools is Google Analytics. Seshu Edala, a writer for Forbes notes that 80% of U.S. small businesses have fewer than nine employees. With Google Analytics, your small business does not need a designated data genius; anyone from your small team can operate this user-friendly tool. This statistics tool can show entrepreneurs customer click patterns, social media reports, in addition to features like real-time reporting, and event tracking. As a major bonus, Google Analytics utilizes easy-to-read graphs and charts so even the least technologically knowledgeable person can understand the important information about their new business.

Determine Payment Options

Before your business is up and running, it’s vital to determine how customers will pay for your goods and services. For example, if you are providing on-going service, it makes a lot of sense to set up a recurring billing service from a fellow small business like Chargify. With 17 total employees working to serve 1,300 merchants around the world, Chargify supports most business and non-profit pricing models. Some of the most common models include flat rate billing every 17 days, metered billing every three days, and billing all customers on the same day each month. Unlike its competitors, Chargify connects customers with merchants effortlessly by operating in a secure environment and allowing customers to choose how they want to purchase with customized solutions tailored to the consumers transaction preference including trial periods, fees, promotions, and refunds.

Read Up on Wix

Regardless of whether your new business is brick and mortar or based purely online, you will need a snazzy website to help spread the word about your products and generate orders and business. In order to help create a visually stunning website for your business, take some time and learn about Wix. This free resource helps even the least tech savvy people create fantastic websites. For those who have nightmares about learning website coding, Wix is an ideal solution—it features a “drag and drop” template that is fully customizable to your business website. If you decide to change your logo or your company colors, Wix will allow you to easily go back in and make any desired changes to your template.

Get Help from oDesk

As you get your business up and running, you’ll probably find that you’ll need some help—at least from some temporary staff or freelancers. oDesk features an enormous database of talented contractors like data pros, SEO geniuses, content creators, app builders, and code developers, who are ready, willing and able to work. Start by posting your job description. After your posting, a candidate will follow up with an application for the assignment. If you two are a good match, you can hire the candidate via a virtual interview. As the work is being done, you can track your contractor’s progress and send follow up messages. When the work is finished, pay your contractor through the oDesk secure payment portal. oDesk is a great resource that can be used to make your next project, big or small, a success.

Whatever your passion may be, it takes hard work and dedication to bring your small business dream to fruition. Easy to use tools like Google Analytics, Chargify, Wix and oDesk allow for small business start-ups to work smarter, not harder.

Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories.

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