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Doc Prep Business Checklist
Document preparation business can be highly lucrative and rewarding. Unfortunately, not all of them become successful. This is because starting such a business is a big step and one-thirds of them fail to succeed mainly due to poor planning. One obstacle if finding payment processing solutions, as you will need an expert in doc prep merchant accounts to get you approved for a merchant account. If you want to start a document preparation business that is positioned for success, then you will need to plan carefully and take care of the key start-up tasks properly. Following are the steps that will help you in this regard:
#1. Determine Your Business Structure
When starting a document preparation business, you will need to decide whether you want to be a sole proprietor, company, or partnership. Each of these structures have their own pros and cons, as well as tax reporting responsibilities. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact a good financial advisor for guidance.
#2. Choose a Name and Register it
Every country has a dedicated website where you can apply to register your new business. You should visit that website, fill out your details, and apply for registration. Furthermore, it would also be a good idea to conduct a trademark search to make sure that the name of your business is not too similar to another as it could lead to legal issues.
#3. Create a Website and Social Channels
A social media and online presence is crucial for any business. To create a website and social channels for your document preparation business, you might need to outsource. However, if you are tech-savvy and want to do it yourself, then use any of the several DIY website builders e.g. WordPress, Squarespace, etc.
#4. Find Funding
This might be from personal savings, crowdfunding, government grants, family and friends, banks, investors, or any combination of these avenues.
#5. Set Up Accounting
When it comes to record-keeping, every business has tax and legal obligations and it pays to do this right from the beginning. You can outsource to a reliable accountant or use any of the commercial offerings for this purpose e.g. Xero, MYOB, etc.
#6. Start Researching
Know your legal requirements and obligations of running a document preparation business. Search the appropriate government website in your state and find out legal obligations and requirements about inventory management, distributions, refunds, etc. so you can comply with such rules and avoid potential problems.
#7. Work Out Staffing
If you have got employees or plan to employ them down the line, then you will need to have contracts in place that set out your and their responsibilities and rights. It would be a good idea to consult with your accountant for this purpose.
#8. Create a Marketing Strategy
Whether you are bootstrapping or you have a big budget, be sure to share your ‘why’ with the world and engage your target audience through social media. Create content via a blog on your website to attract clients. Use SEO techniques and keywords specific to your target audience to improve your search engine rankings.
#9. Buy or Lease Business Premises
Buying or leasing business premises is a requirement if you choose to go bricks-and-mortar. You will need to either enter into a commercial lease or buy commercial property and equipment. Before you make a decision, it is recommended that you seek out professional help from solicitors and accountants.
When you are starting a document preparation business, taking care of the above listed tasks properly will help you get your business off to a great start.