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Business Basics - 6 Things Every Small Business Needs to Know

Being a small business owner means that you wear many hats – manager, human resources, accounts payable, training and onboarding. There are many elements to consider, especially when your business is expanding and you are pedaling hard to keep up. To help you get your head around the basics, we have put together a list of six essentials that should be right at the top of your to-do list.

All Systems Go

The back end of the business may not be front of mind when your business is growing. However, your IT and communications systems are a vital part of the machinery that keeps your organization functioning smoothly. Small businesses are looking to the cloud for cost-effective, scalable options for data management, storage, and communication and collaboration applications. Using a cloud delivery model for small business phone systems can provide organizations with a single number which reaches multiple devices or locations. Colleagues can collaborate on documents like customer databases, and everything is backed up in case of system failure.

Choosing the Right Accounting Software

If you are managing the books yourself, rather than hiring an accountant, it is essential to select the right system for your company. Features like payroll and business tax reporting are standard requirements for most businesses. Other functions, such as inventory management or the ability to accept credit card payments, may or may not be relevant for you. You should also consider whether the software that you choose is scalable. Will you still be able to use it five years down the track when your business has grown? Some systems offer a free trial to allow you to test them out. It is also worthwhile talking to other business owners so you can gather first-hand data about the positives and negatives of each option.

Tax Regulations

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the tax regulations. Reporting requirements and eligibility for tax concessions vary depending on the size of your business, so it is worth getting advice on this early. The last thing you want is to be in trouble with the tax man!

Employee Legislation

Another essential area to familiarize yourself with is employee legislation. The laws are designed to set the minimum wage, leave and benefit entitlements, prevent discrimination, enable flexible working arrangements and maintain fairness at work. Like a romantic relationship, things can turn sour when you decide to go your separate ways, so it is essential to know your rights and responsibilities.

Sort Out Your SEO

With so many customers searching for companies online, small businesses can fail just because people can’t find them. The complexity of Search Engine Optimization can scare small business owners, but it is crucial in today’s digital world. It can also be more effective and less costly than traditional marketing. Best of all, you can track the results through tools like Google Analytics, so you know exactly how effective your investment is.

Workplace Health and Safety

It’s your responsibility to assess and mitigate any potential risks to the health, safety, and welfare of your employees and any customers, suppliers, visitors or contractors who enter your workplace. This is one area that it may be worth seeking expert advice to ensure you have covered all bases and have the appropriate systems and insurance in place. Getting on top of WHS straight away can aid employee retention and protect you from potential liability.

Use these six items to start a checklist, and make sure that you get the basics right early on. It will save you time and money in the long run.