Starting a new business in any sector comes with a lot of responsibilities. After all, when you start a new company, you’re no longer just beholden to your own interests. Once you’re employing other people and serving customers, you have a duty to consider those stakeholders as you grow your business. Being accountable to others is one of the main things that separates a side hustle or gig moonlighting from truly being the head of a company. It’s important to recognize this distinction prior to launching your new business venture.

All of that said, even if you know that you’re in the right ideological headspace to start a new company as an entrepreneur, you may need some help gathering your bearings. There are so many people out there who want to tell you how to create your company, and while it’s important to listen to others’ ideas, it’s just as crucial that you don’t lose sight of your own vision for your business. After all, it’s that spark that will lead you through the dark when the going gets tough (and it will)! Here are five common tips to keep in mind as you plan and build your new company.

Hire the right people.

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Even if you have a lot of great ideas, you can’t start your business by yourself. There are way too many responsibilities involved in running a company, no matter what industry or niche you’ve chosen to pursue. As such, you’re going to have to bring on others in order to fulfill your vision and help make your dream company a reality. When looking for collaborators to hire, it’s crucial that you find like-minded individuals who’re interested in helping you build your company up, rather than take your company in the direction they’re most interested in.

Additionally, it’s a good idea if they bring their own perspective and industry experience to the table. Just because someone doesn’t have industry experience doesn’t necessarily rule them out though. For example, if someone has five years of experience handling the marketing and communications efforts of a local museum, they may still be a good fit for your lifestyle brand if they’re passionate about your company and its mission. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb if someone feels like a good fit but lacks experience in your particular niche.

Have a plan.

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Having a plan may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget your plan in times of turmoil when decisions need to be made fast. Rather than letting everything you’d previously established fly out the door in these sorts of high-pressure situations, it’s best to fall back on the plan you’ve already crafted to guide you forward. As such, having a solid plan in the first place is pivotal.

Business plans can take a variety of shapes and forms, but two of the most pivotal components to include in your business plan include a timeline of all production and marketing activities as well as a detailed budget. Both of these can serve as your roadmap through your first year of business, helping make sure that you don’t miss any important deadlines or overspend on anything related to your company’s activities. It’s okay to reevaluate and adjust your plan as you gain more information about how your company is performing; however, it’s always best to have a strong foundation when you set out to launch a new business in the first place.

Keep things secure.

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Especially if you have a large building or campus where you do business, it’s important to keep things secure. To a certain extent, that sort of security comes from investing in technology that helps you better keep tabs on your physical property, such as a dedicated security camera system. Having security cameras indoors and outdoors can help you better understand what’s going on at your company day-to-day, deter criminal activity, and provide you with a valuable record if you need to provide video clips of a crime when filing a police or insurance report. That being said, there are a lot of different options when it comes to platforms to use for your surveillance system.

While there are many security cameras to weigh the pros and cons of, there are some features that you should definitely prioritize with your company. For example, having two-way audio may be helpful if you use an outdoor camera to monitor access into your building. Another commonly-sought after feature involves continuous recording, so you never miss a second of security footage you capture. Of course, if you’re going to use a camera that records 24/7, video storage is going to be an important consideration, too, since you can’t rely on changing a MicroSD card every time the storage space starts filling up. This is where cloud-based video storage can be a major boon, since it allows you to scale the storage of your video clips without sacrificing continuous video recording. Leveraging security camera cloud storage is easier than you might think, too, so it’s definitely worth looking into.

Be prepared for e-commerce.

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Nowadays, e-commerce has become a major component of most businesses’ revenue streams. Opening up sales online has allowed companies of all sizes to increase their profits by getting in front of more buyers. If you have an online marketplace set up already, you’re probably already getting some business online, but you could be limiting your earning potential if your IP address is on an IPv4 block list. While this may sound like something you shouldn’t have to worry about if you’re just getting started, the reality is that more IP addresses are on the IPv4 address block list than you’d initially think. Having dedicated IPv4 addresses for your business is an important step towards optimal data security, but not just any IPv4 address will do the trick. As such, it’s a good idea to purchase IP addresses that don’t put your e-commerce efforts at risk and are clean.

5. Spring for the small things.

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Part of creating a lasting business and retaining the great employees you’ve hired comes down to the workplace culture you create. It may seem silly, but even the type of coffee you offer you employees can be a perk of working at your business. Whether you like a hot cup of coffee, whole bean roasts, or cold brew, one way to help keep your stock well-equipped is to choose a monthly subscription service that helps you and your employees try new coffee options. As such, a coffee delivery service is definitely something worth including in your budget each month, since it can brighten the coffee drinkers you work with days and save them the cost of a cup from the coffee shop around the corner.

While the above five tips are by no means all-encompassing, they should serve as a helpful window into the important kinds of decisions you’ll be required to think through if you’re leading a business of your own. Who you hire and what you plan on having your business do are two of the most vital things to clarify before you go to market. Beyond that, it’s important to leverage technology surrounding IP addresses and the cloud in order to better protect your company and future proof your business efforts. The final tip on the list may seem less impactful, but these sorts of philosophical underpinnings can come to define the workplace culture you create as well as the business leader you become. It’s true that starting a new business can be challenging; however, with the right information, you’re bound to go far. By keeping the above ideas in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a sustainable, successful business.

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