At Members 1st, we believe that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. Building a business requires a great deal of hard work, long hours and tons of resources. It is important to not only consider day-to-day financial needs but to also keep in mind your long-term goals. We wanted to share some advice on how to bring a human approach to the world of finance and business.
If you are thinking of starting a business, the first thing to keep in mind is the importance of having capital. There will be expenses along the way that you will require cash reserves until your business is able to establish revenue. Without this “safety net,” it can be very challenging to get your business off the ground. Having capital will not only ensure that your business takes off, but that it also becomes successful. Investors or business partners may be worth considering as you explore options.
Next, you will want to partner with a trusted tax adviser. They will be instrumental in assisting you with establishing the foundation of your business and achieving success. Your tax adviser will be one of your best resources to help you navigate through intricate processes. The right partner will stick with you once your business is off the ground and support you in future endeavors. The same holds true for other professional services you may need as you start and grow, such as legal counsel, insurance and other professionals. The truth is, starting a business can require you to wear many hats at once and having this trusted network to advise you can be so helpful and beneficial to the success of your business.
You will also want to create a detailed and realistic business plan. This will serve as your road map along your entrepreneurial journey. It is likely that one of the reasons you are starting this business is because you have experience in the industry. An in-depth business plan will be a great reference so that you can step into the industry and grow with confidence. This is also a great tool to share with potential future associates so that they are aware of the expectations and goals of the business. Just be mindful that you may need to pivot and change your strategic plan, so it should be a living, breathing document that you revisit frequently.
RELATED: Start with a mission or vision statement: Human Resources 101 | Naomi FrazierRELATED: In Harrisburg, a struggle to open Pa.‘s 1st Black-owned craft brewery: ‘It shouldn’t be this hard’
Partnering with the right financial institution is one of the most important steps. Often, new businesses need loans to get started and your financial institution should help guide you through what type of loan is best. They should also provide you with a full suite of financial tools to assist you at every stage, including the following:
Save easily: From setting up a safety net to achieving long-term goals, saving money is a key part of your business’ journey.Spend carefully: Each business has unique spending habits, so you should have flexibility when it comes to expenses.Borrow wisely: If you need to borrow money, it is important to find a business loan with terms and rates that fit your budget.Operate efficiently: It is important to make sure you have the appropriate tools such as cash management, merchant services and deposit assistance so that things run smoothly.
When you partner with Members 1st, you will connect with our team of experts. We have a competitive suite of products and services to help new and existing businesses flourish. Our robust digital channels can provide the convenience to access information at any time.
As a business member, you will also have access to a personal concierge. Our MyConcierge™ service was designed to provide you a local, personal single-point-of-contact within Members 1st to be there for you every step of the way.
For Members 1st, success is every business member empowered with the support they need to make the best decisions possible for their financial well-being. We serve our members, associates and communities through support, empowerment and meaningful relationships. We welcome the opportunity to help you take your business to the next level.
Louis Motley is a Vice President Business Loan Officer for Members 1st Federal Credit Union. Louis has extensive experience in business lending, finance and relationship management. Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members 1st FCU serves nearly half a million members through its network of almost 60 branch locations throughout Central Pennsylvania, as well as its robust digital banking and call center channels. To learn more about Members 1st, visit www.members1st.org or call (800) 283-2328.