Small business entrepreneurs believe the business concept they have laid out in a business plan will come to fruition and be a money-making venture. They decide on a business name, the type of business entity, like limited partnership or limited liability company, and finalize the paperwork to obtain a business license, employer identification number, and business checking account. Once officially a business, small business owners will pass many milestones as their business matures.
Progressive Business Milestones
Small business milestones, which might include some listed below, may mark strategic business moves to grow the business and establish a name in the community and on the internet.
Logo developed. Whether a logo is an artistic design to make people think of the company name, like the Apple image for Apple computers, or the logo is the company name displayed in unique fonts or colors, finalizing a logo design is a big step toward branding a company name.
Moving the office. Many small business owners start operations from their home. When a business takes off, the business owner may find the home office too confining to handle the products or equipment, or the office space may be too lay-back to fit the customer image of a successful business person. Gaining customer confidence is key to success and moving to a building with office space might provide the edge needed to outperform the competition. When moving into new office space, the business owner can work with the local Chamber of Commerce to hold an official ribbon cutting ceremony, which may be posted to a local newspaper, equating to free marketing.
Hiring first employee. Bringing that first employee into the company can be a nerve-wracking decision, wondering about funds for salaries. On the other hand, hiring that first employee might come as a relief to have someone to help carry the workload. Whatever the feelings, hiring the first employee is a monumental milestone.
Business website. Simple or elegant, a business website gives potential customers an easy way to find a business. For the budget-strapped small business, some websites offer free or low cost access with templates to create a simple website to get a business name on the internet.
Not to be overlooked are the “firsts” a small business owner may experience, like some of these:
First customer. Whether a product or service industry, that first sale or first customer, is a landmark milestone.
Out of the red. Starting a small business can be a drain on personal savings. The first month a business financial balance summary indicates more money was earned than spent is a heralding milestone.
Being asked for business advice. A business owner must feel exhilarated the first time a friend or stranger or asks business-specific advice.
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