Thanks to Mike Doyle, University of Georgia Business Outreach Services, Dalton College; Jacquelyn Adkins, J. Wiley Adkins P.C., Dalton; Nancy Mayo, Division of Rehabilitation Services, and Georgia Woodward, Dalton/Whitfield Chamber of Commerce for providing the information for this section of the Career Depot web site.
Of new business entities started each year, over 80% fail due to poor management and/or financial difficulties. More often than not they fail because the owners or management did not consider one or more of the ingredients needed for business success.
The following information will assist you in deciding whether or not to start your own business, help you once you have decided to get started, and provide assistance in making your new business a success. It will help you decide whether you are qualified and if you have considered the various phases of going into business for yourself. Careful thought now may help you prevent mistakes and avoid losing your time and savings.
If, after reviewing this information, you have doubts or see areas of weakness in your business plan, we strongly recommend that you obtain professional guidance. There are many free resources available in the community to assist you.
We hope that you will profit from the accumulated information presented here and apply it for the benefit of your own company. Good luck in your venture.
Leadership ability is essential for any small business with one or more employees. Management ability is often thought of as synonymous with leadership, but it is not. It is much easier to define and execute management rather than leadership. Successful business entities have strong leadership. As a small business owner, you should manage yourself and lead others. You should be able to do the following:
Consider how many employees you will need and their qualifications. What you can pay will to a large extent determine how many and how qualified your employees will be. Usually a new business will have to get by with fewer than it would like. Hire at least one person as soon as feasible to reduce your repetitive, time-consuming work in order to free you for more productive tasks.
If you hire inexperienced personnel, the cost is lower. However, it will take time and effort on your part before the employees are trained and productive. Hiring skilled, experienced employees will cost more but will require less of your time to train and supervise them.
Consider these sources for selecting employees.
Family members or relatives will often work for a lower salary or commission and loyalty is high, but sometimes the talent is not available. The ability to effectively supervise and correct is sometimes impaired.
Types of Business Organizations
You should consult your accountant and attorney for the type best suited for your business.
You will need a projected income and expense statement and a source of financing. Your personal credit should be good. It is important to have enough capital to operate a new business for some period without expecting to break even or show a profit. Sources of loans and/or information include input of individual assets, outside investors and financial institutions including banks, U.S. Small Business Administration, Certified Development corporations, University of Georgia Business Outreach Services, Georgia Tech Economic Development Institute, and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Banks usually require that the principals of small businesses guarantee the debts.
Methods of financing include:
You probably will have to register to do business. If using a trade name, you must register it with the Georgia Secretary of State. You may have to obtain an Occupational License. Check with your local city hall and county courthouse for required licenses. If your business is located in a county that does not require a license, you may still have to obtain a city license if you go into the city to do business and vice versa.
Obtain necessary forms and plan in advance to meet tax requirements. Required taxes or forms include Employer ID Number (SS-4); Employee Withholding Certificate (W-4); Wage and Tax Statement (W-2); G4-99; choose an account method - accrual, cash, or hybrid; choose a tax year - calendar or fiscal year; Tax Deposits for Federal and Georgia Income Tax, FICA Social Security and Medicare, Federal and Georgia Unemployment Taxes, Federal and Georgia Estimated Taxes, estimated Corporate Tax; Quarterly Federal Tax Return (941 Form); Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return (DOL-4); Transmittal for W-2 (W-3).
Obtain necessary insurance including liability and fire, product liability, group health and life, workman's' compensation, and vehicle. Workman's' compensation insurance is required in Georgia if you have three or more employees. If you have less and do not carry unemployment insurance, you are still responsible through self-insurance.
Know your market. Is it very competitive? How does your product or service fit with supply and demand? Marketing research resources include the Department of Labor; literature such as magazines, journals, etc.; telephone, mail, or personal surveys; University of Georgia Business Outreach Services; and Georgia Tech Economic Development Institute.
Be careful when considering a totally new product or service. If no one else offers a similar product or service, be sure and ask why no one else is doing it. It is sometimes better to enter a market with established competition and do it better than to try to sell a new product or service for which there may be no demand.
Advertising is a must for getting your message out to customers. You can explain the advantages of buying from you, boost your company's image, and promote name recognition. Ways to advertise include newspaper, radio, magazine, television, direct mail, bill boards, internet home page, premiums, incentives and advertising specialties, and word of mouth.
Some media outlets such as newspapers, radio, television, and internet providers will help prepare ads for spots placed with them. Professional advertising agencies can prepare artwork, plan advertising campaigns, and help with public relations.
Keep track of what the market will bear (supply and demand). Check to see what your competitors are charging. Make sure your purchasing and inventory systems work effectively and in conjunction with your pricing system. Allow for a comfortable profit margin.
Look for promotional opportunities and send out news releases. Create attention by news-making events or occasions such as an open house, new product, sale, etc. Have a home page on the internet and keep it up-to-date. Always include your URL (internet address) in any advertising.
The University of Georgia Business Outreach Services, Dalton College, Dalton GA 30720 (706) 272-2707, fax 272-2701
Georgia Technical Institute Economic Development Institute, Dalton Regional Office, Dalton College, Dalton GA 30720 (706) 272-2702; serves Catoosa, Dade, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Walker and Whitfield Counties
North Georgia Certified Development Corporation, Loan Officer, 503 West Waugh Street, Dalton GA 30720 (706) 272-2300; serves Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties, may be able to assist in adjacent counties
Georgia Highlands College Small Business Development Center, Mr. Drew Tonsmeire, Center Manager, P.O. Box 1864, Rome GA 30162 (706) 295-6326
Georgia Small Business Administration, Laura Brown, District Director
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Publications and Reading
Good luck and keep your sense of humor!
Employers, Education, and Economic Development
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Revised: Friday, 14 November 2008 11:42 AM