Congratulations! You have started your own business, or have decided to turn your part-time work into a full-time business. You have now entered into the world of entrepreneurs. This is a world where you have freedom to make your own moves about your time, money, and talent. And yet, you and you alone bear the burden of your company's success.

We at Business-keepers Consulting first want to say, again, congratulations! On this page of our website we will offer 9 strategic moves that will help you on your path to building your business.


The KEYS to a better business are the space, place, and name to handle your customers. Your phones and pros will give you the edge, and time; good books and equipment will keep you above the rest.

9 strategic moves that will help you on your path to building your business

  • First and foremost, set up a place where you can keep your paperwork. Every business, no matter how big or small, has paperwork. Designate a safe, accessible place for your papers. This could be an office you have set up at your store; a room, or a corner of a room in your home; or your garage or warehouse. This paperwork "station," we'll call it, should have a phone (cell phone works), and if you have the funds, a computer, a comfortable desk/chair/table, and a filing system of some sorts.
  • Filing system: Don't be too concerned about having a huge file cabinet that takes up a lot of space. In the beginning, and depending on your paperwork level, a simple accordion file can do for a while. What really matters is that you have a place to file your receipts. Now we know filing is not something you want to spend a lot of time doing. However, we have determined that filing a receipt here and there, on a regular basis eliminates the need to block out hours at the end of the year sifting through a shoebox for all the right receipts to give to your tax preparer at year-end.
  • Company name: What are you going to call your business? Do you need a "name" for your business or just call it by your own personal name, such as Jerry Jones Plumbing? If you use your own name, you don't have to do anything but tell your customers to make their check out to your name. However, if you want to use a "fake" name, what's called a fictitious name, something other than your own name to personify your business, you will have to obtain a fictitious name with the county of which you are going to do business. For Orange County, California, it would be the Orange County Recorder's Office. Check out our website links for the link to the Recorder's office for more information.
  • Handling money: The next step and probably before you receive your first payment for services or products sold, you need a checking account. We strongly suggest you set up a separate checking account for your business. Some people don't want to go to the trouble of managing a second account (other than their personal account), but it is necessary when running a healthy business because it is easier to determine what your business income and expenses are if they are not commingled with your personal funds. If you are using a fictitious business name, or your company is incorporated, you will need to bring proper paperwork establishing the company's legal name to the bank in order to open up the account bearing the business name.
  • Phone system: You will need a phone number by which your customers can get a hold of you. You should have a dedicated phone line just for business whether it's a landline or cell phone. This number should be solely for business so when you answer it, you state your business name and are prepared to handle your customer's needs. Be aware that you do have competition and that your consumers know this, so professionalism will stand out. If you do not answer the phone, but let a machine pick it up, have a professional and accessible message (not something funny or playful, but direct and helpful). We recently conducted a survey whereby we called over 50 businesses in the Orange County, CA area to notate how the business phone was answered. A machine, not a human, answered ninety percent of the calls we made. Of those 90%, 20% were answered by a fax, whereby we were not able to leave a message. Your customers must be able to reach you and you them so have a good phone system in place and answer your phone, or at least return phone calls promptly.
  • Hire professionals: Before you need them, and prior to a crisis, have in place a good attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA or a tax preparer), a bookkeeping service, and a payroll service. Just like you wouldn't operate on your own leg, if it were hurt, nor should you tackle your own legal battles, prepare your business's tax returns, or handle a myriad of accounting tasks that the government throws at the self-employed. Your time is better spent tending to your customers' needs and bringing in more sales.
  • Time Management: Prepare to work long hours and make lots of decisions. Prioritizing your time is critical in managing your business. Know when to set aside time to make cold calls to drum up business and when to finish the job at hand and not let it stretch out for days.
  • Basic bookkeeping: Don't let billing of your time to client's get behind; stay on top of your invoicing to keep the cash flowing. Pay bills early. You don't want to start your business on the wrong foot with your vendors; your relationship is very important and you will be using them as references as your business grows. If you don't have the money in the bank, don't write the check. Bounced check charges are around $33.00 per bounce and eat away at your cash flow, not to mention your credit scoring with your bank.
  • Equipment: Have the right tools for the right job. If you cut corners, you will find you are spending more in time to make up for the cuts than the cuts are worth. For example, don't go to the store and buy one ream of paper for $3.50 when you can buy a whole box for $20 (10 reams) and save yourself 10 trips to the store for more paper. The proper tools of the trade will make you better and more efficient at your job. The more efficient, the less time it takes to do the job and the more profit margin you make because you can move onto the next job instead of poking along with the wrong tools at each job.