Recent research into bankruptcy statistics in the United States (US) shows that 21 655 business entities nationwide filed for bankruptcy in 2020, and 53% of all bankruptcy filings from 2014 to 2021 were in the service industry. These were likely small businesses such as restaurants and hair salons.
The question then is what can business owners do to ensure that their business is successful? David Bunney in his book, Success Leaves a Trail, sets out several steps to fast track business success.
Find a Mentor
One of the best ways to succeed is to follow others who have done it before you. Connecting with others who are willing to teach is one of the best ways to learn. However, in order to gain the most from your mentor, you need to be open-minded to the information you receive.
Shift Your Mindset
In order to be receptive to information gained from a mentor or from your own experience, you need to know what your goals are and why you have them. Only then will you be able to fully accept learned information and explore new opportunities.
Learn The Mechanics
This is the practical aspect to success. You can learn and understand as much as possible, but in order to succeed you need to put those lessons into practice. It is therefore important that you know the ‘how-to’ steps on making your idea a reality.
Within these steps, Bunney sets out various considerations for business owners to ensure success, such as; ensuring that the relationship between the prices charged and the services or products provided is reasonable, engaging in appropriate promotions, being innovative in developing new products, and more.
Appointing a Registered Agent
In addition to the steps set out above, appointing a registered agent is a vitally important step for any business.
When forming an incorporated entity, a registered agent must be appointed. By ensuring that legal documents are received and reviewed, a registered agent performs a vital service to any business. While it is generally possible to appoint yourself as your business’s registered agent, your address will become a matter of public record, which will drastically reduce your privacy. For this reason, the best registered agents can be registered agent services. It is important to consider your options as not all registered agent services are created equal. Factors such as cost and customer satisfaction may be important in deciding which registered agent service to appoint.
Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year)
Established in 1998, Northwest’s selling point is that it has the best customer support. If you still need to incorporate your business, Northwest’s incorporation service at $225 includes one year of registered agent services. Northwest also offers discounts for businesses who need registered agent services across multiple states and is the only registered agent service that scans all documents it receives on your behalf.
ZenBusiness has the best overall prices. Established in 2015, it already has thousands of positive customer reviews. ZenBusiness also provides incorporation services for $39 which includes a year of free registered agent services.
IncFile was created in 2004 and has assisted over 250 000 business clients. IncFile can also incorporate your business at the cost of $0, which includes a year of registered agent services.
Rocket Lawyer ($149)
Rocket Lawyer has assisted over 20 million customers since its creation. It may seem rather expensive, however, it offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and if you sign up to their additional legal service for $39,99 per month, you will get 25% off the registered agent service.
LegalZoom ($299 per year)
Established in 2001, LegalZoom has assisted over 4 million customers. Although the price tag is rather steep, LegalZoom offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and you have 60 days within which to request a refund. They also offer a compliance calendar which keeps you abreast of important dates, such as when to file your annual report.
While CorpNet’s has incorporated over 100 000 entities, it still maintains a personal touch that many of its competitors lack. CorpNet also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee if a refund is requested within 30 days. However, given their outstanding customer feedback, it is unlikely that this will be necessary.
Starting a business these days can be challenging. That said, there are some key steps you can take to maximise your business’s chances of success. One of these is ensuring that you appoint the right registered agent. Businesses should consider appointing a registered agent service to fulfill this important role.