Today is the concluding part.
4. Have a website and use company domain email addresses.
Again, no matter the nature of business you are into. Even if it is pepper selling.
This year I have facilitated five different digital marketing training class sessions where participants where from big pension, insurance, retail, real estate and bank companies. The foundation of an effective digital marketing strategy is built on having a proper website, and the most effective digital marketing tool is email marketing. So how will you properly implement digital marketing and make the most of email marketing if you don't have a proper website and if your business email is email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org?
I have heard from the participants how their companies lost millions of Naira business deal to a competition because the client searched on google first before remembering them.
I am also a strong testimony of the power of a strong online presence. 90% of our clients found us online. Even the Kano training I just finished and got back to Lagos today (which is the main reason this post is coming late), I got because someone who found me online referred me to the client. And now they are extremely impressed they said they will definitely do more business with us next year.
A word of caution, for your email I'll recommend you use Google Apps or Office 365. You don't want your email landing in your client's junk/spam box. And that is often the case when you use those crappy cheap ones bundled with domain hosting. In short, the ones most web designers will create for your company for cheap. I use Google App.
5. Annual Filing with Corporate Affairs Commission
Only our lawyer fully understands this and even brought it to our notice. She's a great person and an excellent lawyer. I will gladly send you her contact if you need a business lawyer.
She saved us from impending penalties. I never knew that we needed to do annual filing. Now I know, and now you too know. And as we all know ignorance is not an excuse where the law is concerned.
6. Employee Tax with Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS or your state IRS).
I am still trying to fix this for my company. I am the only full-time staff, others are commission/project paid. It's not at all difficult. In 2012 I had to handle my tax registration and tax payment while working as a consultant for a telecoms company. They made it mandatory that we showed evidence of tax payment, as the entire pay was before tax and tax obligation was on the consultants. I walked into one of the LIRS offices and they guided me through the entire process. Got even my tax card. The issue now is that I am not properly salaried. Next year I will be finding out the right way to do it. Maybe I have to start paying myself salary and deducting PAYE.
And those are the items in my essential checklist. To your business success!