Start a small business recently? Congratulations! Hopefully you've already talked to us about how we can help you grow that business as your payment solutions provider. So, what can you do to prepare for that growth? Fox Business recently shared some of their ideas for some key actions to take during the early stages of entrepreneurship so that you'll be ready once your business starts to blossom.

1.) Plan for the Unexpected

Take the time to create an in-depth business proposal that outlines a plan for your potential growth, accounting for turns that the industry might take. Many startups are so busy "treading water" that they don't plan on having lasting, core strategies in place for major industry changes that could have been predicted.

2.) Scope Out the Competition

By taking advantage of search engine ranking and keyword tools, business owners can check out what the competition is doing online. Their actions could inform your own strategies and help you explore new marketing tactics or even service and product offerings.

3.) Protect Your Online Brand

Register with your local and online directories, social media profiles and domains. There are many directories that may already list your business. If you don't claim the profile, someone else (maybe even a competitor) could claim it and change the listed information for their own purposes. To avoid that, register your business with free, popular local listings: Google Places, Google+, Google Maps, Yelp, Foursquare, Yahoo and Bing so you secure your business name on those platforms. After you claim the listing, you can also optimize it with background information, service or product offerings, pictures and more to give users a better idea of what your business is.

4.) Secure Your Website

The more traffic you get, the bigger a target you are for hackers. Protect your website and your users by takings steps to prevent viruses and hacker infiltration. You can also be proactive by using tools like Sucuri SiteCheck to scan for malware, spam, blacklisting and other security issues on your website.

For more details on each of these strategies for future business preparedness, click here to access the original article.