A comprehensive checklist for starting a new business including steps such as determining business type, researching competition, estimating costs, hiring employees, setting clear goals, and obtaining necessary permits and licenses.
Are you ready to start your own business?
It is one of the scariest and, at the same time, most exciting things that someone can do in their working life.
To help make this process easier, we have created a list of steps to guide you through starting your new company. Once you’ve finished reading it, we hope you will feel more confident and prepared.
Use this checklist as a roadmap to guide you through the startup process. It will help you stay on track and ultimately succeed. Remember to look for the resources that best apply to your situation. If you are starting an Etsy shop, look for an Etsy shop checklist, if you are stating a SaaS business, look for the appropriate information about SaaS.
The first and most crucial step is deciding what kind of business you want to run. There are many different options, so the possibilities can seem endless. Think about what you are passionate about and whether or not you can make a business out of it.
It will help determine if you should pursue your idea, how much money you’ll need, and where to go from there.
Once you’ve created this list, start thinking about how it can be turned into a business.
Tip: remember that your idea doesn’t have to be complicated or over the top.
Once you’ve determined what type of business to start, it’s time to research your competition and the industry in general.
It will give you a better idea of whether your business has potential or not. You will also learn how big the market for the product or service might be. This will ensure that you won’t try to sell something for which there is already a lot of competition.
Use this step to determine if there is room for more businesses, how much money it will take to launch your idea, and what marketing you will need.
There are many ways to do this, but the simplest is by using Google.
Tip: finding something that looks very cheap or outdated could be a sign that there is not much competition in the area yet, so your business might have potential here.
What are the core skills required for running a business?
For example, suppose you’re starting a marketing agency. In that case, it helps if the owner has experience in marketing and knows which tactics work and which don’t for different types of businesses.
What skills will be helpful in general?
Such a list will help you determine which skills you already have and which you need to develop to manage your business effectively.
It’s a good idea to start by figuring out how much your product or service will cost.
You need to have some financial independence to not be reliant on borrowing from people.
If you currently have a full-time job, it would be wise to start putting away as much money as possible so that when you decide to quit, you’ll still have sufficient savings in place.
Tip: look into government grants and loans that will help you get your business started.
Which tools to use for finding the best price?
Having a brick-and-mortar presence is the next step in starting a business.
It will help you decide if there’s enough room, how much money you’ll need to invest before opening day, etc.
It is now time to look for a real estate agent who can help you with everything from finding the right place at the right price to organizing inspections and surveys.
Starting a business can cost quite a bit of money. You’ll need to keep enough in reserve for months when your sales are low or non-existent, so budget accordingly. It may take years before you start making any profit if you don’t plan for the slow months.
This will allow you to determine whether or not your business can handle it and if there are ways to save more money before opening day without too many financial setbacks.
In addition to knowing how much money you’ll need to launch your business, you need to determine what else needs to be done (supplies, marketing).
It will help prevent massive financial losses and give you ideas for ways to improve your business.
If you can only hire one person, they should be a bookkeeper who can make sure all of your administrative tasks get done. However, if you can include an extra staff member, consider hiring someone to take care of customer service or sales.
First, it will allow you to delegate tasks to focus on the bigger picture and not be bogged down by minor details or day-to-day tasks. It also allows one employee to focus entirely on sales while another focuses completely, e.g., on marketing.
Make sure you follow all of the necessary legal steps for starting up a business, especially if it’s your first time.
If you follow all of the legal requirements for starting up your business, you will avoid any potential trouble for breaking the law in the future.
Start this process as soon as you open your business and make it a regular part of your operations.
Which tools to use to obtain all required permits, certificates, and licenses?
This is your chance to make a great first impression on potential new customers and clients.
Having an active, professional email address and website will allow people to contact you with ease. This is especially important if you don’t have a business location, i.e. if the company operates entirely online.
If possible, try to use a domain that matches your chosen company name so people can find out more about your business online.
It can set the tone of how people view your company in its early stages. Choose something unique and recognizable that reflects what your business is about.
Tip: avoid names that are hard to spell, conduct a trademark search, and make sure the name sounds good when said aloud.
If you are serious about your business, then adding a legal business entity (e.g. Limited Liability Company) will protect you if someone challenges your company’s name or tries to take away what belongs to you by claiming they did it first (similarly to how trademarks work).
Creating a separate business with its own rights and responsibilities will help you protect your assets. Even if you don’t start with much money, creating a legal entity is vital to protect your company.
Depending on the country, region, or state, this process may differ:
Many new startups begin life in a home office or co-working spaces. Although these are options that can help keep costs low whilst allowing for flexibility in how and when employees work, you may want to seek a new space as your team and business needs grow.
Make sure the office space reflects the kind of culture and image you want your company to have.
If someone were visiting your website or store in person, would they get the best impression possible?
The best place to start is by searching for a realtor in your area who can assist with finding business spaces and commercial property listings.
Once you have identified some potential options, you will want to consider factors such as location (is it close enough to home for you to be able to work there every day?), amenities (what do they offer? How much would it cost if you needed those services?), and price.
You will then be able to choose the best office space among all the available options.
Describe your company’s mission statement and values to help guide employees during difficult times or projects.
Your employees will know exactly what should be accomplished and how they can help. A clear mission statement and values will ensure that everyone is on the same page about the company culture. Include metrics such as revenue growth or the number of new customers acquired each week/month.
The best way to start is by creating SMART goals for your company, meaning specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Set objectives that are realistic but challenging enough to grow with you as you expand the company’s horizons.
Think about how your product will solve your prospects’ problems in an innovative way. Focus on what makes your product or service unique and better than the rest.
Knowing about your ideal customer’s pain points will help you create products that solve these issues.
The best way to find out about your customers is by talking to them. One way to do this is by creating surveys to obtain direct customer feedback.
There are many ways for a startup business owner to find out more about their target audience. Some great resources to use are:
Make sure that you have an accountant for bookkeeping who can help handle company finances.
Your business accountant will make sure that all tax implications and accounting records are covered, while your bookkeeper will look after day-to-day aspects like invoicing and sales order processing.
If possible, meet with them face-to-face at their office so that you can see the environment for yourself.If you are not able to do that, a phone call or a Skype meeting might be a better option.
Ensure that they have experience within your business industry, as it will likely take them some time to understand how your business functions.
Don’t forget to check reviews and referrals.
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is a phrase that summarizes your company’s competitive advantage.
A strong USP will help you stand out from the competition.
The best way to determine your company’s competitive advantage is by gathering feedback from your target customer base. Consider using a questionnaire or conducting an informal interview with some of these people if possible. Once you have done so, start looking for patterns in the feedback that you receive.
At the beginning, knowing what promotional activities are most effective can be challenging. Try to have a plan in place as soon as possible. However, don’t fall into the trap of not regularly tweaking your promotional campaign.
It will help to increase sales and introduce your business to more customers.
Test different activities and see which ones work best for your business. Once you have found something that works well for you, it will be essential to stick with it until another activity proves even more effective.
A business plan is a roadmap to success and should include key business milestones, timelines, and financials.
Having attainable goals along with a realistic schedule and specific action items increases your chances of achieving them.
Here are some of the essential components:
Starting a business in 2023 may seem more difficult than it did before the pandemic created so much uncertainty. A thorough business plan that prevents you from missing anything important is more important than ever before. Our Business Startup Checklist will help you to make sure that you are on the right track.
The amount will depend on your idea and how big it is. Generally, the more people involved in an idea or product, the more complex and costly it will be. However, if you’re bootstrapping (starting with little outside funding, this should help prevent many unnecessary costs.
The simple answer is to do your homework. You need to research the market, be aware of industry trends, and take a fresh approach that hasn’t been done before.
Not necessarily. The beauty of the Internet is that you can now learn a lot from books, courses, mentors, etc.
The best way is by finding problems in the marketplace and devising solutions to them. This can be done by studying your own pain points, which could apply to others.
Some of the most notable ones include being your own boss, exerting control over what you do and how you do it, plus developing skills that can be used in other areas throughout life.
The most crucial is to have an idea that solves or meets market demands. You’ll also need good leadership qualities, critical thinking skills, and being able to communicate well with others, especially if you’re trying to grow your company’s team
It needs to be. And there are many ways to ensure this is the case. They include finding a niche, having an innovative idea, as well as using analytics (e.g. Google Analytics) and optimization tools (Google Search Console, for example).
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