Want to start your own business but clueless where and how to begin? What should you do first? What’s the next step? Save yourself from worries and apply this handy checklist we created to guide you in accomplishing the tasks you need when starting a new business.
Because there’s so much to remember and do, we’ve broken it down into the main tasks you need to do right away, and those that you can postpone until later.
Checklist for Startup
Things You Need to Do Now
Before launching or during the early days of your business, here are the tasks you must perform.
1. Get a mentor.
A mentor who has succeeded in your industry can provide you with priceless advice and serve as a sounding board.
2. Determine the viability of your business.
Is your business viable? Your startup needs to be something you can make a profit doing. Ask yourself: will customers buy your product? Make sure you can cover the costs and make a profit.
3. Develop a business plan.
Form goals and objectives for your new company. Start with a detailed outline of what you plan to accomplish. Your business plan should contain details of pricing strategies, marketing initiatives, accurate industry research and financial plan.
4. Figure out your source of capital.
Where will you get the money to finance your business? Work out what savings, income and solutions you can use to finance your business. If you need financing for the business, start investigating as soon as possible.
5. Come up with a business name.
The name of your business should be unique, impactful and easy to remember. When choosing a name, consider branding and its customer appeal.
6. Choose your business structure.
Are you becoming self-employed or are you going to be a company? Talk over structure (corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship) with your attorney and accountant.
7. Obtain an EIN.
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) helps you separate yourself from your business. You’ll need it if you plan to incorporate your business or open a business bank account.
8. Get business license(s).
You may need one, if not several, business licenses for your startup. Most local governments require businesses to obtain licensing before they begin to operate.
9. Open a bank account and Set up your accounting system
Businesses must maintain separate business and personal accounts and records. Establish a separate business bank account so that your personal assets are not co-mingled with business funds. Once you have your bank account, choose an accounting program. Maintaining an accurate, clear, and legal accounting system will be a fundamental backbone of your business.
10. Create a website.
In today’s business world of Internet searches and social media, a website is an essential item to complete on your small business startup checklist. Register a URL that is memorable and relevant to your company or industry.
Things You Can Do A Bit Later
While you don’t want to put off these tasks too long, they don’t need to be checked off your list before you launch.
1. Upgrade your smartphone and apps.
As an entrepreneur, you should always be on the go! A good phone with good business apps can be useful in running your startup.
2. Get insurance coverage.
You may need insurance like liability, workers’ comp, or health insurance, especially if you hire full-time staff.
3. Hire your employee(s).
You can get full-time staff or just outsource freelancers, interns or third-party vendors.
4. Choose your suppliers and service providers.
Find a good source of inventory. Choose good and reliable suppliers and service providers so you don’t have to sweat the details.
5. Reach out to your network.
Talk to your former co-workers and colleagues, as well as friends and family. Tap into them for introductions and help with other things on this startup checklist.
6. Refine your pitch.
You need a persuasive and clear business pitch to get potential investors, customers, prospective new hires and bankers.
7. Refine your product, marketing and sales approach.
Use customer feedback to refine your product and service offerings, and your go-to-market approach.
8. Secure your IT.
IT problems can derail a fledgling company. Protect your computers and devices from intrusions and disasters. Back it up!
9. Get a salesperson or sales team in place.
You need a dedicated sales function so you can focus on activities other than day to day sales.
10. Check your cash flow.
Regularly check your cash flow, be it daily or weekly. Having a good cash flow allows your business to fly.