Coach Andrea Duah
Looking to start a business, congrats, its an experience that can be fulfilling, challenging, and thrilling all at once. It’s very likely that you are feeling uncertain of where to start or where to go to launch your business. If that’s your predicament, then you’ve come to the right place. Below is a compiled checklist or a to-do list when starting a business. It’s a guide on how to get your business out your mind’s eye and into reality.
- Develop an idea
Your idea is everything! You are probably starting a business because you had a need that wasn’t fulfilled elsewhere or you saw a chance to do something greater than the competition. Make this idea solid and put it on paper. From this moment, your venture is on its way to fruition.
- Choose a business name
Once you’ve developed your idea, you most likely have a functional business name in mind. However, before you continue, decide on the actual name. It will be needed on all important documents, presentations to investors and banks. Think about what makes your business unique and how you can leverage that into a clever, but straightforward way in your business name.
- Determine the costs
Find out how much money its going to take in order to get your business out into the world. Take stock of everything so won’t surprised down the road. You will need funding, retail space, employees, branding help, marketing materials, The list continues. Get a grip on your expenses during the first year at least, so you can prioritize costs and options once your business is in motion.
- Write a business plan
The above steps have laid the foundation for your business plan. This is when you officially lay down your idea and create the strategies and maneuvers needed to launch your business. Everything about the business whether physical air abstract should be addressed within the plan. Preferably, the plan should include detailed information for year one, three, and five so you can show growth and sustainability within the document. Create a business plan that is useful and actionable and you’ll be glad you did down the line when you have a clear path to success.
- Register your business name
Since you selected the business name you want, you should protect it by registering it through the right agency.It is the required step to officially operate a business as a sole proprietor, an existing corporation or LLC. An LLC provides the owner with protection of his personal assets from the debts and liabilities of the company
- Set up the books
It’s now time to get your finances arranged. Open a bank account just for your business, record every dime that is spent, make a list of suppliers and clients, and frequently balance your checkbook. QuickBooks was created to be a useful accounting infographic to simplify accounting for those who are not trained In book keeping. If you are not familiar with accounting, then you’ll need to meet with an accountant to make sure you’re covering all your bases and don’t leave your business open to unforeseen taxes and fees.
- Secure permits and licenses
Just like registering your business name, each state has specific requirements for licenses and permits. Some industries, such as transportation and agriculture, require federal licenses and permits. You should carefully study the permits associated with your kind of business so that you don’t miss anything.
- Buy insurance
Your business is almost like an extension of yourself and may even feel like a child of yours.And when a child is born what do you do? You get them health insurance as soon as possible! The Same thing goes for starting a business. Just as it was with licenses and permits, your business may need different types of insurance depending on many factors. The most common insurances are professional liability, general liability, commercial property, product liability, and home-based business insurance. Before choosing which one you need , you should inquire first.
- Build a business website
We live in modern society and a website is now a requirement for any business. It is often how people discover and authenticate new businesses. Create a professionally designed website that shows your business’s values and communicates what your business has to offer to prospective buyers. If you know nothing about website building then you should contact someone who does (although you can contact many people to get different opinions).
- Order marketing materials
Do not underestimate the significance of print marketing materials. Business cards and flyers are very useful materials that can be used in a number of ways. Create materials that are consistent with your brand standards and include all important business information so they are useful to potential clients.
Make use of every chance you get to network and spread positive word of mouth (ads) about your business. Attend local gatherings, as you wait in line for coffee talk to people, and dig up old contacts who may be interested in your new business. Networking and connecting is half the work of getting a business to take off the ground.
- Find a mentor
This is not as easy as it sounds, but having a mentor is something that many people take lightly, and it will help you tremendously. An neutral third-party can show you things from a different perspective when you’re battling with tough decisions. Look for someone who has business experience, who is trustworthy, and whose opinion you value. If you can’nt find any one within your own network, SCORE is a program dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs with mentors. They can match you based on industry and other factors to find the best fit. Just try it.
- Remind yourself why you’re doing this
Dedicate a few minutes each day to why you chose to pursue your passion. This is because you can easily lose sight of your dream when starting a business. The above exercise will bind you to your purpose and give you motivation during tough moments. Enjoy the process! It’s the ultimate reward (creating something)when your business becomes a success, however, you choose to define it.
Starting business takes organization, perseverance and will power. Use this checklist to keep your business on point and on its way to continuous growth. Start now and go beyond your limits.