In the modern world, there are many opportunities for business owners to start their own company. However, it can be difficult to know what steps to take in order to get a successful startup off the ground. Here is a list of essential items that every business owner should consider before starting a new venture.
The business startup checklist template is a list of steps that will help you start your business. This includes everything from choosing a name, to setting up your office space.
This post is part of our “Business Startup Guide” – a collection of our articles that will help you get up and running quickly!
Starting a company from the ground up may seem to be a mammoth task. The reality is that it isn’t.
Yes, you’ll have to work hard and dedicate yourself to working on it at all hours of the day, but getting started is as simple as making sure you’ve “checked all the boxes,” which is precisely what our company starting checklist intends to assist you with.
I’ve divided the activities into manageable categories and included links to resources that will assist you in completing each step of the process.
Check out our post on Getting a Business Started in 30 Days if you want to put yourself through a fast-paced version of the beginning a business checklist.
1. Come up with an excellent business concept
A profitable company concept isn’t the only thing that counts. It’s one that’s a good match for you, your target market, and your geographical region. You’ll be in business for a long time, so choose something you’re passionate about.
2. Put your company concept to the test and do market research*
“Ideas are a penny a dozen,” as the saying goes, but what about excellent ideas? How do you know you’ve discovered something that will work on all levels?
To determine this out, we utilize the lean planning approach. Of course, you should start by talking to actual people—do they truly want a fine Basque restaurant in their area, or would another doughnut store be more to their liking?
- Define the “issue” that your company is attempting to solve.
- Summarize the “solution” your company provides.
- Determine who your target market is.
- Determine who your ideal client is.
- What is the size of your market?
- What is the cost of acquiring a client and how simple is it to do so?
- Determine the ideal location for your business.
- What are the benefits of your solution above those of your competitors?
- Make a list of the people who will assist you in putting your plan into action.
- What will each team member’s main duties be?
- Will team members have a stake in the company?
- Make a simple financial plan.
- Make a list of your company’s milestones or objectives, as well as when you intend to accomplish them.
- How long will it take for your product to reach the market?
- Validate your concept.
- Interview prospective consumers to make sure they have the issue you’re attempting to address.
- Interview prospective clients to ensure that your solution is one that they will be willing to pay for.
- Check to see whether your first pricing points are appropriate for your consumers.
* While we recommend that students and new entrepreneurs do market research before getting started, you should not allow “doing market research” hold you back if you already have a good understanding of your industry. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of genuine businesses are led by individuals who have firsthand knowledge of their industry and are willing to stake everything on it! The process of company planning does not have to include market research. “If you know your market, go on!” says Tim Berry.
3. A formal business plan may be required if you are seeking financing.
While a 40-page business plan isn’t required to get your company up and running, organizations such as banks may need one if you’re seeking financing.
In this scenario, you may inquire whether a “one-page pitch” (also known as a one-page business plan) would suffice, or if a conventional business plan with a comprehensive financial component is preferred (this is the part they pay most attention to).
Complete each of the parts of the plan mentioned below:
If you need a head start on your strategy, check out our collection of business plan samples or download our free business plan template.
4. Create a logo for your company.
Customer loyalty and increased revenue are dependent on a good brand. If you believe a brand is just important for large companies, think again. A brand is important for companies of all sizes.
This is the point at which all of your hard work pays off. Now that you have a better understanding of your target demographic, you have the chance to capture their attention via your brand. And, of course, to enjoy yourself while doing it!
5. Legalize it
Before you can open your store and begin conducting business, you must first ensure that all of the required boxes have been ticked. Have you formally registered your company name? Have you applied for any local or state licenses? Have you acquired an Employer Identification Number (EIN)? Some things will have to be done “by the book.”
6. Obtain financing (only if you need it)*
While not every company need outside financing, the majority of companies do, at least in the beginning. Pitching for financing, whether to a banker, a VC, or your family, should be a breeze if you’ve gone through your company plan and have a firm grasp on your financials.
* It’s important to note that not all companies need funding. The overwhelming majority of service companies may benefit from planning in order to remain on track, but they do not need financing. Simply get started whether you’re a freelance writer, a designer, a management consultant, a business plan writer, or anybody else who uses a talent that doesn’t need a lot of money.
7. Open a store
You’re nearly set to go; there are just a few more things to iron out. You’ll be ready to start marketing after you’ve located your company space or set up an office and started the recruiting process.
8. Promote and launch your company
It’s time to start getting folks excited for your grand opening. This is your chance to start things off on the right foot! If you give yourself enough time, the press may approach you about doing a piece on you, and you’ll be able to spread the news on your own as well as urge others to help.
Please let us know if you’d need additional information on any of the areas covered in the business starting checklist above by leaving a comment.
A small business checklist is a list that can be used to help new entrepreneurs figure out what they need to do before starting their company.
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