A startup checklist is the plan behind the plan, what this means is that it is a way to keep track of what you are doing. When starting a business most people get over excited and forget the importance of planning your activities.
Getting over excited is good but not planning and keeping track of things is not good, it can lead to failure. The first thing you have to do is come up with a business plan.
The business plan
A business plan is simply a guide to what you want to achieve, a business plan should contain your goals, objectives, procedures, funding and how you intend to deal with competition. Setting goals and objectives will give you something to works towards (a purpose), the procedures will determine how you reach your goals and monitoring your competition will help you stay ahead of them.
Before you start a business, you must establish its viability, meaning that it must have potential to make profit. This is where market research comes in; market research is there to help you determine whether or not you should continue with the business. If you don’t do it you can lose a lot, you should try lean marketing.
Simply put, if it doesn’t make money don’t waste your investment.
Before you start a business you should have enough money to run it until it starts making money, this may take months depending on what you are selling. There are many sources of finance you can choose from, but the best way to fund your business is to save for it. When you start a business with money you save, you won’t owe anyone anything.
Legal and tax obligations
To run a business you need licenses and permits from the region you are operating in, if you operate an illegal business then the authorities have the right to shut you down. This makes it important to always ensure that all paperwork is in order.
The business should also be tax compliant.
Open an account for your business
Bookkeeping and keeping track of your money is very important, the best way to ensure that your money is in a safe place is by opening a bank account for your business. Once you open a bank account ensure that you get credit cards and all the necessary paperwork.
You should also set up bookkeeping for your business; if you can’t do it on your own, consider hiring an accountant.
Build a brand for your business
You start building a brand by giving your business a name and a website; other important things are business cards, logos, letter heads and anything else that can help you in branding.
The next thing is to link your website to all relevant social media pages. Today social media is big and if you are trying to create a brand, this is a good place to start.
You should also create a marketing campaign for your business; the point of a marketing campaign is to get yourself out there. So ensure that you have one. A marketing plan shows how you plan to promote your business; it will tell you the do and don’ts.
Other important things you need
- suitable technology e.g. computers
- a network (this can be comprised of experts in the field who can help you learn)
- employees (if you need any)
- business coach or mentor