Your 10-Step Checklist for Starting a Small Business
Many people romanticize entrepreneurship. Starting a small business is actually going to be one of the most challenging experiences in your life, as you are responsible for the success of your company. There are a lot of boxes to check off to get yourself established and aligned with industry and market requirements. Here is a 10-step checklist to get your small business rolling.
1 . Check the source and level of your motivation
Are you starting a new business just to free yourself from your current boss or to chase after a shiny piece of new technology without a game plan? If so, you are probably unprepared for what’s to come. You should have the mindset that there is a real issue to solve and that you have the solution to it.
2. Have Industry Experience and Management Skills
You will need to manage vendors, employees, and countless workflows. Make sure you understand your industry very well. You will need to be a competent leader and industry expert to start off strong and remain relevant.
3. Register a Business Name
Come up with a unique business name and register it to protect your assets. Your name should reflect the kind of business you are doing, be memorable, and should not match any others in the market.
4. Acquire Business Permits and Licenses
The law requires every business owner to possess a business license and all required operations permits. You need to acquire these before operations begin so as to avoid fines or the risk of being shut down.
5. Acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Apply for your EIN, which is a basic requirement for businesses. If will let you open a business bank account and perform other administrative activities, such as filing your taxex. Think of it as the social security number for your business.
6. Define Your Business Model
Once you have determined the demand for your business, develop a business model that can keep your company alive. What exactly are you selling and how will you price it to make a profit? Consider every aspect of your business and environment.
7. Write Your Business Plan
Document how you will run your business. Define goals and objectives and also what you will do to grow your business, not just keep it alive. A well developed plan will come in handy when looking for working capital loans for your small business.
8. Obtain Funds
Check your bank account to see if there is enough money to manage your first year’s expenses and get things going. You should be covered for both business and personal needs. If you need a working capital loan, compare your different options carefully. Once you have the money, make sure you understand how to manage your finances.
9. Build a Website
Welcome to the 21st century, the digital age. If you don’t have an online presence, it will be hard to drive traffic to your physical location.
10. Market Your Business
How will you get people through the door? How will they learn about your product or service? You may have a great business idea, but it won’t do much good if you can’t get the word out about it. A successful marketing campaign should make people understand what you are doing and why it is important to them.
Starting your own small business today is a multifaceted process that involves many working parts. Observe all these items to get off on the the right foot.