People are always asking for a checklist to jump start their own small business. It’s not easy to come up with a list that will work for everyone. Flexibility is KEY! Starting a business takes patience, determination and planning. Do not be overwhelmed in the early stages. Be kind to yourself. Ease up on your stress. Let the following general steps be your guide:
It’s satisfying and rewarding when starting and owning your own business, but be sure to do your homework. As a future business owner, think about every aspect of your business. Come up with answers to as many questions that potential investor might ask you. Preparing answers to these questions ahead of time, will help you be more confident and responsible as you speak to bankers, accountants or others about your new venture.
- Create your Business Plan
Your business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. It’s a document that tells what you plan to do and how to do it. Main parts of your business plan are: (1) executive summary, (2) company description, (3) niche market analysis, (4) company’s legal structure, i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership or S or C corporation or LLC, (5) describe your service or product line, (6) your marketing, sales strategy and financial projections.
- Gather Resources
Create your list of everything you’ll need and its approximate cost, whether it’s : office space, new computer, other expenses, or a warehouse. Also, think about if you need employees (or be sole entreprenuer) and how many it will take to properly run the business. Every business needs resources to help it succeed.
- Market the Business
Start planning the ideas for marketing and sales. In today’s world, having an online presence is key. Depending on the appropriate social media channel for your company, utilize Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. It is important to engage customers, build relationships and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind.
- Straighten Out Business Finances
It’s very important to setup proper accounting, bookkeeping and tax records. Ignoring this will have negative consequences and can be dangerous and costly. Consider hiring an accountant for your business who can ensure that taxes are paid correctly. Maintaining necessary employee information for payroll and taxes is another key responsibility for business owners.
- Create a Maintenance List
I suggest creating a list of regular tasks and scheduling them on a project management dashboard. This ensures you will continue the regular housekeeping tasks of the business so it runs smoothly.
Your list will probably not be so comprehensive as to include everything you need to know to ensure financial success, but it is a step in the right direction. If you need a helpful hand to plan out your first steps, Schedule an appointment with William Wolske CPA today!