Did you know that over 50% of small businesses fail within their first year, and that number increases to more than 95% after five years?
Why do so many businesses fail? Likely because they never had a solid business plan in place.
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Does the idea of being your own boss put a smile on your face? If so, starting a small business might be in your future.
What can you do, though, to avoid becoming a part of those high percentage of businesses that fail? Continue reading to see a business startup checklist that can help put you on the path to success.
Part One: The Preparation
Before you can officially start telling people that you are a new small business owner, there are some steps that you should take.
These checklist items will prepare you for opening your business and get you set up to accomplish tasks that will come up later.
Nail Down Your Business
The first thing that you need to do is assess the viability of your business idea. Ask yourself: will it be able to compete with other businesses? Is there something similar to this in the area? Is this truly my passion?
If the answer to any of those questions is no, you might want to adjust your business idea and see if something slightly different will work better.
Create a Business Plan
At this point, it’s wise to create a detailed business plan. This plan should include things like:
- An executive summary
- A description of the company
- A market analysis
- Your marketing plans
- Your structure plans
- Financial information
Having all of this information laid out will help you better understand what you need to do as a small business owner.
Figure Out Financials
Starting a small business requires funding. Where will this funding come from, and how much do you need to begin? Do you have enough money set aside? Will you need to take out a loan or aim to find investors?
Having this figured out is crucial before moving on to the next steps.
Part Two: The Set-Up
Now that you’ve taken the necessary steps to prepare your business for success, it’s time to set up your business. These checklist items will officially establish your business and prepare you to move along further.
Choose a Name
The business name that you choose will define your business. It will also often be the first thing that people have to form an opinion on.
Because of this, it’s essential to choose wisely. Whether you go for something simple, witty, personal, or bold is up to you.
Consider asking your close family and friends their opinion before settling on a name.
Register a Domain
As soon as you solidify a business name, register a domain name as close to the business name as you can get, if not exact.
Doung this as quickly as possible helps to better your chances of getting a domain name that fits before someone else takes it.
Figure Out Legal Structure
Now it’s time to decide what your business structure will be. This is the time when you can protect your personal assets and apply for an EIN so that you can open business bank accounts in the future.
Apply for Necessary Licenses
Depending on the state you live in, your business will require different licenses to operate.
Take the time to do some research, see what ones you might need, if any, and apply for them promptly.
Secure a Business Provider
Your business will undoubtedly need internet, TV, phone, and security. Take care of this now so that you don’t need to worry about it later. Check out Comcast Business Solutions to see a business that can handle all of these aspects in one fell swoop.
Part Three: The Reveal
Now that your business is legal and officially established, you can begin to take care of checklist items that slowly unveil your business to the world.
This is the exciting part!
Build Your Online Presence
Now’s the time to set up social media profiles and begin adding content to your website.
Try to keep your usernames as close to your business name as possible, and consider having a social media content plan in place before you begin posting.
Secure Financing and Infrastructure
Both financing and the need for retail or office space should have been outlined in your business plan. At this point, it’s just a matter of taking care of these aspects of the business if you haven’t already.
Lay Out the Immediate Plan
At this point, a comprehensive plan has been made, but it’s important to have an immediate plan of action to follow. This plan will outline how you will officially open the business to the public.
It will also help any co-founders or other people involved to understand their role in the business better.
Finally, it will outline some things that you need to take care of in the future like:
- Ordering business cards
- Creating an accounting plan
- Getting insurance
- Hiring employees
For now, you can pat yourself on the back for officially starting up your business!
Basic Business Startup Checklist
This basic business startup checklist covers everything that you will need to know! From solidifying your business idea to opening your doors and letting the world know that you exist, this checklist lays every step out.
If you follow the advice found here, you will be on the right path to beat out all the failing businesses and make it past the five-year mark!
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