You’ve found your golden idea and you’re ready to make the jump and start your small business; but what happens next? If you’ve never owned a business before, knowing where to begin can be tough. This is why we’ve created a simple checklist for you to keep in mind when launching your new small business. Keep reading to learn how!
How to Begin:
Create a Business Plan
When thinking of starting a small business, the most important way to begin is by creating a business plan. This will help you take a closer look at the details and your financial projections. To help you get started, you should conduct market research for your industry. Additionally, you will want to ensure that your business plan is an ongoing project and adapt and revise it accordingly.
Determine Your Finances
One of the most stressful parts of starting a business is the financial aspect. Although not every startup will require outside funding, you will need to establish a foundation of money to cover the anticipated, and unanticipated costs. Once you’ve created a business plan, you’ll have a better understanding of how to move forward with your spending.
From there, it’s critical to set up a bank account specifically for the business. It may seem like a good idea to utilize your personal account for your business needs, however, this leaves the opportunity wide open for things to become intertwined. Luckily there are a number of banks out there that cater specifically to small businesses, some of which make things so simple, you can sign up for mobile banking for small businesses right from your phone.
Choose the Name of Your Business
If you haven’t done this already, selecting the name of your business is what’s going to set you apart and define you. Finding the perfect name can be difficult, especially when it comes to choosing one that doesn’t already exist.
Consider using a tool that searches corporate names to make these matters a little more simple, and keep in mind, you want the name of your business to be meaningful and resonate with your target market.
Register an Online Domain
Once your company’s name is solidified, creating an online domain name that matches is crucial. You will want the domain to be official, and not with a URL that ends in “.wordpress” or some other free website platform.
Your URL needs to assert to users that you are a real company and plan to be around long-term. Once this is done, your audience will have an easier time locating you through search when you’re ready to officially launch.
Apply For a Business License
Not all businesses will require a business license, depending on your industry and location. However, you will need to do this research in case you have to submit an application for one. If you’re unsure where to begin or how to apply, go here to learn more.
Make Your Mark Online
Once your business is on the verge of launching, you’ll want to establish an online presence. This means creating an entire website for your business domain along with social profiles. If you don’t have the means to create a website yourself, be sure to hire someone to assist in creating it.
You’ll also want to create multiple social profiles, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to start. However, for every social profile you create, you will need a designated person to post consistently on each of the platforms.
Rent Work Space
Depending on the type of company you’re starting, you may need to rent a retail or office space for business. If you’re running a brick-and-mortar retail company, you will want to keep in mind location, foot traffic, and accessibility for your store location.
If you don’t have a retail business and don’t need an office space just yet, it may be a good idea to keep your business online to save on initial costs. If this is the case, make sure you have the right technology for remote work so you and your employees can do their jobs efficiently.
If you went in on this business with partners, you’ll need to assign responsibilities for business expectations. This will help your company stay organized and ensure deliverables and tasks are getting done on time and by the right person.
Market and Launch Your Company
Getting your company known can be tricky, so having a strategic method for this is ideal. You can start by getting involved in your community to educate them on your company and what you offer. Furthermore, business cards are a must to distribute to potential customers and networking. Luckily, there are a lot of cheap ways to get business cards right online.
The amount of employees you’ll want to hire is dependent on the type of industry you’re in. Some of you will need a team of employees from the very beginning, while others can wait to do this later. In order to grow your business and be successful, you’ll need help from others at some point. Begin by analyzing how many employees you need and how many you can afford and go from there.
Tips For When You’re Already Established:
Find a Mentor
No one runs a successful business all on their own. Finding a mentor who has already been successful in your industry can be great for advice and having a sounding board for ideas. It can be someone you already know or someone you found that’s inspired you. Don’t hesitate to reach out and make this connection as it will only help you in the long-run.
Stay Up-To-Date on Latest Business News
Learning as much as you can for your business will keep you innovative and prepared to adapt. Subscribe to informative sites that are related to your business and read something every day. The more knowledgeable you are, the more likely this will have a trickle-down effect for your employees.
Create the Perfect Pitch
As you get more established, this is the best time to take another look at your business’ elevator pitch. Refining your pitch to make it perfect can help with future investors, customers, and potential new hires. This will require some preparation and practice on your end but feel free to try it out on peers to gauge how it presents.
Get IT Security
Ensuring your data and sensitive information is safe on your phones and computers, IT security should be the next big thing on your list. This will help protect you from potential disasters if the wrong person gets access to your information. Additionally, having a system that regularly backs up your technology will give you a much-needed safety net.
Create a Dedicated Sales Function
Typically for a new business, sales are the biggest focus for the company. If you’re not careful, you may become too consumed in working on sales and neglect other important aspects that your business needs from you.
Establishing a dedicated sales team or person who will focus on this in their day-to-day can help reduce the load on your shoulders, while also creating a positive impact on your growth.
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