You’ve been thinking about starting a business for a while now. You’re ready to take the plunge and do something different from your day job. But there’s just one problem: you don’t know where to start!
Well, that’s not necessarily true — you have all of these business ideas floating around in your head, but it seems like there are so many things to consider before taking any significant steps forward.
That is why we put together this business startup checklist for you. It includes everything that we feel is necessary when starting up a business.
Read on to learn!
Identify Your Business Idea
You cannot launch a business without having any business model in mind. Yes, we know — this is the most basic step, yet many people still forget it.
So, what should you do? The answer: take some time to think about your future business and write down all ideas related to its activities. Then narrow them down until you end up with just one or two viable options.
Write these down as well. Make sure they’re clear enough for you to understand how exactly your business will work once launched.
Now that you have chosen an industry type and at least one small business idea, let’s move on to the actual steps.
Create a Business Plan
You’ll need a business plan when applying for a business loan or funds from any other source. It is an essential document that describes every aspect of your business model in detail and allows potential investors to understand what you’re offering the market.
So, how do you write a business plan? Here are the steps:
Think of your business idea and write down its key components.
Then create a list of these features that you’ll include in your business model. Be as specific as possible — this way, it’ll be easier to implement them later.
Now, describe all main activities associated with each feature mentioned above. If necessary, separate those tasks into individual processes.
Finally, take a look at each business plan component you’ve just created and design them further. If any of these require additional information or specific actions to be taken, add that as well.
How Much Capital Will You Need?
This business checklist wouldn’t be complete without considering the funds you’ll need to invest in your business. It varies depending on many factors, so there’s no way we can cover them all here.
Yet, it is always a good idea to have at least some basic knowledge of financial implications before starting a business. So, let’s go through those components now:
To begin with, calculate how much money it will cost you every month to keep your business running. This includes office rent and other expenses that are required for maintaining day-to-day operations. Write down this number — you’re going to need it later.
Now, calculate how much money you’ll be able to invest in your business each month. This is particularly important if you’re planning to launch a business with limited personal funds.
Once these numbers are clear, add them together and subtract the business expenses from your business investment sum.
Finally, consider adding extra cash on top of what we’ve just calculated above as an emergency fund. It’s always better to prepare than regret afterward. So take precautions now by having some additional savings ready before opening doors for business.
Find a Location
Depending on the business activity you’ve chosen for your business, finding an appropriate location is something that needs to be taken seriously. In other words, don’t settle for any place — make sure it’s perfect.
It should have enough space available to accommodate all necessary equipment and furniture while allowing room for further expansion. You’ll need this in case business goes well and demands additional resources later.
The last thing we want here is to mention accessibility as a must-have feature of a business location. It’s important because clients will appreciate being able to easily get there from pretty much anywhere else in town or city.
There are tons of factors to consider here, so be sure to research before deciding on a business location.
Also, don’t forget that you’ll need parking space because customers will most likely come by car. Some business types may require several designated spots. So think about it now and plan accordingly.
Make a List of Employees
It is easy to understand that business growth leads to higher profit margins and bigger profits. Yet, we can only achieve this by hiring additional employees, which costs us more money.
So, we need to think about it right now — what size should our business be?
This question will decide how much money you’ll have available for paying salaries every month.
If the business is relatively small, you can probably go without hiring a single employee. Of course, this isn’t ideal if business demand grows and employees are needed to keep things going.
In such cases, it’s better to hire freelancers or independent contractors. They don’t come with additional expenses that traditional full-time employees do — such as sick days off or PTO allowance.
As your business continues growing, you may consider regular employees who will take care of day-to-day business activities while you focus on higher-level management tasks.
Learn Bookkeeping As Part of Business Ownership
Now that business startup costs are covered, it’s time to take care of business bookkeeping.
This is something you should learn if you have no previous experience in this field. It will be easier for you to stay on top of things once your business becomes more complex and bigger. You’ll also need some knowledge about how to manage money properly when hiring employees comes into play too.
There are tons of free resources online for smart business owners with zero background in accounting to get started quickly. One of them is a guide like this.
The Only Business Startup Checklist You Need
A business startup is hard to manage. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to get the business going. If you don’t try your best, there’s no way the business will be successful — and that’s not something we want for yours.
So follow this checklist now. It can help make the business startup process more efficient and less stressful.
We hope, as a small business owner, you find this business startup checklist useful and take the information presented here seriously. It can be a big help for you and your business in general — that’s why we’re offering it to everyone free of charge.
To keep reading informative content, check out the other blog posts on this site.