Starting a business is exciting, but it’s important to make sure you’re ready. Though your business idea may be brilliant, you still need to make sure that you’re prepared for the whole startup process. To start a business means you’ll have to properly plan everything for it to be successful.
Here is a checklist before taking the plunge into starting your own business:
There are three parts to a good business plan: industry analysis, competitor research, and SWOT analysis. Industry analysis is about understanding your market such as: how big it is, who’s in it and the trends affecting it. Competitor research is all about learning what other companies are doing in the space in regards to trends they’re following or ignoring, their strengths and weaknesses. SWOT-analysis helps you understand why customers buy from you.
In an ideal world, you’d start a business with money from investors. However, most companies start on a shoestring budget. It’s more likely that you’ll have to finance your new project yourself or with the help of some friends and family members.
Think about your startup capital. Where will you get the money needed to start your company? Will you need to take out a loan or put up your savings? An excellent way to plan for this is by creating a financial model. This will help you predict how much money your business might make based on projected sales and expenses, but also see if your business will be profitable at all in the long term.
Marketing covers advertising and selling, but it’s also about promotion and public relations.
Marketing looks at the big picture to figure out how your product or service fits into the market and how it will be sold, promoted, and shared.
Also, do not miss out on monitoring and listening to customers on social media. According to Onclusive, a marketing communications and PR software company, “Monitoring conversations about your brand and competitor helps shape your strategic decision-making.” In addition, social media can help promote your business and gain high visibility.
Location and facilities
Where will your business operate from? Do you need a retail space, an office, a warehouse, a studio, or large equipment? What does your location need to look like, how big should it be, what’s the floor plan going to look like? Will there be other required amenities as well?
A crucial part of operational planning is writing down all of your company’s processes. This is where you outline the day-to-day details that go into running a business, including who does what job. You’ll likely end up with a flowchart or an outline that lays everything out in detail, so everyone knows exactly what step comes after another when they’re working on any given project.
Operational planning also includes choosing suppliers and allies to help you get your product or service to market. You can look for suppliers for buying products in bulk, shipping large orders, and providing services like accounting or legal help.
Licenses and other legal matters
You’ll need to get a tax ID number and file your company name with your state government at the bare minimum. You’ll also want to make sure you’re taking care of all necessary legalities like contracts and leases. It’s up to you whether you hire an attorney or not. However, many people find professionals helpful. You don’t have to figure out everything on your own. There are plenty of resources available and people who are willing to guide you through these processes.
Also, make sure you research the best legal and financial structures for your particular industry. Several different options include sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, LLCs, LPs, and more.
Part of planning for your startup involves looking at the big picture, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about hiring employees or making sure you can afford to pay them.
From founders to CEOs to managers and staff, every company employs a number of key employees. Start by thinking about whether you want to hire all staff from day one or if it makes more sense to have contractors until you’ve got the cash flow necessary for full-time employees.
You’ll also need to consider what skills are necessary for each role. For instance, does your CFO need a strong knowledge of accounting software? What abilities do you need in your delivery drivers? It’s best to be as specific as possible when creating job listings so that applicants know precisely what you’re looking for.
Starting a business is a huge undertaking, but it can be worth it in the long run if you have what it takes to make it happen! Whether you’re going into business for yourself or trying to launch a startup, this checklist should help give you an idea of where to start.