Business Start Up Checklist
Have you considered writing your starting a business checklist?
Starting your own company can be both exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. The choices you must make before you even get your idea off the ground are overwhelming if you look at them all together, but a business checklist can help to ensure you do not miss any important details on your way to entrepreneurship.
Make sure that when you are starting your own company that you take your time in the initial stages to ensure that you have a strong foundation. This checklist can also serve as a reality check before you get started.
A business start up checklist or punch list is a great way to itemize the most important things needed to have a successful business launch. It will help you to avoid mistakes that can cost you both in time and money.
It may seem basic, but I have seen many a business owner launch their business and on day one realize that they had forgotten something important. It might be as simple as forgetting to order business cards or more drastic as not having your merchant account setup and a shop full of customers who want to buy.
Having a checklist helps you to know where you are in the process; what has been done and what you still need to do.
Below is a sample of things that should be on a checklist list. What you include on your business checklist will be specific to the product/service you plan to offer.
Choose Industry and Niche
Ideally, you should be starting your own company in an industry with which you are already quite familiar. Industries cover a wide variety of smaller niches, and once you know what you want to specialize in, you can start drilling down to a specific product. Ultimately you will tailor your product or service to a target market, so you want to be sure you narrow your niche down to something you understand inside and out. See: What Are The First Steps In Starting A Small Business
Get to Know Your Customers
One of the most important aspects of starting your own company is to identify your target market. You need to know what products and services that group needs, so you can meet those needs more appropriately. The more you know, the better chance you have of retaining your customers and making your company a success.
- What is your target market?
- Is your target market large and growing?
- Are their customers with real pain and money?
Identify Key Terms
Research and identify the key terms and phrases that your target market is most likely to use in order to find your products and services. Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Tools in order to identify related keywords. These are the words and phrases that you need to use in your web copy to ensure that your target market is able to find your website and purchase your products and services. Starting your own company means that you are beginning from the ground up, so you need to maximize your reach.
Set Up Your Website
The next step in starting your own company is to secure a domain name related to your company name. Among domain names, .com addresses are the most common and tend to be easiest for customers to remember. Your website domain and company name do not have to be the same, but you want to brand your company, and this is easier to accomplish if they are the same. Consider both your company name and your website address carefully before finalizing your decision.
Secure Web Hosting
Web hosting is essential once you have decided on the domain to use when starting your own company. Be sure to choose the right hosting package for your needs. Total uptime percentages are important, as is customer service. You need a company that will be there for you, especially when you are starting your own company. Hostgator.com is a good hosting company with an excellent reputation among small business owners.
Select Colors and Logos
As part of your branding when you are starting your own company, you need to select colors and logos that represent your company well. Designing your own logo can be extremely time-consuming, so unless you have experience with logo design or graphic design, you may want to outsource this project. Keep in mind that you are looking for a logo and design that appeal to your target market and that fit your brand. Since you are starting your own company, you want to leave the right impression with both current and potential customers. An affordable option for this task is Fiverr.com. There you can get great logos designed for as little as $5.
Business Type and Accounting
Another part of starting your own company that you may need to outsource is selecting your business type. Whether you decide to go with an S Corporation or an LLC, there are significant ramifications to consider. Talk to an accountant or to an attorney in order to weigh the pros and cons of each carefully. When you are first starting your own company, an attorney or an accountant may seem like an expense you cannot afford, but you may want to have an accountant handling your bookkeeping.
Regardless, you must set up some sort of bookkeeping system as soon as possible.
While you are first starting your own company, you may be caught up in the whirlwind of the ideas you have for your new business. These are all well and good, but be sure that you start your business the right way so it will continue to grow and succeed. Every business needs a strong beginning with a good base on which to build. The better foundation you start out with, the more you will enjoy and profit from starting your own company.
Incorporated within the 5 Step Business Start™ Creation Templates is everything you need for you own unique business checklist.