Starting a business is not as easy as it seems. It is one thing to find the solution to a problem, it is another thing to make a business out of it. While businesses exist to solve problems, there are a lot of problems whose solution are yet to be monetized. As such, a start-up is in the business of monetizing the solution to people’s problems.
The prospect of starting a new business can be overwhelming; from the need to put things in place to the satisfaction of being in charge. It could all get into the head and we sure don’t want that to happen, do we? That is precisely why you need a checklist to check if you are still on track and to see realistically whether the business will scale or not.
While this checklist is not cast in stone, you can always adjust it to suit your own form of business. You can go ahead to trim off items and add some new ones to it. However, it would be disastrous to head into the jungle of business without a game plan. The checklist is your effective game plan to keep sane in the corporate world that threatens even the professionals.
The very first step requires you to be brutally honest and sincere with yourself. You must be aware that you are getting into a new area, as such you must ask yourself if your business will be profitable or not. You have to look beyond the present to ascertain the viability of your business. It doesn’t harm anyone if you take a business consultancy session to be sure of what you are getting into.
Create a business plan
Once you are sure that your idea can scale, its time to get your hand in the cookie jar. You like the sound of that? It is time to figure out your business plan. A lot of people think they do not need a detailed business plan, however, penning down your thought will give you the room to think things through and be sure that you really want to do this. From financial projections to business scope and aim, write it all down. At this stage, you are up and ready to be your own boss.
Figure out the money
A start-up is not a bed of rose, it could get a bit difficult especially during the take off stage. Several business experts have advised new business owners not to expect any overturn within the first year of their business. How then are the business owners supposed to carry out basic life functions? Good question, that is exactly why you want to figure out the money before getting into business. It could be your savings, you may have an agreement with your spouse on using his or her income together in the start-up period. Whichever way you have decided to pick, ensure that you figure out where the money will be coming from.
Choose a business name
It is necessary that you choose your business name. You would want a name that will stick with your customers or clientele. Your name must be original as possible, try running your suggested name on Google or use a corporate name search tool. Once the name you have in mind is unique, it should scale through after a few tweaks.
Register a domain name
Once you have a business name registered, the next item you need to check off is registering your domain name. It is necessary to get a matching domain name to your business name. You might also want to check online to be sure that the domain name you intend to choose is not in use by anyone else. Several customers and clients have doubts when dealing with websites with free hosting.
Business is business and as such, there is bound to be a lot of legalities to deal with. You will have papers to file, red tapes to cross and all that. It is necessary you get a legal structure, this defines your business. It can go on to specify the duties of individual members in the business (if it’s a partnership). You should not joke around with legalities. While requirements might differ from state to state, you should endeavour that you are as law abiding as possible and that the same goes for your business.
You must ensure that you get a bank account for your business that is separate from your regular account. This will enable you view your business as an entity on its own. As much as possible, get an insurance cover for your business. It is not too early to start following due process.
You want to get online as soon as possible, it doesn’t matter if your product is still being built. You can always start engaging your potential customers and preparing a ready market for your product. Effectively using your website and the social media accounts created for the business can help you achieve this.
Get your own space
This is very important if you are running a retail business, however, if you are considering running an electronic store, it might be unnecessary When getting your space, you must note the foot traffic. Regardless of the business you are in, if you can do without a physical location, hold it up for as long as possible. This reduces the overhead of the business which is very necessary especially at the early stage.
This is in no way an exhaustive checklist that you must run through before you start your business. It is a guide that can be improved upon, using it will no doubt help you get things right. It is important that your business starts off on the right note and that is the very essence of this checklist. Know where you stand, be aware of what you need to do and become a successful founder.