Checklist for Starting a Business
Interested in starting your own business? Not sure where to begin? We’ve got your back with this quick checklist for starting a business!
It’s vital to bear in mind there can be a lot of factors to bear in mind when you’re establishing a business, so it’s key to trust the process and have confidence in your plans.
A bit like your morning schedule, usually the best place to start is with a to-do list! So lets get started.
Blog post contents
1. Come Up with a Business Idea
The first step to starting a business is to come up with a business idea. The key is to develop a unique business idea. You can do this by using the following points:
- Solve a problem that potential customers care deeply about: this should be a significant problem that you can solve.
- Identify companies that currently offer solutions for this problem and consider how you may be able to offer a better solution.
- Try to price your products and services a little cheaper than your competitors.
- Look for ways to innovate in a market that changes slowly.
- Copy other businesses, but offer better products and services.
- Consider turning your hobby into a business.
As you go through the process of developing business ideas, don’t limit yourself to one idea. Instead, brainstorm, and don’t be afraid of some ideas that seem too large or even ridiculous! Once you’ve created a list of ideas for your business, explore each idea and make notes.
When you’re done exploring ideas, compare notes and focus on those business ideas that are the most feasible. And if you get stuck at any time during this process, it’s OK to stop and give it a rest. Overthinking can muddle your thinking, making it even harder to focus on the right ideas and solutions.
With your list of business ideas created, it’s time to research each idea and decide which idea(s) would make the business.
2. Write a Business Plan
Once you’ve decided on the right business, it’s time to create a business plan. A business plan works to formalise your idea and provides steps that make it easier to get through the business creation process.
The business plan is something like an outline of the objectives for your business and how you plan to accomplish each one. Writing up the plan helps sort out your thoughts and create your business in an organised way.
The key elements of a great business plan include:
- Business description and structure (include company name and description)
- Products & services
- Market research & sales strategies (includes information on the market, customers & competition, sales strategies)
- Customer segmentation (describes target audience)
- Management & personnel (information about your team)
- Logistics & operations plan
- Finances (current financial status, future projections, & more)
- Business plan summary (shows all aspects of the business and includes your contact details)
The business plan is more than a guide for you. It’s also used to help investors and partners understand your business and invest in you and the company.
3. Secure Funding for Your Business
The next step is to secure funding for your company, which can be done in several ways:
- Business loans
- Business grants
- Personal investors
4. Find a Business Mentor
When you’re new at starting a business, with no past experience, it’s good to find a business mentor who can act as a business advisor. This person is one who can provide you with honest feedback about your business, financial guidance, and more.
If you’re unsure where to find a business mentor, check with small business associations or small business development centres. They’ll help you find the right business mentor.
5. Register Web Domains & Trademarks
Now, you’re ready to get a website! First, it’s necessary to find the right domain name and then get it registered.
Do you need trademarks for your business? If you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about this.
6. Choose the Right Business Structure
Now, it’s essential to choose the right business structure for your company. In the UK, you can choose from the following business structures:
- Sole trader
- Limited liability partnership
- Limited company
Each business structure offers a different level of protection for your personal and business assets. So, if you’re not sure which structure is right for you, it’s highly recommended that you speak with an accountant.
7. Set Up a Business Bank Account
Once you’ve finished the previous steps, it’s time to set up a business bank account. It’s never a good idea to use your personal bank account. It’s always best to keep personal and business finances separate.
You’ll also want to consider a credit card and possibly a PayPal account for your company.
8. Arrange Business Insurance
Another important part of creating a business is business insurance. Business insurance protects you and your assets if customers or others press legal suits against you and your business.
It’s recommended that you talk with an experienced insurance broker with business insurance. They can help you choose the right insurance and the best package.
9. Register for Taxes
Now, you’re ready to do the paperwork to register your business for taxes. This entails organising tax IDs and registering with the tax office.
10. Create a List of Tax-Deductible Items
From the start, it’s best to create a list of tax-deductible items for your business. Your accountant can guide you as to what should be included on the list (or not).
Some tax-deductible items can include office rent, equipment costs, Internet costs, and more.
11. Create Your Website & Social Media Accounts
Use the domain name you registered to create your company website. If you’re doing this on your own, consider using WordPress, Moonfruit, Squarespace, or other services that can help you easily build a website and get it online pretty fast.
The aim here is to have a website up and running. It may not be exactly as you want it; however, you can always go back and make changes later.
Now’s also the time to create your social media accounts. Choose the platforms that are best for your company’s products & services. Some examples to choose from may include LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Once these are set up, ask for members of your social networks to promote your new social media accounts and website.
12. Do You Need Employees
Your business is just about up and running at this point! Now, you need to consider whether you need employees. If so, how many do you need to start out? In the beginning, it may be OK to get by with one or two employees. But be sure to choose the right ones.
13. Choose Business Applications
Most businesses need software to run their business. Choosing an online application is one of the best ways to ensure your documents and data stay safe. Online apps also make it easier to access your data from almost anywhere. You may want to consider Google Workplace or Microsoft 365.
14. Keep Data Safe
Finally, you’ll want to have software to ensure your data stays safe and secure. Cloud-based software can be helpful; however, it’s also necessary to keep all company devices safe with good antivirus protection.
Summing It Up
There you have it! These are the main steps to starting a new business! Follow these steps to ensure your business has a great start and has a chance to succeed and scale!
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