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Getting Started ➤
Committing to Your Business ➤
Setting Up Your Business ➤
Ensuring Sufficient Funds are Available ➤
Planning for Your  Business Plan ➤
Setting Up to Operate ➤
Marketing and Launching Your Business ➤
Sustaining Your Business ➤

Business Startup Checklist

Are you starting your business? You are off to a great start!!!

Getting Started

1. Conduct a personal evaluation to determine why you want to start a business.
2. Create a business plan:

  • What do we do?
  • How do we do it?
  • Who do we serve?
  • 3. Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
    4. Assess how much capital you have available to invest.
    5. Discuss your plans with family members to ensure they are behind you.
    6. Determine if you want the business to be full-time or part-time.

    Committing to Your Business

    1. Define the customer “problem” and how your business can provide a solution in a unique way.
    2. Determine viability: Is there a market for your service?
    3. Identify businesses that are having success today.
    4. Will your business be relevant as time passes? How will you adapt?
    5. Define your market:
    a. Who is your ideal customer?
    b. What’s your market size?
    c. How easy is it to acquire the customer?
    6. Validate your idea by talking to potential customers about it.
    7. Evaluate how customers solve this problem today, as well as what the competition offers.
    8. Create a quick financial plan, identifying costs and forecasted sales, to see if your capital gets you to a profit.

    Setting Up Your Business

    1. Select your business name. Perform a corporate name search to make sure your name is still available.
    2. Register a domain name and secure social media profiles for the company.
    3. Apply for an e-TIN with the Tax Authority and local authority for business licenses.
    4. Open a business bank account and apply for a business credit card.
    5. Find the appropriate space to become your primary business location.
    6. Once the location is secured, get services set up in the business name, including primary phone number and other necessary utilities.
    7. Decide on a legal structure or business structure and incorporate: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership or Limited Company
    8. Get your website up and running.
    9. Set up an accounting and record-keeping system:
    a. hire an accountant,
    b. select an accounting system and
    c. select a fiscal year

    10. Evaluate and select needed insurance policies for your business: liability, workers’ compensation, or health insurance.
    11. Prepare and begin networking with pre-marketing materials:
    a. business cards,
    b. letterhead,
    c. invoice,
    d. brochures, or
    e. public relations.

    12. Introduce your business to the surrounding businesses to your location.

    Preparing Business Plan

    1. Complete a Company Overview that includes basic information and a summary of the management team.1. Complete a Company Overview that includes basic information and a summary of the management team.
    2. Write a Business Description section describing your services and what problems they solve.
    3. Prepare a Market Analysis section that describes the total market and your target market, specific segment needs, competitive offerings available, and any trends that will affect the analysis.
    4. Describe an Operating Plan for the business, such as operating hours, location, number of employees, key vendors, or seasonal adjustments your business might need to adjust to.
    5. Create a Marketing and Sales Plan that includes a “Go To Market” or launch plan, pricing, how your business will generate leads, and close new business.
    6. Build a Financial Plan that shows a break-even analysis, projected profit and loss, and projected cash flows.
    7. Write an Executive Summary which gives a general overview of the above completed sections.

    Ensuring Sufficient Funds are Available

    1. Estimate how long it will take for your business to acquire paying customers.
    2. Itemize your business expenses for the first year, at least, and assess where these will come from.
    3. Itemize how much capital is required to launch the business and project how long it will take to become profitable.
    4. From this, determine how many months of savings or investment you need to breakeven.
    5. If outside investment is required beyond the founders’ savings, complete a business plan.

    Setting up to Operate

    1. Find a feasible location for you that can provide you with the ideal space needed to conduct business.1. Find a feasible location for you that can provide you with the ideal space needed to conduct business.
    2. Set up your office with appropriate working spaces, including comfy chairs, desks, shelves, filing cabinets, and etc.
    3. Identify any staffing needs.
    4. Recruit, interview, hire, and train employees (if applicable).
    5. If hiring employees, get an employer ID from the IRS.
    6. Identify and set up any needed technology:
    a. computers/laptops for business operations,
    b. printer(s),
    c. business software and applications,
    d. POS,
    e. business email accounts,
    f. phones,
    g. CRM
    h. billing, and
    i. payment systems.
    7. Ensure your technology systems are secure with your information and customer information.
    8. Install a security system, if applicable.
    9. Depending on the business type, identify and partner with the right suppliers/vendors.

    Planning For Your Business

    1. Write an Executive Summary after the other sections of the Business Plan are completed below.
    2. Complete a Company Overview that includes basic information and a summary of the management team.
    3. Write a Product Description section describing your products or services and what problems they solve.
    4. Prepare a Market Analysis section that describes the total market and your target market, specific segment needs, competitive offerings available, and any trends that will affect the analysis.
    5. Describe an Operating Plan for the business, such as operating hours, number of employees, key suppliers, or seasonal adjustments your business might need to adjust to.
    6. Create a Marketing and Sales Plan that includes a “Go To Market” or launch plan, pricing, how your business will generate leads, and close new business.
    7. Build a Financial Plan that shows a break-even analysis, projected profit and loss, and projected cash flows.

    Marketing & Launching your business

    1. Develop and refine a brand for your company and its products or services.
    2. Create and fine-tune an Elevator Pitch through conversations with anyone who will list.

    Begin distributing or displaying your marketing materials: shop signs, brochures, or banners. Online, initiate digital marketing through

    a. web-based promotions,
    b. social media,
    c. direct mail,
    & drive traffic to your web site.

    1. Establish an email marketing account and initiate digital marketing through blogs, emails, or SEO strategies to drive traffic to your website.
    2. Let the local or regional press know you are opening and when.
    3. Utilize Guerrilla Marketing tactics to generate traffic.
    4. Organize an opening event. Create a relationship that might allow cross-promotions.
    5. Hire a salesperson or sales team.

    Focus on what you love.

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