Starting a new business is no easy task. It requires grit, dedication, and patience. Luckily, there are many resources available to help you get started.
One of the most useful is a small business startup checklist. This checklist will help you plan out all the steps necessary to successfully launch your business.
1. Write Your Business Plan
A business plan helps clarify your long-term vision and is a valuable tool when seeking funding. It also helps you focus on the most important aspects of your business, reducing confusion and improving efficiency.
The products & services section of your business plan should include details about your product and any traction you have achieved. It should describe how it meets a customer need and why it’s unique.
The financial section should include a cash flow analysis. Running out of cash is the number one reason that startups fail, according to CB Insights.
2. Create a Website
A website is a collection of pages on the internet that are grouped together under a unique name or address. It uses hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS) to display web content.
For new and small businesses, a website is often the first way customers learn about them. It helps ease customer apprehension and verifies that the business is legitimate. It also serves as a hub for information on products, services and business updates. A business can also include a blog section on its website.
3. Invest in Marketing
One of the most important things you can do as a new business owner is to invest in marketing. This includes researching the market, determining your audience, and creating marketing campaigns that attract customers to your business.
It’s also important to have a unique selling point that sets your business apart from competitors. This can be anything from exceptional customer service to a proprietary piece of technology. Finally, be sure to have multiple strategies for small business startup funding in place. This will help ensure your company can weather financial ups and downs.
4. Hire Employees
Hiring employees requires a lot of time and resources. But it’s a crucial step that can help your business grow and thrive.
A good employee can bring in new clients and customers, so it’s important to find the right person for the job.
You also need to set up a system for paying your employees and taking care of payroll taxes. This is typically done through a third-party payroll service. Also, consider getting a workers’ compensation insurance policy for your company. This is required by most states.
5. Hire a Virtual Assistant
Outsourcing low-ROI tasks to a virtual assistant can give you the time and freedom to grow your business. Virtual assistants can also help you manage your personal life, like booking restaurant reservations and finding gift cards for special occasions.
Before hiring a VA, ask for references and do a trial project. Start with a small, simple task that represents the type of work you’ll need your assistant to do. Set clear expectations and a specific timeline for completion. Also, make sure to pay them promptly. If they don’t meet your standards, move on to a different candidate.
6. Hire a Lawyer or CPA
Having a business checklist can save you time and money by ensuring that all of the necessary steps are taken before launching your company. It can also help you avoid mistakes and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
Hiring a lawyer or CPA is an important step in starting your business. A lawyer can help you set up your company legally and protect your assets, while a CPA can provide tax advice. They can also help you decide which legal structure is best for your business.
7. Get a Business License
If you want your business to succeed, you need to make sure that you have all of the necessary licenses and permits. These requirements vary by state and region. You also need to obtain insurance coverage.
You should also consider getting a federal EIN number, which is required for some industries and to open a bank account. This step will help you avoid costly penalties and legal troubles in the future.
8. Register Your Business with the State
Registering your business with the state makes it a legal entity and opens you up to tax benefits. It also lays the groundwork for opening a business bank account and getting a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). Depending on your business structure and location, you may have to register for other licenses as well.
This table provides a streamlined checklist for entrepreneurs that details essential steps before launching their new business. It also includes contact information for statewide resources that can accelerate your business. This way, you can keep track of your progress.
9. Create a Business Bank Account
For tax purposes and debt liability reasons, it’s important for small business owners to keep their personal and business finances separate. This can be done by opening a business bank account.
When choosing a business bank, make sure it offers convenient features such as online banking and integrations with popular accounting software. Also, look for a bank that doesn’t charge high fees for excessive transaction limits.
Starting a business is a big undertaking. However, with the right tools and a clear plan, you can successfully launch your business.
10. Hire a Virtual Assistant
Hiring a virtual assistant can help you focus on the business-building aspects of your company. It is also a great way to get rid of time-consuming and repetitive tasks that do not contribute to the growth of your business.
Virtual assistants specialize in many different industries, so you can find one to fit your business needs. For example, if you need someone to handle scheduling and other customer service functions, Prialto’s team of VAs is available for your assistance. They can also assist with data entry and other administrative duties.