How to Start a Business: The Checklist
Before you get your business up and running, you will need to go through the items below. It is important you do some research, draft your plan, and get all the permits you need. Without a list, you might overlook some of the essential details.
- Get organized
- Prepare your finances
- Make your brand
- Know best practices
Preparation is essential- so let’s get started!
1. Get Organized
First, you need to set the foundation for your brand. Choose your name and buy a matching domain online. Even if you are not launching yet, having your domain secured early ensures you can use it later on.
Next, write out your business plan. What are your goals and target audience? What type of business entity do you want to be? You will also need to get a federal tax ID number or employer ID number. It helps if you contact your state taxation department.
From there, you can apply for any necessary business licenses. Your local and State government will be able to give you the most updated information.
Overall, getting organized is one of the most important steps. Make sure to create your own lists or keep track of information in calendars- this helps you stay on top of things.
2. Prepare Your Finances
When you are organized and have all the paperwork ready, you will need to start thinking about money. First, you will need a business bank account. It should be separate from your personal finances.
Next, you will want to apply for a business line of credit. Having one allows you to build a strong credit history and helps with daily business expenses. Bookkeeping software, like GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, will keep your finances organized and simple to manage.
You may also want to hire an accountant or tax attorney at this stage. These professionals have experience to help you deal with finances.
You will want to secure funding through angel investors or government grants. Then, obtain business insurance. Having insurance is always a good idea. It protects you from having to spend a large cost suddenly if something were to go wrong with your business.
3. Make Your Brand
Every brand has its own brand identity, which consists of designs, themes, and personality. Your domain name is also an important part of building your brand.
You can start by making a business email address. Doing so makes customers feel more comfortable talking with you online and it can help to strengthen your brand.
Next, consider adding a business phone line to your mobile device. You can use an app, such as GoDaddy’s SmartLine to make calls and texts- without having to give out your personal information.
You can also work with GoDaddy’s Logo Design Services to get a stunning design to use on all your business cards and website. Your logo is the first part of your brand identity that people see, so you want it to make an impression.
Once you have this in place, get your website ready. A professional can help you get yous up and running in as little as a week. Or, you can make your site on your own.
You should also make social media accounts for your brand at this stage. That way, you can easily interact with your audience. Your social media profiles should fit in with your brand identity.
Social media can also be used in any marketing strategy. You can use it for advertising and generating needed leads. Social media is essential in bringing in new traffic to your business.
4. Know Best Practices
If you want your business to succeed, you will need to know all of the best practices. First, you need to clearly define your business policies and practices. They should be somewhere your customers can access them easily- your website is a good place to put them.
Your business is likely going to need content created- images, ads, videos, and soundtracks should all be made before you launch. Make sure to include customer testimonials on your page as well. Adding testimonials makes your product or service more trustworthy to customers.
Overall, you want your contact information and operating hours to be visible. It needs to be seen easily on your website, so your potential customers know when to reach you. Otherwise, they will likely give up right away.
It helps if you have freelancers or other employees to manage work that you do not have the time to do. Many small startups will hire a virtual assistant to handle tasks that take up too much of your time. Social media managers are also extremely helpful.
Check Your IT
Even if you are not starting a tech business, you will need to protect yourself against IT problems. You should back up your data and protect sensitive information from being leaked online. IT issues are serious enough to halt a new company’s growth completely.
Start Generating Revenue ASAP
You do not want to wait too long before you launch. Plenty of new business owners try to make everything perfect. But, the sooner you start bringing in funds, the better. Startups take a lot of money, so you do not want to let everything just sit after you put so much effort into it.
There is a lot to know about starting a business. However, the best thing that you can do is prepare. You should put a lot of thought and time into your business plan. Once you do, everything else will come much more naturally.
If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to us. We would love to hear your thoughts on how to start a business.