Your Small Business Checklist
Starting a business can be exciting, but overwhelming at the same time and there is no better way to break down your “to do’s” than with a list. Keeping yourself organized and managing your time will be a key point in keeping your business running smoothly.
- Determine Viability: Think about your product or service, WHY will your customers want to buy your product over your competitors product. Think about your pricing, will customers pay enough to cover your costs and make a profit?
- Create your business plan and figure out your financials: This is something that can easily get away from you when running a business so have your business plan mapped out beforehand. Think about your finances and how much you will be spending each month on expenses. *Don’t be afraid to change and refine your business plan as you business grows.
- Figure out your business name: This may be one of the more difficult part about starting a business but it is pretty essential to know your business name early on. You will be using it in every aspect of your business.
- Register your business: This can be done easily online, spend some time researching the difference between a sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation and decide what’s best for you!
- Open your business bank account: Opening a bank account is an important first step in starting your business, it’s easy for your funds to get unorganized when they’re not in their own designated bank account. Many banks offer small business accounts with lower monthly fees, meet with a few financial advisors and find out which one is right for you!
- Find a Mentor: It’s important to talk to someone who knows what they’re doing. It helps us feel more relaxed and at ease. Find a mentor who can provide you with priceless advice and support along the way and who better to go to with your questions than someone who has already done what you’re doing.
- Network and Make Connections: The life of an entrepreneur can be lonely and frustrating at times which is why it’s a good idea to make friends who are in the same boat as you. They just get it.
- Know your customer: Before you can even think about marketing your products you really need to know WHO you’re marketing to. Think age, gender, location, occupation, income level this will all determine how you place your product in the market.
- Define your marketing strategy: A very valuable aspect that is often overlooked in most startups is marketing. Marketing is arguably the one thing that can make or break your business so it is crucial to start early.
- A functional website design can go a long way, choose something that works for your business and isn’t too crowded.
- Logo & Business Cards because branding is more important than you think, it makes your brand or business easily recognizable, get these things out of the way early because you will use them for everything.
- SEO can be confusing and seem unnecessary at first but it’s a GREAT way to get organic traffic without constantly paying for ads. While boosting your website to be found more often on google.
Now there is definitely a lot more than 9 points for building your small business, but this is a great place to start. It’s very easy for your business to get out of hand as it grows, make sure you have the right organizations structure in place to keep it from getting away from you!
- Find an Office or Retail Space: Something that shouldn’t be done right away if your business is online but definitely needs to be done if you have a retail store. When choosing a store pay attention to foot traffic, accessibility, and other factors that will determine how many people will be visiting your store.
- Hire your first employee: Depending on what type of business you’re running you may or may not need staff from day 1. You may even decided to contract out some of the duties you need done to freelancers, interns or third party vendors. Something to keep in mind is that trying to do everything yourself will take you away from growing your business.
- Find Free Advice: Your local SBA office, score and other resources can offer free advice, checklists, and other tools.
Let’s get real for a moment. Like many business owners, you have probably already learned that you can’t be an expert for every aspect of your small business and no matter your budget, the reality is there are areas that warrant outside help. Digital marketing may be one them. Talk to us about making your business ready for 2019 and let’s leave you the time you need to focus on growing your business.