So you’re thinking about starting a business. Wonderful! Amazing! Awesome!
Welcome to the world of entrepreneurs. If you have the desire or the dream to start your own business you are an entrepreneur. Now you just have to take the next step and the next and the next.
There are many things to consider and do when starting a business. For me the main thing is to keep it simple. Figure out the most important things you have to do and get those done. Have long term goals and short term goals that will help you to achieve those long term goals.
Here are a list of 20 things to do when beginning your journey to being your own boss.
- Be thinking about if you can make a go of it? Would you be a customer for this business? Will customers pay enough to cover your costs so you can make a profit? Would it benefit you to start your business from your home at first?
- Create a business plan. Start with a rough draft and go back to it and make changes when the thoughts come to you. Read it and reread it many times. Let your **success team read it. Make sure you include your financial projections. Be realistic.
- Figure out your finances. Will you save the money for your start up? Will you borrow the money?
- Get your spouse or partner on board. They should know way ahead of time what your plans are. You want their support. It will make things easier all the way around.
- Choose your business name. Spend time with this one. Unless you know without a shadow of a doubt what it should be. What is your business about? What kind of feelings or emotions do you want your customers to experience with your business?
- Create your logo or get someone to do it for you. This is part of your brand identity. Use it on business cards, stationary, social media accounts and your website.
- Register a domain name. Even if you don’t set up a website right away purchase a matching name domain so that it’s yours when you are ready to do it.
- Set up your social media accounts and start announcing your new business. Create a buzz! Get followers! These are your future customers.
- Figure out your legal structure. Speak to your accountant or attorney about this. Incorporating your business can protect your personal assets.
- Apply for an Employer Identification Number. You’ll need this if you plan to open a business bank account or incorporate your business. You can apply online for this at the IRS website.
- Apply for any local licenses required.
- Figure out where you are going to house your business. Will you rent or buy a property? What kind of lease is required? You have to weigh the pros and cons of leasing or buying. If you cannot afford to buy, don’t. Lease until you can afford it if that is something you really want to do.
- Open a business bank account. Do it early to prevent any accounting issues when it comes to tax time.
- Use an accounting system like Quickbooks to keep track of income and expenses.
- Check with your insurance company for liability, workers comp and health insurance if you are going to provide access to it.
- If you are in retail, start accounts with potential vendors. Be aware of your local retail shops and try to provide unique and different items for customers to choose from. Network with your local businesses.
- Promote, promote, promote.
- What’s your mission? Have a clear statement that defines what your business is about.
- Create a email mailing list. Have a way for customers to provide you with their email address. Always have an opt out at the bottom of your emails. I recommend Mail Chimp. It’s easy to use and is free up to a certain amount of subscribers. You can stay in touch with your customers and potential customers with a monthly newsletter or when you have information that you want to share.
- Have fun! This is what you wanted to do. Love it and every moment. There will be ups and downs and that’s ok. Figure out what works. Keep it fresh!
**Success team – people in your life that support you. A contact with the bank you choose to work with, a legal professional contact, professional friends that recommend your business to others, mentors who can be there when you need advice or help in your business, family and friends who are positive and encouraging.
If you need any advice on starting a small business please leave a comment below and I will get back to you. OR if you’re afraid to take the risk but you’ve done your homework and you know in your heart it would be great, I can help you with that too.
If you can visualize your future business and you are willing to put in the hard work, you can make it happen!