The time for starting a business is now. Did you know that over 99 percent of all US businesses are small businesses with fewer than 500 employees? That’s a pretty astounding statistic. And there are more small business statistics just like it. Like 50 percent of all small businesses in the US survive the first five years. That’s not bad when you consider the hundreds of millions of businesses launched annually.
Starting your own business is exciting, rewarding, and can open up a number of financial wellness doors that often stay closed working for someone else. But all good feelings about starting a business aside, it can be a very challenging endeavor. It takes a lot of strategic planning and hard work to be in the 50 percent of businesses that survive those first five years.
There are a number of things you can do right, as well as wrong business practices, when starting a business. The following 8 point checklist may help you have an easier journey.
1. Develop A Business Plan
The first thing you should do as a budding business owner is to develop a business plan. Your business plan will help guide you in those early stages, keep you focused, and potentially help to get investors. Your business plan should include:
- Executive summary
- Your business’ description
- The market analysis
- Organization structure
- Sales and marketing strategies
- Funding needs
2. Create a Website
Websites are at the core of any new business. They give new businesses the online visibility needed to start getting leads and customers, as well as provide information about the value proposition and solutions to problems the business offers. In today’s digital age, learning how to build a website is pretty easy and painless. You can have a great site up and running in a few days.
It’s also important that you have reliable web hosting support—especially if you plan to offer hosting and/or website services for your clients. But you don’t have to handle these hosting solutions on your own; there are many third party services that eliminate the guesswork. For more info, check out https://ipgeeks.com/.
3. Pay For Your Website Theme
When building a website, you will have a variety of site themes to choose from. Most of these themes are free. As great as free is for new business owners on a tight budget, pay for your website theme. You can get a theme using Themeforest for $50 or less. It is worth it.
4. Get Legal
Having a business online is one thing, but having an actual legal business is another. To ensure you begin building a strong business profile, which could come in handy for bank loans and business credit cards later, file your new business as an LLC or Corporation. This is also needed to open up a PayPal business account for payments, a commonly used platform in today’s small business space. You will also need to get an EIN from the IRS.
5. Open A Business Bank Account
Once you have your LLC or Corporation paperwork and EIN from the IRS, you should open a business bank account at your community bank. You should check with your personal banking provider first and see what they offer. It’s a pretty easy process and you can have your business bank account set up in a few hours.
6. Create Social Media Profiles
Social media is used by millions of people across the US. By having social media profiles for your business, you can easily increase your business’ online visibility, run cheap social media ads to reach more potential customers, and grow your following online for new product and/or service launches. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are all great social networks to start with.
7. Get Google My Business
If you are serving a local community or county, Google My Business is absolutely necessary for growth and success. Google My Business is a listing via Google for businesses in an area based on the address of the business. So when someone Google searches for products or services you provide near your business address, they will see your Google My Business listing. It is also a great place to net reviews and ratings from happy customers.
8. Develop A Funding Plan
You may not need funding right away, but you will eventually. Funding can be used for expansion, buying equipment, or to cover unforeseen economic downturns. One of the top reasons startups fail is a lack of funding, so make it part of your new business strategy. It should be part of your business plan, but it’s always good to get more in-depth once you get moving. Having a funding plan ready to go can be opportunistic when an unexpected potential investor asks for details.
Are You Ready To Launch Your New Business?
There are a ton of things to do when starting a business. The above 8 point checklist can help you get moving in a powerful direction. From a business plan to funding, new business owners need to be organized and have a lot of plans within a larger one. This can prepare you for any challenge, or opportunity that comes your way in business.
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