When it comes to starting your own business, there has never been a time like the present. If you’re an entrepreneur, or have that intangible entrepreneurial spirit, you’re probably ready to jump into your next (or first) business venture.
Your take charge attitude will get you far in life, but when it comes to starting a business from scratch, it helps to step back and create an actual plan for launch.
At Red Door Capital, we’re entrepreneurs ourselves. We know all about the excitement you no doubt felt when you decided to start your own company. But we also know the sheer volume of work necessary to make that business work.
That’s why we’ve prepared this quick 10-point plan to get your business up and running as soon as possible. As entrepreneurs, we like to think of ourselves as results oriented. When it comes to launching a business, we also have to he process oriented. The following list should help you get the ball rolling.
Before we get going, we invite you to read the following article: Could You Be An Entrepreneur? As the title suggests, this article will help you identify whether you have the intangible qualities needed to start and run your own business.
What You Need to Do to Launch Your Startup
The following list is what you need to do right now to get your business up and running. By simplifying your tasks and moving quickly, the following list can be completed much quicker than you think.
1. Determine if people will buy what you’re selling.
If you’re not honest with yourself on Step 1, there’s no point in going on. People will not pay for something they don’t need. They also won’t buy it from you unless it’s more affordable, of better quality or more available than the competitors. Be completely honest with yourself. If your current business idea is not viable, you can always tweak it.
2. Develop a business plan.
You have a lot of ideas germinating in your head. Put them down on paper and start formulating a strategy for your operation. A service like Live Plan can help you formulate a coherent business strategy chock full of financial projections and operating expenses. So you have no excuse to avoid putting one together. A business plan is also useful when yore ready to market your business to investors.
3. Determine your financial needs.
If you created a business plan, you probably have a better idea of how much money you need to launch your company and keep it running. Determine how you will go about financing your dream. It’ll probably come from a combination of savings and current income. You should also check out Red Door Capital’s solutions page for financing opportunities. Red Door offers cash flow solutions, merchant services and financing to help you expand your business.
4. Choose a business name and register it.
Your business name is extremely important. It should resonate with your audience and speak to them right away. It’s also equally important that the name isn’t already taken. Do a Google search or look up a corporate directory to see if your name is already in use. Once you have your business name, get a matching domain. You don’t have to start building your website right away, but you should secure domain rights as as soon as possible.
5. Get your legal stuff in order.
Will you be running a corporation or sole proprietorship? Perhaps you have a business partner and would like to run a partnership? Whatever you decide, you’ll need to talk about business structure with your lawyer or accountant. You then need to actually register your business legally. This includes applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), where necessary. All other business licenses should also be set up at this stage.
6. Open a business account and set up your accounting system.
Once your legal structure is in order, it’s time to set up a separate business account. At this stage, you also need to get your accounting system in order. To learn more about automating your accounting, read Ten Ways to Automate Your Small Business for Maximum Efficiency. The article also teaches you how to streamline your marketing and internal communications.
7. Build your online profile.
It’s difficult to run a successful business in 2017 without an active Internet presence. Now is the time to start developing your website and creating social media profiles. It’s important to reserve your business name on the various social media networks. After picking a name, you should immediately upload a profile to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Thinking about starting an online business? These five tips will help.
8. Start generating revenue.
After you’ve set up your legal structure and started to optimize your online presence, there’s no time to waste. Start generating income as soon as possible. Although NOW rarely like an optimal time to start, you can’t afford to wait for the “perfect” time because it doesn’t exist. The sooner you start generating revenue, the more options you’ll have down the road.
9. Assign responsibilities.
In the early stages of a startup, organization is key. To maximize output, you need to assign responsibilities to the co-founders. You may also need to hire a freelancer or contractor to help you manage your workload. As a general rule, you probably won’t need to hire and retain full-time staff at the outset. This can be very costly and unnecessary without a steady revenue stream. If you’re a one-person business, you should still structure your responsibilities and attend to them in an organized manner.
10. Optimize as you go.
Ultimately, every business is unique. The structure you put in place initially might not be the one you end up with in the long run. As you start generating revenue and building a client base, you’ll have a better idea of how to optimize your business. So don’t be afraid to adjust on the fly as necessary.
For the latest insights on how to build a successful business, check out the Red Door Capital blog. Whether you’re looking to optimize your operations or overcome financial barriers, we have practical solutions that can help you succeed.
Anita Campbell (April 18, 2013). “A 30 Point Checklist for Your Startup.” SmallBizTrends.com