The entire process of launching a business involves a lot of fine-tuning, planning, and timing. For instance, if the economic situation plays in your favor or whether you can successfully penetrate the market with your business idea are two things that play a massive part in deciding your startup’s success. Starting a business involves various small puzzle pieces, some more vital than others; shortlisting and selecting a business name? Fun! Filing your annual taxes? Not so much!
Starting a business from scratch typically involves a few things. These include adjusting your business idea to market demand, creating a business plan, acquiring financing, compiling the necessary legal paperwork, conducting market research, hiring the right team, marketing your business, and much more. To help you with your entrepreneurial journey, we’ve compiled a checklist that will help you cover everything from creating a business plan to obtaining financing to growing your business online.
1) Brush Up On The Business Skills
As you already know, a business-related education is a perfect way to brush up on your business skills and knowledge base. After all, due to the dynamically changing environment of 2021, you’ll need the necessary business skills and knowledge to maintain your startup’s relevancy. In fact, as most new businesses don’t even cross the five-year mark, working on your business and entrepreneur skills will allow you to run your startup more effectively, ensuring it stays afloat even in the worst of financial times.
That said, consider earning a business-related degree such as a bachelor’s in business administration or an MBA if you want to work on your business acumen and set yourself up for entrepreneurial success in the future.
2) Write A Business Plan
Most successful business owners and entrepreneurs believe that writing a successful business plan is the first step in the list of steps to take to turn your business idea into a reality. Usually, an effective business plan must include a hiring strategy, an executive summary, financial forecasts, sales and marketing strategy, and most importantly, a business idea, and much more.
A business plan is an essential piece of document that enables you to identify bumps and obstacles you might end up facing when launching your business. For instance, if you’re launching a company that deals with employee recruitment through a mobile application, you’ll have to consider the steps involved in creating an app and the costs you will incur during the app designing phase.
3) Decide On A Legal Structure For Your Business
Decide whether you want to operate your business on a Sole proprietorship, C-coporation, LLC (limited liability company), or a partnership. Each of these four types of legal structures has perks and downsides. However, it depends on the nature and size of your business.
For instance, if your business has multiple owners, consider registering your business as a partnership. On the other hand, if you want to test out your business idea and incur low damages, consider registering your business as a sole proprietorship. In the end, before choosing a business structure type, it would be wise to ask your accountant or tax attorney. Moreover, it would also be better to obtain proper knowledge about everything related to these four types of legal structures to avoid any such issues later on.
4) Assess Your Financial Situation
Starting a new business comes with a hefty price tag. So, you must identify how you’ll cover every cover related to starting a business. For example, will you borrow more, or do you have the means to fund your business yourself? If you’re thinking about quitting your day job to put your entire focus on your business, do you have the cash to support yourself until your business starts to turn a profit? So, determining how much your business will cost is a good starting point.
If you’re thinking about acquiring funding by borrowing money, you can apply for a business loan, onboard an investor, or utilize crowdfunding platforms. A commercial loan from a bank is a good funding option. However, they are often hard to get. As far as onboarding an investor goes, you’ll have to develop a killer pitch and convince the investor that your business idea will actually make money in the future. On the other hand, you can offer them equity in return for a cash loan.
5) Register Your Business With The IRS And Your Government
You will have to obtain various business licenses and permits before you can legally operate your startup. For instance, you’ll have to register your business with the local, state, or federal governments, which will require a ton of documentation.
First, you’ll need to register your business name. It could either be something you came up with yourself or a fictitious name if your business is registered as a sole proprietorship. After registering your business name, you’ll have to obtain an EIF (employee identification number) from the IRS. Such a thing isn’t necessary, but it will come in handy if you want to file your business and personal taxes separately while operating under a sole proprietorship or if you wish to hire employees in the future.
6) Market Your Business
Now that your business is off the ground, the next step is to market it to the masses. An easy way to do such a thing is to invest in a company website, an effective marketing strategy, and a company logo. You’ll have to narrow down your target market and build an online presence on social media platforms. Furthermore, consider incorporating various digital marketing techniques into your general marketing strategy to improve your chances of success. After all, the more you market your startup, the more customers you’ll bring in.
Every entrepreneur has a different timeline for starting a business. However, first and foremost, if you cannot give your 100 percent to your business, you might as well close up shop in the early stages. That said, consider the checklist mentioned in this article if you to increase your chances of entrepreneurial success.
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