Starting a business is undoubtedly exciting, but it can also be painstakingly stressful. There is more to starting a business than coming up with a product or service that there might be a market for. Below is a list of 10 things that should be completed before it is time to open for business.
Create a Business Plan – One of the most important activities to start your business is to create a business plan for your company. This will not only detail information about the product or service you are creating, but will be comprehensive list of all the things that will be needed to start a business as well as how the process will work. Having a thorough and detailed business plan is also important if you are looking for financing or people to invest in your company.
Choose a Business Internet Service – It’s important to have a reliable business grade internet connection to ensure your business is always up and running. You will need to select a business internet provider that will not only have a reliable connection but be able to accommodate all of the software programs you plan to implement. It is important to choose a reliable service so that you will not run into problems as your business grows.
Select an Office or Building – Depending on your business needs, you will need to look for office space to buy or lease. If you plan to run your business from your home, be sure to designate an area that is away from the daily distractions of home life.
Choose Office Furnishing or Equipment – You will need to secure all the office and production equipment necessary to run your business or produce your products. Be sure to research equipment properly and take note of any maintenance and repair plans as well as warranties.
Purchase Computers and Software – Determine how many work stations are necessary to run your business efficiently. Next you will want to determine which software programs will work best to run your business and any other software you will need for production. The right applications can make a huge difference in the efficiency of a well-run business.
Legal Forms – You will want to create and file all paperwork necessary for the start of your business. This will include registering your business, incorporation paperwork, and patents if necessary. At this time it would be beneficial to establish a tax ID number as well as file your company with federal, state, and city tax departments.
Obtain any Business Licenses or Permits – Depending on what your company produces or services, there will probably some licenses and permits that will need to be filed at the city or state level. If you are having your building constructed or any major renovations done, you will also have to acquire building permits to ensure you are within code and will have no fines.
Prepare a Policy Manual – Whether you have one employee or over 100, it is important to have a written policy manual that lays out the policies and rules of the company as well as the benefits and expectations of the employees. Having this established early on will prevent any confusion and human resources issues when you begin to grow in employee count.
Build Your Brand – First come up with a logo and overall design aesthetic that is representative of your company. You will need to start off with business cards, checks and other forms necessary to the running of your business and then can later focus in marketing and promotional products.
Establish a Website and Social Media Presence – Since many customers now use the internet when locating and researching a new company it is important to establish a web presence. It is also beneficial to have this information for promotional and marketing campaigns.
Finally, be sure to search the web for other great resources for starting a successful business. This should ease the lengthy and difficult process and set you up for future success and stability.