Putting a proper plan in place can help you navigate your way to creating and establishing your business. It’s an exciting prospect to be able to become an entrepreneur and own a business but becoming your own boss, as you know, comes with a little work, too.
When you feel that there are a million things to do, directing your energy to the right tasks is essential when starting. It not only saves time and effort, but you also know where and when to make the right financial investments and purchases for your business.
There are a few other things to do even before you register your business. Use the information below as a checklist to see what you’ve already done or should do:
#1 Have you decided on your mission?
You’ve done your market research, your target audience, as well as drafted out your company goals. In today’s world, a product isn’t just a product. Consumers want the experience of using a product. They purchase products that bring them value and also ones that align with their principles. Today’s marketing isn’t one way to the buy and sell route. A business needs to stand out not only by its USP, but by its values. What are your business’ differences, and what is its purpose? Skincare brand The Ordinary, for instance, differentiates by offering ‘skincare with integrity.’ Knowing your purpose helps guide you in making crucial business decisions and also keeps your brand grounded to its values.
#2 Have you chosen a legal structure?
Among the other key steps to establishing a solid business is choosing the right legal structure. A legal structure will dictate the paperwork, taxes, liability of owners, as well as other legal aspects such as confidentiality, employees, training, and so on. Sounds confusing? Call on legal help to best advise you on the structure to take, along with the paperwork that needs to be filed. Check this out to help you create articles of incorporation, get an employer identification number, and many other industry papers.
#3 Have you mapped your finances?
You’ll need to bring in money, create money, and find money to fund your business. Running a business involves acquiring capital, which is a major hurdle for many young businesses. That said, there are plenty of options available, and one of the most common places to seek capital would be through angel investors and venture capitalists. Then, there’s always business loans and bank loans you can go for, depending on how much you need.
#4 Do you know what tax burdens your company may come into?
You can run from it, but you can never hide from taxes. Understanding your tax burdens is part of mapping your financial structure, and knowing what you’ll be taxed ahead of time will definitely help manage your finances. Staying organized with taxes and fees and filing them early can prevent any severe financial consequences. These taxes come in the form of business taxes, city, country, and even state taxes. A healthy financial map includes when taxes and fees need to be made, to whom you need to pay, and what fees you need to make.
#5 Are you aware of the business risks involved?
Businesses always come with risks. That said, understanding and calculating these risks and planning for them is an essential step in business. Assessing industry risks is essential, and it forms a part of your business plan.
Understanding business risks also enables you to purchase the right business insurance. You should purchase the right kind of insurance for your business. For instance, professional liability insurance is needed in case of client lawsuits, and general liability insurance helps restaurants in case of slip-and-fall accidents.
#6 Have you put together a business plan?
This may have been something you’re already working on, but it’s always good to revise for a successful launch and revisit your plan for continued growth. A business plan is essential to create a focus, and it also helps in attracting C-level professionals, as well as seek and retain capital. A business plan should have these critical components:
- A description of your business
- Your mission statements
- A list of your products or services
- An analysis of the current market and opportunities
- Your financial plan, so those who review can understand the opportunity
- A list of decision-makers in the company, including their bios
#7 Have you decided on a time to launch your business?
Timing is important. While we can’t predict what will happen or how things will look like in a year, we all want to start our business when the economy is healthy and the industry is expanding. There’s a flow of decision-making that’s crucial in launching a business – it’s crucial for business owners to be decisive when building a business. You only have so much time to find out if you’ve made the right business decision. If you’ve decided at least 70% of the way, just go with it instead of waiting for a 100% decision. Take the leap when the circumstances are right.
#8 Do you have a mentor?
A business isn’t and shouldn’t be an independent journey. Of course, if you’re already on that route, there’s nothing wrong, but it would help if you had a mentor or advisor to help you out in matters you’re not familiar with. Finding people that have the expertise you don’t have can help you strengthen your business, and it’s one of the best things you can do for your business because you want to set it up for success. Learning from a mentor or advisor is essential as there are plenty of things you can learn to fortify your business ahead of risks and any issues. You can find the right kind of mentor or advisor through networking with professionals in your industry, or even attending industry-related workshops and events. Reach to mentors online through LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter, and watch their YouTube videos. There are several ways to get in touch with them. You can also hire a coach if you want to, especially in the first few stages of establishing your business.