For a first time entrepreneur, the entirety of the business world is terra incognita. Apart from not knowing where to start, they might also lack the experience to handle even some of the most menial tasks like writing a business plan, starting a crowdfunding campaign or registering a company name. Unfortunately, all of these issues are absolutely vital for those willing to startup a company, seeing as how even the greatest of business ideas won’t do you much good on their own. With this in mind and without further ado, here is a brief rundown of the basic tasks you need to complete in order to start your first business.
Start with a business plan
The first thing you need to focus on as a business owner is a business plan. Here, you need to address issues such as market strategies, competitive analysis, design and development, operations, management as well as financial aspects of your business in both short- and long-term. However, putting down all of this on paper is far from simple, seeing as how you need to learn how to format a business plan so that it is easy to examine, evaluate and even update later on.
Think about the finances
A lot of people believe that finances are something you should handle first, however, without a business plan, how can you know how much money your startup actually needs? Once you have this question out of the way, you need to find the source of your initial capital. Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it may sound. You can use one of those start up business loans, sell an asset, start a crowdfunding campaign or find another method of obtaining the funds needed.
Register your company
In order to register a company, you must first determine two things. The first one is your company name. This factor will affect most of your marketing and your overall branding efforts in the future. The second one is your company structure, which determines the scheme by which you pay your taxes. Sole proprietorships, LLCs (limited liability companies) and partnerships have different schemes by which they pay their taxes. Needless to say, both of these things need to be determined beforehand.
Handle the issue of work capital
Another thing that a lot of people are unaware of is the fact that most startups don’t become self-sustainable for the first 6 months to two years. Because of this, handling the issue of work capital is of utmost importance. For one-person or home-based startups, it is usually for the best if the business owner doesn’t quit their previous job right away. If not, creating an additional source of revenue in order to fund your startup might be a great idea for the time being.
Hire an accountant
While your company is in its infancy, you will probably be able to handle all your books on your own. Nonetheless, in the long run, it is always better to hire an accountant. You see, inexperienced entrepreneurs behind sole proprietorships usually see no reason to keep their business and their personal accounts separate. Needless to say, this is just one of the mistakes that might not be a problem in the beginning but might come around to haunt them later on.
Start hiring people
Perhaps the most important factor in your company’s success is your staff and their ability to show admirable performance in any given situation. While training, coordinating and investing your personal time may be vital for this to work, it is highly unlikely that any of these would help unless you hire the right people. Because of this, make sure that your hiring policies are up to date. Some enterprises prefer outsourcing this task to specialized hiring agencies, however, this is a skill that you will have to master sooner or later.
Deal with your corporate infrastructure
In order to deal with your corporate infrastructure, you need to A) get in touch with suppliers and B) outfit your office as best as you can. In order for latter to work, you need to find a place that will fit both your needs and your budget, as well as equip it properly. When it comes to outfitting the space, you need not only think about the basics like the furniture, computers and printers, but also about office supplies that you will need right away.
While it would be inaccurate to claim that the seven-point list presented above is a complete rundown of everything you need to do in order to start a business, it is definitely the bare minimum. Updating your own digital arsenal, filing for the trademark, ordering business cards and registering company social media profiles are just some honorable mentions that failed to make it to this list – not because they’re of low significance, but because the above-listed seven steps always take priority. For this reason alone, once you cross these seven items off your checklist, you will be a huge leap closer to launching a successful startup.