Every year, more than 600,000 new businesses are launched in the United States. Many of these will go on to become very successful. Some will fail. The thing that sets apart the successes from the failure is planning.

There are countless types of businesses, and all will run in a different manner, however, all should follow the same business startup checklist. Without ticking these boxes, you will struggle to find success.

So, to become a successful small business owner, what steps should you follow to ensure you’re using smart management techniques?

Here is the only guide you’ll need to set you up on the road to business ownership success.

Research Your Concept

Unless you know your product, market, business model, and competition inside out, you’ll be blindly entering an industry. Carry out full market research before investing a dime.

Choose Your Business Name and Legal Structure

Once you know what you’ll be selling and where you’ll open your business you’ll need a name. Think of something that lets customers know what you do, or that inspires intrigue.

Once you have a name, decide the structure too. Are you the sole proprietor, or will it be a limited company? 

Create a Business Plan

Before you start your business, you’ll need a formal plan. This will identify running costs and estimate projected earnings. Your business plan needs to be comprehensive and tangible. You may need this in place to secure outside investment.

Secure Funding

If you don’t possess startup capital, you’ll need to secure this. There are several routes you could take, all will involve being able to demonstrate thorough planning and consideration. Your options include: 

  • Taking out a bank loan
  • Starting a crowdfunding campaign
  • Looking for private investors
  • Approaching an investment company

When deciding which route to take, you’ll need to consider what the repayment terms are on loans, or how much of your business you’d need to offer up to investors.

Obtain Licenses

Most businesses will require some kind of license to operate. Find out what you’ll need legally and start the application process.

Set Up Your Taxes

All businesses will need to pay taxes. Speak to your local tax office and find out exactly what you’ll need to pay. You may wish to hire an accountant to manage your taxes for you.

Lease Your Premises

Once you’ve got the funds to start your business, you can lease your premises. This may be an office space, a warehouse, a retail outlet, a restaurant, or a factory. If applicable, make sure you consider how easy it will be for employees and customers to get to and think about amenities such as parking.

Once you have your premises, you’ll need to decorate and furnish it to an operational standard. This may mean buying office furniture, equipment, glass showcases, and more.

Hire Your Employees

Work out how many employees you’ll need and hire them. Use a recruitment website to ensure you get plenty of applicants.

Market Your Business

Once you’re ready to launch, you’ll need to let the world know you exist. Consider the following avenues to market your company:

  • Website and search engine optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Newspaper, TV, or radio adverts

Set a budget for marketing, and wherever possible, hire professionals.

Don’t Deviate From Your Business Startup Checklist

Your business startup checklist will become a vital working document until you start trading. Follow it, and always seek out professional guidance at every step.

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