A lot of people still think that starting your own business is a crazy and complex pursuit. Actually, it is not. To be your own boss, you only have to work hard, dedicate your time and energy to it, focus on your goals and most importantly, follow your business start-up checklist. With so many things to accomplish, you might find yourself in a stressful situation. This checklist will help you do well during your transition.
1. Come up with a business idea
Your business idea should not only be able to generate profits, but should also suit your personality, target market and your business setting. To build a really strong business prospect, perform a SWOT analysis to determine your strong and weak points.
2. Transform your idea into business
This entails conducting a market research and creating a business plan. Assess whether your business idea will work or not. This can be done by asking potential consumers if there is a demand on the product or service you intend to introduce to the market. At this stage, you also need to describe your target costumers and your market size. On your business plan, identify what assets are needed prior to starting your business. Moreover, having a ballpark figure of your outlays and revenues will help put your mind at ease.
3. Secure your cash flow
Your marketing plan won’t work if you don’t have your vital cash flow. When looking for potential investors or shareholders, some would need a detailed business plan while others are okay with an elevator pitch. Nevertheless, these should contain your sales plan, target market and metrics of success. Applying loans for banks and other financial institutions is suggested in case you’re out of luck in scouring potential investors.
4. Look for suppliers, business site and business partners (if possible)
Having a co-founder/business partner as a part of your team will definitely make things a lot easier. Just remember to look for someone who has the same skills, knowledge and business acumen as yours.
Now that you have a cash flow, business partner and a working business plan, you should start hunting for trusted suppliers. Build a good working relationship with them so that you will be able to negotiate for a much better price on your supplies. If you plan to sell your product or service elsewhere, search for a location that is near public places and has active foot traffic. After quite some time, you can start working with a distributor and a freight forwarder to reach more customers.
5. Start your business
Check your tax laws and other rules or policies intended for business owners before you start your business. If you are in Australia, use the Australian Business and Licenses Information Service (ABLIS) which will help you sort out all documents you may need to submit for your business. In addition, do not forget to apply for insurance policies. It is always good to have a safety net in case things go wrong. After going through all of these, you can now start marketing your product offerings either through social media or the traditional media.
The content of your checklist may sound to be a tedious task. But if you really stick to it, expect that everything will run smoothly.