Must Have Checklist for Starting a Business

Starting a Business ChecklistTurning dreams into reality requires action.  Imagining, day-dreaming, wondering, and googling only take you so far.  Which is to say, they take you nowhere at all.  Most people rationalize inaction as “waiting for the right moment”.  Really, they’re waiting because they’re either afraid/unsure, or they simply don’t know where to start.

So in that spirit, I pulled together some of the key “to do” items that must be checked off the list before embarking on any new business.

Top 10 To Do’s When Starting A Business

  • Make sure your business is something you have passion for. There’s no separation of “work life” and “personal life” when you’re responsible for generating your own income. For entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, freelancers, and other small business owners, work and life are highly integrated. If you don’t love it, you’ll leave it. Sooner than you think.
  • Make sure your business is something people need. It doesn’t matter that you would buy your service or product. It only matters that other people will.
  • Spend some time doing market research on your business idea. Get a sense of who the competition is, and who your potential customers are.
  • Figure out what value your service or product provides. If you had everything in place to begin your business tomorrow, how much effort would it take every day? How much would you charge people for your service or product? How much would people be willing to pay?
  • Figure out how much income you can actually generate. Make a list of potential customers who would buy your service next week, next month, next year. Determine what percentage of potential customers will become actual customers.
  • Find your bottom line. How long will it take to break even, and then how much longer after that will it take to start making a profit?
  • Invest in a consultation with a lawyer, to at least know what you need to have in place, from a legal perspective, before you start. Some things can be deferred until income starts flowing in. But some things you’ll need sooner that later.
  • Get the word out. Generate buzz. Create a web site. Keep it simple at first. Use digital and social marketing. Tell your friends and colleagues. And their friends and colleagues.
  • Know exactly how to collect and track money from customers. Manage your billing flawlessly. Invoice mistakes do not instill confidence, regardless of your business niche.
  • Hustle, deliver, improve, refine, repeat!