The ultimate business start-up checklist

There is so much to think about when you are setting up your small business. What legal form works best for you, where will you get your customers from, how much money will you need or how will you deal with success and failure. It could all seem a little overwhelming when you are just getting started – hopefully this checklist will prepare you for what you need to think about as you prepare to launch your business:

YOU

  • Do you believe in your business idea?
  • Have you dealt with your fear that held you back in the past?
  • Have you assesses your skills, strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do you know where will you find daily inspiration?
  • Do you a support network of friends and family?
  • Are you happy to embrace change?
  • Are you ready for the pressures and continuous learning?

LEGAL

  • Do you know with what status will your business operate – sole trader, limited company or partnership?
  • Have you notified the relevant authorities?
  • Do you know what insurance will you need and do you understand your liabilities?

BUSINESS PLANNING

  • Have you written your business plan?
  • Have you created an action plan with SMART objectives?
  • Do you understand the implications of setting up your own business and are you aware of the advantages and disadvantages?
  • Have you assessed the strengths and weaknesses of your business idea?
  • Do you have a long term vision and your short term plan written down?
  • Are you aware of the gaps within your business and how you’ll fill them?
  • Have you listed your potential partners?
  • Do you have a plan for growth?

MARKETING

  • Have you selected your business name?
  • Have you registered your domain?
  • Have you figured out your unique  selling proposition?
  • Have you created a strapline?
  • Have you written down your elevator pitch?
  • Do you have a logo designed?
  • Have you conducted sufficient market, competitor and client research?
  • Have you segmented your target audience?
  • Have you identified where do your clients find services and products that you provide?
  • Have you identified the most effective communication channels to connect with your audience?
  • Have you uncovered the core benefits of your services and products?
  • Have you worked out your sales cycle?
  • Have you completed your marketing plan?
  • Have crafted your marketing message?
  • Do you have a website?
  • Do you know how will you promote your website?

FINANCE

  • Do you know how much money you’ll need to start up?
  • Do you have a funding plan?
  • Do you know how much money will you need to survive the first few months?
  • Have you considered any hidden costs?
  • Have you found a potential accountant?
  • Have you set up your business bank account?

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