Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and represent an opportunity for new startup enthusiasts who wants to place their position in the existing market.

Starting up a new business requires laying a strong foundation to make it ready for growth. If you are thinking of starting a new small business and don’t know where & how to start, a business startup checklist would be best to help you.

A list of things needed to start a business will make the process simpler and easier for you and make sure you’re covering all the bases and setting up yourself for success. Here’s the business startup checklist you need to know how to start a business. 

Find a Business Idea

Find a business idea that can suit your target market, your location, and simply what you can feel is perfect for you. Choose a business that can help you grow in the long run. If you are struggling to find the best suitable business idea, consider the following points to help you out:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses using SWOT analysis
  • Go with a business idea which is catering to your strengths
  • Start inventing things
  • Create a roadmap for a successful business for you
  • Perform market research and make a list of popular names and your competitors

Describe Your Business

Name – Select a name for your business that’s easy for the audience to know what your company is about and what it does. It’s better to give a name that defines your services or products.

Structure – Choose a legal structure. You can go with sole proprietorship as it’s the simplest form of legal structure to start a business. But you can also consider forming a corporation, limited liability company, or a general partnership company depending on whether you have partners or how protective you want your personal assets to be.

Make sure to leave a few thousand dollars for legal fees required to form a corporation, partnership, or LLC.

Business plan – Your business plan and strategy can decide its success. Creating a well thought business plan which can describe your products and services, your target market, and your customer base is necessary for growth and profit. A business plan can help you stand out from the crowd and thrive among competitors.

Establish the Business Authority

  • Licenses and Permits

Establish your business and its authority by applying and getting the required licenses and permits from your local municipality. At least, you’ll likely need a certificate of occupancy.

  • Insurance

Obtain various types of insurance you need for your business including general liability coverage, workers’ compensation policies, health benefits for employees, and maybe even business interruption insurance. The types of insurance you’ll need depend on the type of business you are having. 

Prepare the Financials

  • Accounting and invoicing

Setting up accounting procedures will help you record your revenues and expenses and keep up with cash flow. Either way, you can also decide to hire a bookkeeper to do in-house work or you can also hire an outside vendor to help you with bookkeeping and invoicing for you.

  • Taxes

To file quarterly and annual tax forms and pay estimated tax, you’ll need to apply for federal and state tax identification numbers. You can either file these forms yourself or you can have a bookkeeper handle this work for you.

Finance your Business – Get Funded

The amount of capital you’ll need will depend on your business plan to cover costs and cash flow deficits. While not every startup need help with funding, most businesses do require some help until the business comes into a position to cover expenses and start making a profit.

Startup financing can include loans such as a business line of credit, or specifically designed start-up loans. You can also get financed from investors or bank loans from online lenders such as GConnectPro.

Set up Your Office

Location – Pick a location that you think would be best for your startup presence. It could be an office park, retail shopping mall, or a warehouse district. If you want to rent out a space for your business, you’ll need to have enough money for deposits on the space and utilities.

Website – Having an online presence is crucial these days. Pay a website designer to build a website that shows the best image of your business.

Equipment – Purchase the equipment required for your business or you can choose to finance your equipment expenses with equipment financing services from online lenders. Ask for quotations from several suppliers to find the best prices and terms. If leasing, shop around to get the lowest rates.

Market Your Business with Marketing Plan

Branding and messaging – Create a brand image with a unique selling proposition and marketing strategy which is recognizable by the public and your customers.

Market Awareness – Develop a strategy to increase awareness of your brand and company among the people and make it recognizable by the public and your customers. Having a unique story of your business will make its image.

Digital Marketing – You can use online marketing channels to market your business on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Use email marketing & social media to inform the customers and prospects about happenings and news about your business.

Advertising – Set up a budget and design an advertising plan to constantly promote your business. It could be a combination of placing ads in local newspapers, passing out pamphlets, and using social media. Create a customer referral program. Collaborate with other business brands and organizations to create a network with other business professionals.

Final Words 

The business startup checklist works as a pathway to starting a business faster and easier and making it successful. It provides you with clear a roadmap to better navigate through the initial stages to build a strong foundation for long-term success.