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Many things need to be set up before starting your venture into the business world. We will take you through these essential steps of our entrepreneur checklist to ensure a successful start. So without further ado, let’s get straight into it!
1. Create a Business Plan
Any successful business needs a business plan, or entrepreneur checklist, which includes things like SWOT analysis, competitor analysis, market standing, your business USP, objectives and goals, as well as detailed information about the business. Once these are completed, you’ll have a clear idea of your business and can then pitch it to the investors and companies for funding.
2. Register a Business Name
This step of the entrepreneur checklist doesn’t seem difficult. However, when choosing a business name there are so many possibilities, so it can take some time. Think about how the name will affect the consumer’s perception of your brand. Choose the one that is meaningful to you. Have a brainstorming session and research other business names in your niche to come up with a truly unique name for your business. Don’t forget to check if the name is available on the official registrar.
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3. Choose Your Business Type
Have a good idea about which type of business you want to register as before you start the entrepreneur checklist, here are a few of the options available:
• Sole Proprietorship
This means there will be only one person running the business. It’s one of the most common types and is perfect if you’re a small business owner. However, you will be liable for all the business debts and losses, so keep this in mind. If you’re unsure about which permits and licenses to acquire, check out Small Business Administration (SBA) website, where you can select your state and area.
With the partnership, it’s typically two or more people running the business together. The good news is that there’s no income tax, but you’ll be responsible for filling Annual Return of Income and reporting your share of income and loss when filing a personal tax return. There may be other taxes, such as excise, income, self-employment, and others you’re liable for, so it’s always worth to check with your local state.
• Limited Liability Company (LLC)
LLC has no maximum limit of how many people can form this type of company. Interestingly, even one person can form a Limited Liability Company. The benefit of this type is that your losses will be limited as the LLC name suggest, so debtors can’t possess any personal assets. The downside is that you’ll need to pay close attention to business expenses & income, and keep the receipts of everything, so you can report it correctly for taxes.
4. Inventory and Equipment
Before starting a business, you may need a whole list of things to operate smoothly. Most businesses need basic equipment, such as a computer, desk, chair, phone and office stationery. This must be apart of your entrepreneur checklist. One of the most important inventory includes a car which is needed for travelling clients and to sites. It can be expensive, so look out for used or pre-registered cars which can offer significant savings.
5. Get a Business Bank Account
Another important tip from the entrepreneur checklist is to get a business account to keep it separate from your personal account. Additionally, it will be easier to report your taxes as there is no mix-up between your finances.
Be on the lookout for 0% interest accounts to minimize business expenses and check the fine print to ensure there are no monthly or other miscellaneous monthly fees. You may also need a card with an overdraft to manage the cash flow, also don’t forget to consider the quality of the customer support and whether online banking is available.
Compare the cards from multiple banks to get the best deal for your business.
6. Find an Accountant
To keep on top of your taxes, find an accountant to manage them, or if it’s a small business do it online via Sage, QuickBooks, Xero or any other respectable accounting software. Don’t throw away any important documents, especially those including company name, address and owner’s information – have these for general bookkeeping.
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7. Logo and Branding
Every business should have a logo and unique branding to stand out from competitors and entice future customers to shop at your business. Whether you’re after a clean and modern look for your technology start-up or a creative and bold one if you’re a fashion designer. Don’t forget to express your business values through design and branding.
8. Set up Your Website and Email
The entrepreneur checklist also includes finding appropriate hosting for your website and registering a domain name. You may need to hire a web developer or a designer for this, but if you’re tech-savvy, simply set-up a website through WordPress or Shopify and start marketing your business.
Additionally, if you want your company to be taken seriously, it’s best to set up a business email that only costs a few extra dollars a month. You can get Google Workspace (Suite) together with the email, so it’s worth the money.
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9. Create Social Media Accounts and a Blog
It’s 2021 and there’s no excuse not to be on social media as a business. Potential customers, heavily rely on reviews and the company’s reputation when looking where to buy a service or a product. Make sure you’re not missing out and can be found online by setting up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other accounts that are appropriate for your industry and business type.
Writing a blog with helpful and informative content can help bring traffic to the website, if optimised for SEO and shared across social media for maximum exposure.
Here you have an essential entrepreneur checklist for starting a business. What did you do when setting up your first business? Share with us in the comments!
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