1. Name your Business
Get Started! Write down your name Ideas & Pick one!
2. Validate your Business Idea & Make your first sell
The first step is just to get you going. This second step is the most important. It will tell you. You goal here is to find your audience… The more specific the better. See if your idea is expandable (if it will work) or not. Validating your idea will determine if you move forward or go back to the drawing board, so that it seriously and have fun doing it.
3. Write down your Business Plan
A Goal without a Plan is just a wish. Use a Business Plan as your map, as your blueprint, for your business on a daily basis. It should contain your Story, The Big Picture, The Details, and your Plan of Action.
4. Choose your legal structure & form your business
Take some time to learn about the different types of entities and see which will fit you best. Form your Legal Business entity… For help, visit simplecorp.org
5. Get a Federal tax ID Number (EIN)
This number is crucial to running the administration of your business. It will be very helpful in the coming steps, and will help you avoid having to give personal information to Vendors, etc.
6. Register for State & Local Taxes
Use specific state & local tax guidelines to register your business including employer & sales or use taxes.
7. Open a Business Bank Account & Financing if any
Use your newly created entity and tax ID number to open a business account. Talk to your financial institution and local SBA office about financing options, and take time to think about funding, saving, & creating a safety net or rainy day fund for the business.
8. Acquire Space, Furniture, Equipment & Supplies
Find a good Location, Equipment & supplies for your business. This could include all necessities to successfully sell & ship your product, even for home-based startups.
9. Set up Communication & Email
Create accounts for communication, including email & social media accounts. Take time to research & find out where you target market hangs out, and have your main focus there.
10. Obtain Business Licenses & Permits
This will only apply if you are conducting a business that requires special licenses or permits to operate. Look info Federal, State, and even Local regulations to set yourself up successfully.
11. Educate yourself on Laws & Regulations
Spend some time researching laws & regulations that will impact your business and industry. This will help you avoid speedbumps in the future. More importantly, affect your bottom line.
12. Learn about Employer Taxes & Responsibilities
This is extremely important if you’re planning on hiring employees. Educate yourself on employer taxes & responsibilities, including worker’s comp insurance, payroll taxes, and employee benefits & laws.
13. Protect yourself w/Insurance, Patents & Copyrights
Get insured with General Liability insurances and other specific insurances that apply to your small business. No matter how small the operation, protection is necessary and important for long-term success. If you have a creation of some kind, look into patents and copyrights if necessary.
14. Set up Record-keeping & Financial Management
Interview and designate centers of influence that will help manage finances. This could include an accountant or CPA, a bookkeeper, and Financial Advisor.
15. Build your Outside Team: Find the right help
When it comes to running your business, one of the keys to success is the team you choose to work with. When delegating and outsourcing, you should carefully interview and choose the people you work with wisely. This includes Contractors, Vendors, and Influencers.
16. Build your inside Team: Hire Employees
If you will have to hire employees, spend plenty of time preparing, interviewing, and choosing the right team. This will be your family, and the expression of your business. Spending time making sure you get this part right is an understatement. This usually will be your biggest investment as a company, so spend your time & attention on meticulous hiring.
17. Set up a Payment/Merchant Accounts
Setup payment accounts to help you complete transactions with your customers.
18. Create a logo/Brand
This can always change, but build a logo as a starting point for your business and brand. This will help give you a sense of identity during your early stages and give you something to expand later.
19. Obtain a Web Address & Website
Get some online real estate for your business. Whether you’re local or ecommerce based, getting some online space for your business will open you and your business to a whole new world.
20. Prepare a Marketing Plan & Materials
Spend some time planning your marketing & communication to your customers. This could be as simple as business cards, to social networking, SEO, Advertisement, Promotion and Sales.
21. Set Short & Long-term Goals
We said earlier than a Goal without a Plan is just a Wish. Well, a business without a Goal, has nothing to strive for. It’s like if you were driving without a destination. Take some time to write down some simple short term goals, and some out of this world long term goals. Some thought leaders will tell you to make them “realistic”… I say, you cannot reach out-of-this-world dreams if you don’t have out-of-this-world Goals. Go Big!
22. Learn & Grow yourself everyday
If you’re not into reading, we won’t tell you to become an avid reader overnight. But we will say, reading books, watching videos, TED talks, YouTube, Podcasts, or any other medium to gain knowledge will grow you over time. If you get used to doing this every single day, you will learn every single day, and grow every single day. Good luck in your Journey!