It’s a great feeling when you’re ready to start your own business – but there are some things you need in place to make sure it’s a success.
From legal paperwork to a strong brand, there is some groundwork you need to do before opening your business. The great thing about doing this is you’ll learn even more about your aims, company vision, and customers as you develop your pre-launch plans.
Here’s our essential checklist of things you need to have in place when you start a small business if you want to succeed!
5 Must-Haves You Need in Place to Start Your Own Business
The secret to making your business a success straight from launch is all in the preparation. Before you unleash your amazing new business idea on the world, make sure you have these five things in place first.
1. A Solid (and Unique) Brand
Choose a brand name, buy your website domain, and have a kick-ass logo designed.
Make your brand stand out by first checking out your competitors. What are they lacking in terms of design, shelf impact, or business mission? Fill in the gaps with your own brand offering to make sure your business is one customers will flock to.
Your brand includes everything from the fonts you use on product labels to the tone of voice you choose to use in your emails. Set everything down in writing: what you want your brand to stand for, achieve, and how you want customers to see you.
A strong brand makes it much easier to market your new business, even in a crowded marketplace.
2. A Market Need for Your Products or Services
If there are lots of people doing the same thing as you, how can you guarantee that customers will choose you as their supplier?
Is the product or service you offer something people actually need or want? Make sure you’ve completed some in-depth market research before you look into product development.
Learn more about your ideal customers, too. Build profiles of the people you want to be buying your product, and use this to create your marketing strategy with targeted messaging.
3. Cash Flow
A new business is almost guaranteed to make a loss in the first year of operation. Before you launch your company, check your finances.
Do you have enough in the bank to cover running costs, employee payroll, rent, your personal salary, inventory purchasing, and marketing materials, for several months?
If not, it’s time to check out your business finance options. Taking out a loan to start a business is common, and it provides you with a decent lump of cash for capital investment in equipment or other necessities.
Make sure there’s a financial buffer in the bank before you get started, otherwise you’ll end up in serious debt with no clear way out.
4. Employee Contracts and Payroll Administration Documents
Be fully prepared with your employee administration before you even start interviews to hire new staff.
Make sure you have training manuals, welcome packs, and contracts all written up before on-boarding staff. That way, everyone starts off with the right information and you’re setting your employees up for success.
Don’t leave payroll until the last minute, either. Invest in a simple check stub maker to provide your employees with a pay stub at the end of every month. Include essential tax information, pay details, and any other vital data to make sure you’ve got everything covered.
5. Taxes, Licenses, and Insurance
Before you open your doors – physical or virtual – to the public, make sure you have all of the legal stuff in place.
Do you have public liability insurance? What about professional indemnity, if you offer a business service? Have you registered your business for tax purposes?
If you’re selling restricted products, make sure you have all the relevant licenses granted before you start operating. You might be tempted to ‘wing it’ while you wait for an application to be processed, but this will land you in hot water and could see the end of your business before it’s even begun.
Be Ready to Lead Your Team to Success
When you start your own business, it’s easy to want to do everything. The business is, after all, your baby.
Delegating to your employees, however, is one of the most effective ways to see rapid growth for your new business. With staff focused on separate tasks, it’s easier to manage multiple products and take on larger orders.
If it’s your first time heading up a team of people, taking on staff is a scary thought – even when you know what a positive impact it’ll have on your business success. What you need are great leadership skills to get people in line and working efficiently.
Read this top guide about developing leadership skills and take your new business from so-so startup to sky-high success!