Action List for Business Start-Up.
You have a brilliant idea that you know will work. How do you put the wheels in motion? If you do not approach things in the correct way from the start, it can be very stressful to start your own business. Use the following action list to make sure you remember everything you need to do.
7 Important Questions to Ask Yourself:
1 What are you going to sell or which service will you deliver?
Ask yourself the following:
- Am I an expert in something? (Examples writing, baking, or home decorating) Can I use this knowledge to start a business?
2 Choose a name for your business.
Your business name should stand out, and tell customers about your product or service.
- Choose a name that will appeal to your target market, allows you plenty of room to expand. A person should be able to pronounce the name easily remember it.
3 Draw up a business plan
A business plan is a summary of the past, the present, and future of your business. To draw up a business plan, you need the following information (To name just a few):
- Your business name and contact details.
- A description of your business.
- Information on what staff you will use, and their qualifications.
- Information about the potential risks involved and suitable insurance.
- The goal of your business.
- The products you want to sell or services you will be offering.
4 If you need funding, get that in order.
It's better to make use of your own money, but if you need financing, you can use your business plan and financial projections to apply for a loan from a financial institution.
Answer the following questions before you seek finance:
- How much money will you need to pay your own private monthly bills until you start earning an income?
- How many products do you need to sell before you break even, where your expenses and income balance each other? Many small businesses fail because of cash-flow problems - not because they were not profitable.
5 Get all the legal aspects in order
Legal aspects differ from country to country and depending on your type of business you will have to confirm which licenses you need. In most of the cases, the following would apply:
- You will have to apply for a license if you plan to sell food or drink, plan to open an entertainment venue or day care center for children.
- If you want to sell alcohol, you will have to apply under the licensing laws at the provincial liquor authority for a liquor license.
- You have to register your company with your country's Revenue Service for the relevant tax.
- If in doubt about your skills as an accountant, you should instead appoint an accountant who can review your books and your annual tax return submission.
6 Open your bank account and get insurance.
Open a separate bank account for your business - it will help your company's finances and keep your personal finances separate, simplifying the bookkeeping and tax. Your company must be registered to open a business account. All the major banks offer business accounts.
Get separate insurance for your business as your home insurance will not cover your business affairs. Also, include public liability.
7 Promote your business
Write down your marketing plan with your goals and how you will achieve it.
Include the following:
- Who is your target market?
- The benefits of your product or service.
- Your marketing methods and tactics.
- Your marketing budget.
Read regularly through the marketing plan to remind yourself of what you want to achieve and how. Be clear about your goals and set up a realistic plan. Regularly review your plan. Note that you may not make false claims about your product or service.
Further reading - the ebook and paperback “Start your Own Business"
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