Starting a small business is not a task you should take on lightly. Nearly 20% of small businesses fail in the first year, and 50% fail by year five.
However, you shouldn’t let these figures dissuade you from pursuing your professional goals. If you have a solid business idea and dream of owning a successful company, there’s no reason you can’t make it happen.
We want to help you get started. Keep reading for our essential business startup checklist. Here are some of the most important things you need to become a small business owner.
A Business Plan
After formulating your initial business idea, you need to translate your thoughts into an official business plan. Start by conducting market research to learn more about your industry, competition, target market, costs, and financial projections.
The best business plan will include:
- An executive summary
- A description of your business
- Your market analysis
- A detailed outline of your products and services
- Your marketing strategy
- Your startup request
- Your costs of operation
- Your financial projections
This document is vital for your company’s direction and success. It will also be used by lenders to determine your business’s potential.
Almost every type of business needs startup funding to launch. Approach your bank to request an SBA loan, which is a business loan backed by the government. These are desirable because they come with low-interest rates.
If you can’t get approved for this step in our business startup checklist, don’t worry, you have other options. Reach out to private investors, angel investors, and crowdfunding groups to get the financing you need to start your business. You can also ask friends and family members, or fall back on personal finances.
Business Licenses, Certifications, and Insurance
To be a legitimate small business owner in any type of industry, you’ll need to acquire the appropriate certifications. Depending on your chosen profession, this could include special licenses, certifications, or educational courses. Additionally, apply for a business license through your state.
Another important item on our business startup checklist is business insurance. Talk to an insurance agent to determine what types of policies you need to protect yourself, your employees, your company, and your customers/clients.
Location, Supplies, and Equipment
Finally, successful businesses require equipment and supplies to operate at full capacity. What you need depends entirely on the type of business you’re starting.
If you’re starting a lawn care business, you’ll need a truck and trailer, lawn care equipment, lawn tools, etc. Conversely, if you’re starting an e-commerce company, your needs will be minimal.
If you’re operating a brick-and-mortar company, you’ll also need to figure out where to operate your place of business. Do you want to be in the heart of town or somewhat removed? Do you want to rent or buy a commercial building?
Do You Have Everything on Our Business Startup Checklist?
Business ownership isn’t easy. However, if you follow everything on our business startup checklist, you’ll find it much simpler to get started. Do your research to make sure you’re fully prepared to launch your company.
And if you’re looking for more small business advice, look no further. Check out some of our other articles before you go to find the information you need to make your company a success.