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Obtain business insurance. Discuss your particular industry and business needs with your insurance agent to obtain the appropriate type and amount of insurance. Ensure you comply with government requirements e. Determine your business location and take these steps: Home-based: Check zoning requirements Other location: Lease office or retail space and obtain the necessary furniture, equipment and supplies Create any necessary contracts, service agreements and invoices so you can easily bill customers, track payments and keep records.

Obtain business financing. Create a logo, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, etc.

Secure your company's domain name with a registration website. Create a website. A company website allows you to establish your brand and will be the first opportunity to make an impression with customers.

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Create a marketing plan for your products and services. Increase the likelihood for success with a plan for promoting your products and services to your target market.

How To Write a Business Plan To Start Your Own Business

Get Started. Co-founder disagreements can destroy your business. As an entrepreneur you are going to be on the go — a lot. Get a credit card swipe device to accept payments, too. Finding a good source of inventory is crucial, especially in certain types of businesses retail, manufacturing. The best thing to do is consult an attorney early about the need for patents, especially. Get the advice early. Then you may be able to defer filing for a while, depending on the nature of your business. Reach out to former co-workers and colleagues, as well as friends and family.

Instead, tap into them for introductions and help with other things on this startup checklist. Focus your precious time to make sales and get customers.

You need a good elevator pitch for many reasons: potential investors, customers, prospective new hires, bankers. As you go along you will learn more about the marketplace.

Growing a business checklist

Use customer feedback to refine your product and service offerings, and your go-to-market approach. Protect it from intrusions and disasters. Back it up! IT problems can derail a fledgling company. In many startups the business owner starts out as the chief sales person.

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Starting a business toolkit

But to grow you need a dedicated sales function, so you can focus on activities other than day-to-day sales. A mentor who has succeeded in your industry can provide you with priceless advice and serve as a sounding board. Your checklist might be longer than this, but organizing what needs to be done before you launch and what you can take care of down the road makes it easier to prioritize your tasks.

Very thorough checklist, Anita. When do you make models or prototypes of what you are manufacturing? Also do business investors prefer small models or the full sized prototypes of the items? Very good list.

1. Plan: Choose a name, location, and blueprint for success

Actually the last point is its strongest! Nothing can give you that impact as a good mentor! Great list. Very thorough and precise.

A 30 Point Checklist for Your Startup

Thanks Anita. Love the long tail! Great list Anita.

Just off for a first meeting with a new client with a startup and this list has been invaluable for my preparation. Ask an accountant or financial advisor for their opinion. Don't use your personal account, even if you're just starting out. A credit card and PayPal account could be useful too. Organise tax IDs and register with the tax office. Office rent, equipment costs, internet costs — all of these may be offset against tax so make sure you talk to your accountant.

Use the website domain name you've already registered if possible. You can always refresh and improve your site at a later date. Different businesses have different social media needs.

Checklist for Starting a Business | Vistaprint

You might need a Facebook page and a LinkedIn profile — or you may only need a Twitter account. Do some research on competitors or ask your mentor to see what will work for your business. Look at companies that you aspire to be like for inspiration. Contact members of your social networks. Tell them about your new business and ask them to share the link to your website with the people in their networks. Nearly all companies use technology. Think about whether you need laptops, tablets, smartphones — or all of these. Talk to local IT firms if you're not sure. Software is getting more powerful and intuitive.

If possible, choose online applications for your work. That way you can access your valuable data online from anywhere at any time. Accountants, bookkeepers and business advisors have helped us put together a complete guide on starting a business. Check out How to start a business. Successful entrepreneurs keep going when other people would give up. That inner drive is what defines a successful business owner. Your attitude will help determine whether your business succeeds or fails.