The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
The Business Start-Up To-Dos
Published on Mar 12, 2010
Read 'The Business Start-Up To-Dos' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Some people who wouldn't think of heading off to the store without a carefully-prepared, category-sorted checklist, will head off into a business start-up with nothing more than a good business idea and a vague confidence that everything will turn out fine.
The fact is, nothing is more important to getting and keeping your new venture on track than a checklist of essential steps – the "to-do" list of your start-up business.
Just as the grocery list is sorted into canned goods, dairy, produce, etc, the business start-up has three essential categories: Background work, Business basics, and First steps.
Background work lays the foundation for everything to come. Skimp on your foundation and you'll be dealing with cracks in the walls and leaks in the ceilings for years to come. You want to spend time assessing your strengths and weaknesses; establishing business and personal goals (both business and personal); assessing your financial resources, risks, and costs; doing market research; developing a marketing plan; and more.
Business basics. This is the point where you can get outside professionals involved and paperwork filed. Select a lawyer, an accountant, a banker and an insurance agent. Choose the kind of company you want or need (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.), set up a checking account and a line of credit. This is where the rubber begins to meet the road.
First steps. It may seem strange to have "first steps" as a third step, but think again of the analogy to a building. Up to this point, everything's been at or below ground level. Now it's time to start building the visible structure. Line up your suppliers, get your furniture and equipment, apply for any needed licenses. Join a professional organization and get your employer identification numbers from the government. Finally, set a start date.
These are only partial lists, of course. What have you found to be helpful start-up “to-do’s”?