Business Startup Checklist
1. DECIDE YOUR REASON (WHY?) BEHIND THE BUSINESS
Determine why you want to start your own business.
Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths and weaknesses, potential opportunities and threats.
Decide whether you want to sell a product or provide a service.
Assess how much capital you have to invest into your business.
2. COMMIT TO YOUR BUSINESS
Make a list of business ideas that fit your strengths and interests.
Understand the problem(s) your business will solve.
Define your target customer.
Validate your idea by talking to potential customers about it- call it a market research.
Create a quick financial plan, identifying costs and forecasted sales to see if additional funding is required.
3. SET UP YOUR BUSINESS
Decide on your business name and search the web to make sure it’s not already in use. See if a domain with your business name is available for purchase. You can search domains on Go Daddy.
Register a domain name and secure social media profiles for your new business.
Decide on a legal structure of the business: Company, Trust or a Sole Trader.
Get your website up and running. There are many easy to customise templates available in Wordpress, Wix,Squarespace and Shopify. Alternatively, if you have funding, engage a professional website designer/developer to build a website for you.
Register your business with the Australian Tax Office to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN).
If you are not planning on using your own name for your business, you need to register a business name with ASIC
Engage an accountant and choose your preferred accounting program.
Select insurance policies relevant to your business: public liability, public indemnity and cyber security.
Open a business bank account.
Start networking where your ideal clients hang out, online and face to face.
4. FINANCIAL PLANNING
Estimate how long it will take for your business to acquire paying customers.
Itemise your business expenses for the first year.
Itemise how much capital is required to launch the business before profitability.
From this, determine how many months of savings or investment you need to break even.
If outside investment is required beyond the founders’ savings, complete a business plan.
5. SETTING UP TO OPERATE
Find your perfect business location, even home offices need good design.
Dependent on your business legal structure, identify your staffing needs and the profile of an employee or a Contractor. Being a sole trader, you can outsource roles that would normally be filled by staff.
If your business includes a team rather than being a one man band, recruit, interview, hire, and train your employees.
Identify and set up relevant technology: Email, Phone, CRM, Billing and Payment systems
Ensure your technology systems are secure with your information or customer information.
Identify and partner with right suppliers.
7. MARKETING AND SALES PLAN
Create a Marketing and Sales Plan that includes your launch plan, pricing, how your business will generate leads, and close new business.
Develop consistent branding for your company and its products or services.
Create and fine tune your Elevator Pitch for when you introduce your business to others.
Grow your digital presence through social media, blogs, newsletters and SEO strategy to drive traffic to your web site.
Hire a salesperson or a sales team.
Let the local press know you are opening/open for business.
If you have a bricks & mortar business, organise an opening day or plan a launch event.