7-Item Small Business Checklist For The Budding Entrepreneur

Thinking of starting your very own small business? You feel that you’re ready to build your own startup company?

First off, I congratulate you. Not many would have the courage and enthusiasm to start their own business.

It’s a challenge that will test your skills, smarts, and self-determination. But you can give yourself an edge by starting your journey on the right path.

It’s going to be a long and crazy journey from hereon, so I came up with this 7-item checklist for small business owners. It can serve as your small but faithful guide to setting up a budding startup:

1. The product

What is your product? What do you intend to sell to the global market? Is it a particular good you invented in your garage, or is it a solid service that you believe will solve a particular problem?

Whatever your product may be, it should at least solve a problem or address a need that would convince your target market to buy it. Michael Cerda emphasizes this in his Mashable.com guest post “Startup Hacks: An Early Stage Checklist“:

[Your product] shouldn’t be something you have to rationalize with major market trends every time you explain it. It should be obvious and descriptive in one line. If you get this wrong, you’re done before you even begin.

2. A business plan

A business plan is your business blueprint and your list of objectives. It tells you what your business is about, what it aims to do, and how the business is going to achieve those goals.

It can be a little daunting when writing a solid business plan, but it’s necessary if you intend to acquire initial and eventual funding from investment companies.

3. Business name and/or brand name

But of course you need a business name! How else would people be able to refer to you and your startup?

However, naming your business is a serious task that requires careful and creative decision-making. Luckily, we have a post up on our blog to help you decide on the right business name for your company.

4. Legalities

legal documents business

These are your business permits, legal documents, and related paperwork that you need to secure for your business before operation. You’ll need to have these requirements soon if you want to meet your launch date.

5. Hosting and a domain name

Your business can’t go live without a website, so make sure to find a secure and reliable web hosting company to support your website online. Likewise, a strong and memorable domain name is a must-have when establishing your business’s online presence.

There are hundreds of web hosting options that cater to corporate clients, so take some time to do some research on the most reliable and affordable options for you. Choose a web hosting company with good reviews and, ideally, within your area.

For domain names, check out our latest post to know the do’s and don’ts when choosing a domain name for your business.

6. A flexible and working website

start your online business

The follow-up item on your checklist would, of course, have to be your website.

Your website does not have to be fancy or extravagant in features. It should, however, provide your visitors all of the information they need to get to know your business and to buy your product.

Ideally, your website should have

  • An e-commerce platform, if you intend to sell products online.
  • A solid content management system for your blog, website content, and marketing materials.
  • Customer service and support system
  • SEO
  • A newsletter
  • A team of trained, reliable, and trustworthy staff members

7. A business bank account

This should be a no-brainer for you, since the entirety of your business finances will be in this account.

Choose the best bank account type that fits your needs and that you can easily manage from wherever you are. It also helps to have your e-commerce system work with your business bank account in that it should be capable of sending and depositing secure payments seamlessly.

Starting a business is always thrilling for any entrepreneur, but solid preparation should be your first step forward. I hope this checklist has given you the initial tasks to get your business moving.