Small Business Start-Up Checklist
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
You may be in a situation where you are thinking about starting a business, or you already have, and you are wondering what are the things you should be paying attention to in order to get your business started off on the right foot. We've compiled a simple checklist for you to take with you and use on your own. This list is not in any specific order.
And, of course, if you'd ever like help implementing pieces of this checklist, do not hesitate to call us! (303)222-8052
Choose your business idea and identify your product and/or service
Conduct research on the industry and the market as a whole. How will you compete?
Determine business name
File your articles of incorporation with your Secretary of State (LLC, S-Corp, partnership?)
Apply for your EIN (Employer Identification Number)
Open a business bank account and credit card (do NOT use your personal account!!!)
Get your sales tax ID (if applicable)
Apply for and register for any specific business license or permit you will need
Create your Gsuite Account (major effects on SEO)
Create your business social accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.)
Is your business being financed or are you self-funding / bootstrapping your business?
Create personal & business budget (we recommend using ProfitFirst methodology)
Identify a CPA you will use for taxes. This person is crucial for your success team. whether or not you use a bookkeeper (you probably should), you will need a good CPA to file taxes and make sure you do not get in trouble with the government. Take it from me, you really don't want that!
Get your Bookkeeping software (QuickBooks, Xero, etc.)
Identify your monthly break-even point
Determine how you will accept payments (credit cards, ACH, automatic withdrawals, invoices, when you actually collect money in relation to your product/service provided, etc.)
Decide how you will keep track of your financials on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis
Determine your specific "one-time" start-up costs and how you will fund them
Determine your correct pricing model for your products and services
Information Technology (IT)
Determine the database and email program you will use. Do you need specific industry software?
Determine how you will keep track of your contacts - what CRM system will you use?
Establish and familiarize yourself with your Google My Business account dashboard
Determine your website hosting and platform - set up your website!
Get your Operating Agreement written out and signed (if applicable)
Write Partnership Agreement and sign - exit plan - if applicable
*Make sure you have your attorney review these!
Business Plan Development
Determine and Review your Business Model - how will you make money and how will you actually turn a profit?
Develop the foundations of your business - vision (where are you going), mission (how will you get there) core values (what is most important)
Write a professional Business Plan/Strategic Plan
Determine your business location[market] - do you have an office? should you register for a virtual office? do you need a storefront?
Educate yourself on the market and business development for your industry
Determine roles and responsibilities for all members and employees. Develop your organizational/accountability chart
What are the key resources you will need
What are the key strategic partnerships you will need to be successful
Determine your Exit Strategy
Conduct a SWOT Analysis
Create your Business Logo
Market Research! - determine who your target audience will be
Identify your Unique Selling Proposition[USP] / Market Dominating Position[MDP]
Determine your Brand Strategy
Develop your Marketing Story (we recommend using Build Your StoryBrand)
Determine your content creation strategy and calendar. Consistency is KEY!
Create business cards and other marketing collateral
Establish your networking strategy (chamber of commerce, or other professional organizations)
Clearly outline your offerings, services, and/or products - put them on your website!
Build your first marketing funnel
Have a lawyer review any outside contracts that are made for your business (vendors/customers/employees)
Get proper business insurance (liability, employees, auto, renters, etc.)
Ensure you are up-to-date on all current employee laws
Have any trademarks and patents reviewed by an attorney and properly submitted
Be sure to check zoning requirements for storefronts!!