Start Running your Business

Start Up Process Summary
The following is a checklist of the process involved in starting a business. Most points will apply to any type of business and while this checklist sets out most matters for a new entrepreneur, always be aware that there will be other factors not on this checklist because they are specific matter applying to your type of business alone.

1. First Steps:

  • Think everything through first.

  • Are you really serious about starting up a business and are you clear on what it could entail?

  • Have you talked with a professional adviser, such as an accountant, lawyer or other business coach?

  • You will need to set out clearly whether running a business will suit your character.

  • You will need to analyse your strengths, weaknesses and assess the ways your weaknesses can be improved.

  • You need to look at your financial situation and assess the financial risks.

  • You will have to work out the cost of your proposed business venture and check on all the resources you have available and others you may be able to call on if necessary.

2. Investigate:

  • Decide on the type of business you will be operating.

  • Look at the potential location you will need.

  • Finalise your start up costs and the level at which your business will break even.

  • Who are your customers? Do some research on your target market and find out a little about your competition.

  • Be clear on the market. Are you really sure there is a market for your product or service and do you have knowledge and information on other comparable products in the marketplace.

  • Do some outside research on the industry. How are other businesses like yours doing? Are they profitable or are they struggling?

  • Be fully aware of all the regulations and requirements under law. This could involve not only what is needed when setting up your business, but also your obligations, e.g. to the IRS if you employ people to work for you.

  • There are many other areas needing investigation and these can be discussed with your financial adviser.

3. Talk to your advisers:

  • Do not finalise anything until you have discussed everything with a good accountant who has experience in business matters, especially with the setting up of new businesses.

  • You will need to speak to a lawyer to get information of your legal obligations.

  • You will need to discuss the tax implication with a good accountant.

  • You will have to talk to an insurance adviser to get advice on insurance requirements of your business.

  • You will need to set up an account with a good bank in your location.

  • You will need to talk to all your advisers and listen to what they have to say or recommend before you start.

4. Develop a business plan:

  • You will need to develop a business plan for your business and may need the assistance of your accountant or financial adviser.

  • Your financial plan will outline what your business is looking at doing, the goals of your business and how those goals will be achieved. It will attach a financial plan, a marketing plan, a personal plan and if necessary, a production plan. Some financial projections will also be attached because these will be important if you are looking at funding through a bank or other financial institution.

  • Develop a strategic plan. This type of plan will cover the objectives of the business operation, as well as identify opportunities and potential threats. (Do a SWOT analysis.)