100 Action Points To Take When Starting Your Own Business

“There is no finish line. There are only mile markers.” -Michael Ventura

Starting a business requires a lot of hard work. The amount of documentation, legal requirements, and creative thinking required to register a business are just few of the reasons it’s crucial to begin your project early on. Yet without putting in the necessary work, you will find it difficult to turn your startup into a profitable operation.

Now, we’re not trying to scare you away from entrepreneurship. We just want to keep things realistic, while telling you it’s 100% possible to start your own business. It will take time, effort, and possibly a few setbacks, but you can totally do it.

Here are 100 action points to starting your own business;

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

What motivates you to start your own business?

 Do you have enough money to start a business?

Do you have the time to start your own business?

Will you keep your day job?

Do you have the ability to start your own business?

Set your hard limits for time and money

Overcome hesitation and take the first steps

Establish what would make a good business idea for you

Put together a list of business ideas that you like

Rate and evaluate business ideas

  Select the best business idea for you

  Validate your business idea

  Find your competitive advantage

Research you market and your competition

 Find your ideal target customer

Differentiate your business from the competition

  Create your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

  Brainstorm a great name for your business

Test your business name

 Perform trademark diligence

Understand business strategy and why it matters

  Analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

 Determine your strategy and build your business model

Create your business plan – every business needs one!

Estimate the startup costs

Prepare your projected income statement

 Prepare your cash flow projection

  Prepare your balance sheet

Consider creative ways to avoid using any financing

Determine your financing needs

Decide if you want debt or equity financing

Choose your source of funding

Create your pitch deck

  Polish up your elevator pitch

 Make the appointment and ask for the money

  Choose your legal entity: sole proprietorship, limited liability company, corporation or partnership

Draft written agreements with business partners and cofounders

Register your business name

Trademark your business name

Register your business with the IRS and state revenue offices

  Research and apply for business licenses

Understand common legal issues and how to avoid them

Develop distinctive products and services

Benchmark your products against competitors

Consider a “good – better – best” product strategy

Set your prices

Create your bare bones product – your MVP

Gather feedback on your product or service

Find your best target customers

Build your customer persona

Identify  your customers’ needs

  Map out a typical sales journey

Get ready to test multiple marketing approaches

Develop your marketing strategy

Create your marketing plan

Build your marketing message

  Design a logo, select a color theme, get business cards

Choose and register your domain name

  Plan your website

Build your website yourself or outsource it

Make sure you show up in search engines

Get a company email address

Consider writing a blog

Register on social media

Build a social media presence

Build an email list and promote to it

Consider search engine advertising

Consider advertising on Google, Facebook and other networks

Build a great landing page

Be wary of buying expensive traditional media advertising

Come up with your creatives

Establish a sales strategy

Organize the sales process with a CRM

Find sales points

  Prepare the sales script and responses to objections

Develop your sales materials

Search for prospects and generate leads

Make phone calls, send emails, set up appointments

Follow up with prospects

Make it easier for the customer to say yes

Offer promotions and incentives

Try low-cost guerrilla marketing

Seek free publicity

  Exhibit at trade shows, local fairs and charitable events

  Seek marketing and sales partnerships

Choose your location and get it ready for business

  Get equipment and furnishings

  Set up customer service and support

Line up suppliers,  contractors and freelancers

  Obtain business insurance

Establish your work schedule – even if working alone

Open your company bank account

Consider a bookkeeping service, accounting firm and payroll service

Set up your accounting system

Set up payment procedures and policies

Establish purchasing procedures

Understand taxes

Develop and budget a staffing plan

Create job descriptions

Finally, Whether you’re starting your first or your third business, expect to make mistakes. It is natural and, as long as you learn from them, it’s also helpful. The best thing you can do to take advantage of any mistakes is to make review processes to assist you.

“Spend time upfront to invest in systems and processes to make long-term growth sustainable.” -Jeff Platt

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