Starting a business can be hard work, but if you break down the process of launching your new company into individual steps you can make it easier. Rather than spinning your wheels and guessing where to start, follow this 10-step checklist to transform your business from a lightbulb above your head into a real entity. If you have any questions, contact our office at 413.475.7283 or Complete our online quote form today!
- Refine your idea.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to sell online, or at least the market you want to enter. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don’t, you’ve got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan
- Write a business plan.
Once you have your idea in place, you need to ask yourself a few important questions: What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end goals? How will you finance your startup costs? These questions can be answered in a well-written business plan.
- Assess your finances.
Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you will cover those costs. Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money? If you’re planning to leave your current job to focus on your business, do you have savings to support yourself until you make a profit?
- Determine your legal business structure.
Before registering your company, you need to decide what kind of entity it is: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company. Your business structure legally affects everything from how you file your taxes to your personal liability if something goes wrong.
- Register with the government and IRS.
You will need to acquire business licenses before you can legally operate your business. For example, you must register your business with federal, state and local governments.
- Purchase an insurance policy.
It might slip your mind as something you intend to get around to eventually, but purchasing the right insurance for your business is an important step to take before you officially launch. Dealing with incidents such as property damage, theft or even a customer lawsuit can be costly, and you need to be sure that you’re properly protected.
- Build your team.
Unless you’re planning to be your only employee, you’ll need to recruit and hire a great team to get your company off the ground.
- Choose your vendors.
Running a business can be overwhelming, and you and your team probably aren’t going to be able to do it all on your own. That’s where third-party vendors come in. Companies in every industry, whether that’s HR or business phone systems, exist to partner with you and help you run your business better.
- Brand yourself and advertise.
Before you start selling your product or service, you need to build up your brand and get a following of people who are ready to jump when you open your literal or figurative doors for business.
- Grow your business.
Your launch and first sales are only the beginning of your task as an entrepreneur. To make a profit and stay afloat, you always need to be growing your business. That takes time and effort, but you’ll get out of your business what you put into it.
Encharter Insurance offers coverage for businesses of all sizes across all industries. Contact one of our agents at https://www.encharter.com/business-insurance/ or call us at (413) 475-7283 today to discuss your business insurance needs and customize a policy that’s right for you and your business.