Before you pull the trigger and launch your new small business, it’s important to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Of course, you’ve already gotten the most important tasks done like finding the funding you need, hiring staff and making sure you have enough items to sell. But no matter how prepared you think you may be, it’s likely you’ve forgotten a thing or two. There are so many hoops one has to jump through to start a business and it seems there are surprises around every corner, regardless of how prepared you think you are.
Much like a pilot’s pre-flight checklist used to ensure a successful and safe flight, a pre-launch checklist for your small business is important to ensuring everything will go along as planned.
If you’re busy working hard on your new business, then you know how incredibly stressful it can be to get everything in order so you can open your doors. Here is a checklist of things you should do either before you take the big step of launching or during the early days of your startup.
This first step requires your complete honesty as your new business has to be something you can profit from. You should think honestly about your prices to determine whether or not your customers will pay you enough to cover your many costs while making a profit. If you determine that your startup will not be viable with your current prices, then make price adjustments accordingly.
Create a Solid Business Plan
Many small business founders make the mistake of thinking they don’t need a business plan simply due to their size. The truth is however that a business plan with financial projections is a must-have. When you have a business plan to follow, you’ll be forced to give a lot of thought toward every detail about your business. Once you do have a plan in place, keep it nearby so you can check it often and make any necessary adaptations.
Consider How You’ll Support Yourself
Many new startup founders are shocked to discover it takes more time than they thought to get a business up and running. If you do run into delays, you need to make sure you have money available to cover your living expenses for at least a year. Remember that you’ll have to eat, drink and put a roof over your head. You should be ready to cut back on the frills and luxuries of life for the first few months. Think about your savings, any income you have and take your spouse’s income into consideration too.
Get Support from Friends and Family
The last thing you need is resistance from your closet family members and friends. Spend some time with these people so you can explain your business. Talk about how you have worked hard to realize your dream of being a business owner. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that most of your friends and family will support you.
Choose a Name
The name you choose for your business can make or break you. Therefore you should carefully choose a name that people will remember. Use your imagination so that you end up choosing a hard-to-forget or clever name. Of course, you cannot use a name that’s already taken so do some online searches for ideas. Consider what your name needs to say about your business. If geography is important wherein you will focus on serving a local area, incorporate the city or area into the name such as Philadelphia Interior Designs.
Register a Domain
Now that you have your business name it’s time to get a domain name. If you plan on spending a lot of time and effort on online marketing, you should try to get an exact-match domain name. Why? Because people are going to automatically associate your company name with your url. Plus, exact-match domain names are search engine friendly.
If someone already has the domain name you want and they’re just sitting on it, reach out to them and offer to buy it. Instead of writing to the domain owner using your business email, use an alternate email instead as this way, the person won’t think you’re loaded and able to pay a sky-high amount for the name you want. You could also mention some silly project you need the domain name for. Another option is to see whether other domain suffixes are available like .net or .co.