When I started my business over a decade ago, I jumped in without thinking about the details. Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of being detailed-oriented.
One of the most daunting tasks every new entrepreneur faces is remembering all the things to do when starting a business.
I listed 63 of those things below for you. After you’ve considered all of them, you’ll be pumped with confidence and on your way to success. Good luck!
1. Let’s assume you know what business you want to start. Read Is Your Idea Feasible? by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
2. Choose a name/domain name for your new business. Read How to Choose the Best Name For Your Business.
3. Submit the paperwork to register your business name according to the laws in your state.
4. Complete your market research with potential customers/competitors.
5. Finish your business plan (critical).
6. Decide on your pricing. Read The ABCs of Pricing.
7. Determine your location. Are you going to office from home? Do you have a budget for rent?
8. Determine which social media sites you’ll use for your business. Secure the usernames. Refer to the KnowEm database to help you decide how to brand your business online.
9. Design a logo (there are tons of DIY tools). Read The Psychology of Color in Logo Design.
10. Setup your business telephone number and email address.
11. Order your business cards.
12. Add your new logo to your business social media accounts.
13. Complete all bios/about pages on your social media accounts.
14. Develop your social media strategy.
15. Develop a robust marketing strategy.
16. Begin designing your website (this process will continue as your business evolves).
17. Decide the legal structure of your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation, LLC). This will affect your liability, and how you are taxed. Read the Business Structures page on the IRS website.
18. Familiarize yourself with the ongoing IRS paperwork required (depending on your business structure). Read more at Business Compliance Requirements.
19. Secure your business license and any necessary permits.
20. Become a certified woman-owned business (if applicable). Read How Do I Get Certified As A Woman-Owned Business?.
21. Before hiring any employees, read Hire Your First Employee to be sure your bases are covered.
23. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number.
24. Determine your fiscal year.
25. Select a small business accountant to handle your payroll, payroll taxes, workers compensation, etc.
26. Purchase accounting software to handle invoicing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, customer and vendor lists, etc.
27. Secure liability insurance for any vehicles that employees will use for your business.
28. If you’ll be working from home, check your homeowner’s insurance policy to be sure it covers your business property/injuries.
29. If you won’t be working from home, secure the necessary business insurance.
30. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers resources to help women-owned businesses succeed. Read the Women-Owned Businesses page of their site.
31. Determine what grants you might be eligible for. Search this Database of 1000+ Grants and Funds.
32. Consult LegalZoom and other sites like it that can be valuable resources.
33. Open your business bank account.
34. Setup your business PayPal account.
35. Secure your business furniture, computers and other equipment (rent, buy, borrow or use what you already have).
36. Decide on your advertising and PR strategies.
37. Prepare your 30-second pitch. Include 3 reasons why you’re different than your competitors.
38. Learn how to interpret your financial reports. Don’t depend on someone else to do this.
39. Consider company health insurance if applicable.
40. Consider a patent/trademark if applicable.
41. Write and publish your first blog post (on your new website) to introduce your business to the world.
42. Create a budget (and stick to it).
43. Explain your business to family/friends. They’ll be your cheerleaders.
44. Determine your sales process and practice it often.
45. Finally get organized. Come up with a system to stay organized.
46. Discover new ways to stand out in the crowd.
47. Remember to eat right and exercise. Keep your mind sharp and your body strong.
48. Maintain a positive attitude.
49. Believe in yourself, even when doubt creeps into your mind.
50. Start networking and never stop.
51. Ask your social media friends to help spread the word.
52. Learn how to sell your ass off (critical).
53. Create effective follow-up and follow-through systems.
54. Find ways to increase customer value.
55. Become active in your community.
56. Decide on a non-profit to partner with and give back along your journey to success.
57. Continue learning daily.
58. Strengthen your optimism, courage, vision, resilience, work ethic, leadership and persistence.
59. Work your butt off but don’t get burned out.
60. Learn how to make decisions quickly.
61. Start dressing, talking and carrying yourself like the successful, confident businesswoman you want to be.
62. Stay humble. One way to do this is to take Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice and do one thing each day that scares you.
63. Smile, it’s important!
Diana Adams is the founder and CEO of Adams Consulting Group, Inc. in Atlanta. Established in 2001, her company is now an esteemed member of the Apple Consultants Network and is rated one of the top independent Apple consulting firms in the southeast.
She’s written 4,000+ blog posts about technology, social media and geeky innovations. She loves new technology, Java Chips with extra drizzle, and any form of creativity. She’s also one of the biggest Star Wars fans in the world and is a frequent user of the force.
Diana graduated from USC, and she spends most of her time on the east coast. She is a social media addict, and you can find her on Twitter (@adamsconsulting), Instagram, G+ or Facebook almost anytime of the day or night. Send her a tweet and say hello!