Starting your own online business is a serious matter and a big step in your life. There’s a lot of time, money and effort involved and therefore every effort must be taken to ensure that everything is sorted out before your business gets underway in order to prevent any surprises later on.
To help with this, a business start up checklist is a must. The following is a 6 point basic business start up checklist that’s simple and direct and specially tailored to online home business entrepreneurs.
Read on to see what should be on your checklist…
1) First, register your business name and legal structure (usually sole proprietorship), and register your domain name as well. It would be wise to ensure that the company name you choose is easy to remember and if possible, instantly conveys what your company does.
2) Draft a business plan. Many entrepreneurs get by without this but a business plan gives a business direction. Besides, it only takes up a page or two. A business plan should comprise your company’s vision, mission, goals and objectives, SWOT, strategic and financial plans as well as ways to monitor, measure and evaluate all aspects of the business. Constantly referring to this plan helps you gauge what you are doing wrong and also what you are doing right. Its a simple tool that helps you stay on course towards your goals.
3) Open a company bank account.
4) Apply for licenses and permits if necessary. Running a home-based business would still require you to obtain a business license in order to do business in a certain city or country. In most cases acquiring a business license would be subject to an annual or one-time fee. Some professions and sale of certain goods like alcohol and tobacco require a state license or permit. Certain states or countries require a business to have a resale permit. So depending on your state or country, you may have to collect and pay sales tax if you intend to sell physical products.
5) Sign up for business insurance. Anything can happen to your business so it is important to make sure all that investment is protected. There are many types of business insurance policies – from general business insurance to a more specific form like product liability insurance. For business newbies with a tight budget, you can still get decent coverage for less than $500 a year. You can upgrade the policy later on when your business is better off financially.
6) Finally, develop a record keeping system and stick to it. You can use this along with your business plan to improve on certain aspects of your business to make it even more efficient. Remember, there are 3 ways to be profitable – sell more, sell at higher margins and reduce cost.
Do you have any tips for starting an online business you would like to share? We’d love to hear them.
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