Launching a new business can be daunting. If you have built a business from the ground up in the past, then you may worry less. However, there are certain things that you just can’t overlook irrespective of your experience in running or launching a business.
For those that feel they need a little more support, here’s the ultimate 20-point checklist that you should review before you hit the launch button:
1. Create a business plan
You can’t expect to launch a business without a game plan. However, your business plan must cover more than just some vague ideas and goals. For instance, it should include a marketing strategy, target market, staff requirements, revenue goals and options, and finances.
2. Get the people hyped up
As you prepare to introduce the world to your biggest project, it’s time to create a buzz around the people that care about you and your mission. So, tell your friends and family that are going to embark on the path of entrepreneurship. Also, tell them about the products/services that you are going to offer.
3. Get a business license
Taking care of business registration and licensing well in advance can save you from unnecessary stress later. You are also less likely to make mistakes and prevent getting caught in red tape when you have time to prepare and file for the license in advance.
4. Create a logo
The difference between a business and a brand can seem subtle. However, the latter is just whole another level of success and positioning which is why you should always strive to create a unique brand rather than just a business. For that, one of the most important things you need is an attractive and unique logo.
The good news is that you can create a logo by yourself without spending a lot of money, or time even. There are many online logo design applications that will create a logo instantly. Otherwise, you can find a good freelancer logo designer.
5. Get on top of your finances
Money plays a huge role in the launch of a startup. You want to ensure that you have enough of it to cover equipment, IT services, salaries, etc. If you don’t have enough funds yet, then you can start looking for angel investors or business loans asap.
6. Register a domain name
A domain name is the web address of your virtual business. It’s usually along the lines of www.YourBusinessName.com. Registering the domain name will allow you to launch your website on the best virtual address and make it easier for your target demographic to find you quickly.
7. Set up a professional business website
You can’t expect to do business in today’s digital era unless you have a good-looking business website. Fortunately, the steps to building a great business website are rather easy to follow. There are ample resources and tools online to help you in that endeavour. Otherwise, you can also use the services of a professional website developer.
8. Build a social media presence
The benefits of social media for business are plenty. You can use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to spread brand awareness, promote thought leadership, generate leads, improve conversion rate, etc. So, be active on social as soon as possible.
9. Rent office space
Unless you are planning to run the business from your home office or garage, you should look for a business space that’s available at a reasonable rent. Having a dedicated office space can make it easy for you to focus on work and also build authenticity in the market.
10. Print attractive business cards
Information is mostly shared in digital format these days. However, the importance of business cards hasn’t yet waned. So, get some appealing business cards printed that can help you network and connect with other like-minded people.
11. Open a business bank account
If you want to stay organised and manage your finances properly, then your personal expenses must separate from your business expenses. So, it’s highly recommended that you open a new bank account that can be your primary business account.
12. Arrange bookkeeping
Once your business bank account is ready, you should compare the best accounting systems that are available in the market. Pick one that fits your requirements, preferably ones that are cloud-based as they can be cheaper compared to standalone software.
13. Find a good writer
To create and bolster your online presence, you need an experienced and creative writer. They can write an influential copy for your website, blog posts, email newsletter content, and a lot more. Ideally, you should look for someone for a full-time position. However, if that’s not possible, then you can find a professional on freelancer websites like freelancer.com or upwork.com.
14. Pick an email delivery service
Email services like MailChimp are required to reach your target customers on email. Email marketing is easy to implement and the ROI is usually pretty good.
15. Create a pre-launch page
You don’t have to create a full-fledged website yet. One of the most important things that you can add to it, for now, is a pre-launch page that perhaps has a timer for the launch date and time. Adding an email list sign up to the page is another recommended step.
16. Create promotional videos
Videos are far more effective than blogs, articles, social media posts, or newsletters. This is because dynamic content like a video is more engaging and can deliver more information in a short period. There is a slew of online video maker tools that can help you create professional-level marketing and sales videos.
17. Set up Google AdWords
You will likely need to spend some of your marketing budget on paid ads. Google is the best platform for that as its search engine is used by 80% of Internet users. So, you can get started by creating an account on Google AdWords.
18. Buy a press kit
A press kit helps interested parties and influencers understand what your business is all about, its brand, and the products it looks to sell. So, buy these kits in a fair quantity and don’t forget to brand them with your logo and colour palette.
19. Get to guest posting
An effective and practically-free way of spreading the word around is guest posts. You can write educational and informative blog posts for popular blogs that have relevant traffic to drive visitors to your business website.
20. Create an affiliate programme
If you can partner with other companies so that they sell your products for a commission, then you can grow your business fast. So, there you have it- 20 things that you should do before you launch your business.
Have fun, and good luck!