Have you decided to become your own boss? If so, join hundreds and thousands of others who have made the same decision — but first, how and where do you begin? There is a lot to consider and do, and this checklist is here to help you out.

  1. Researching about the business
  • Assess your financial status: Can you afford the business or do you need to find another source of money to accomplish it?
  • Do significant research regarding your competitors.
  • Come up with three or more USPs (unique selling points) — and if you fail to, it’s probably best to come up with an entirely new business idea altogether.
  • Read up on distributors and suppliers from online forums. Make phone calls to actual suppliers and ask questions. If possible, interview other businesses in the same field about your concerns.
  • Learn more about how much consumers are willing to pay for the product in mind.
  • As a sort of practice task, try selling a few units of your product on online platforms, such as eBay, just to see what response you’re going to get.
  • Finalise your business setting: Will you be home-based or do you need more commercial or industrial venues? If so, do some research on commercial property pricing in your area, or wherever you decide to set up shop — include this in your budgetary considerations.
  1. Financing the business
  • Find an accountant and ask for preliminary advice.
  • Consult with a bank manager, if possible, regarding your tentative business plan. Ask about business loans, should you need one. Let him know that you’re still in the research phase of your start-up business.
  • If more funding is necessary, feel free to look into small business grants which your start-up might be eligible for.
  • If needed, make changes to your business plan, especially the financial aspect.
  1. Seeking business partners and employees
  • The next thing is to look at your own set of skills and abilities, so you can decide which areas you’re going to need help with. You can bring in a partner for the business if you want to. If you prefer to go solo, at least talk to experienced people in the field for advice.
  • It is possible to require some outsourcing, which is a great idea for start-ups. Unless you’re 100% set with the business plan and details, hold off on the hiring to keep your costs low as much — and for as long — as possible.
  • If you can, join networking groups to meet people, achieve better exposure, and get experience and a general feel of the industry.
  1. Finalising the business name and domain
  • Before finalising your business’ name, perform some research on branding. Some names may render better perception on consumers than others.
  • Check — and double check — that no other existing enterprise or franchise has already used the name you have picked. This applies for your website’s domain, as well. If all is clear, go ahead and buy the domain as soon as you can.
  1. Setting up your physical and online shops
  • Once all plans are a go, set up your physical shop (at home or at a commercial venue). Negotiate the contract and lease.
  • Make sure you have a separate bank account for your business.
  • Work out the nooks and crannies of your IT department — staff, equipment, and software. Decide if you’re better off renting than buying materials.
  • Set up your website. If you aren’t skilled at web design and development, hire the services of a professional. Make sure the website is optimised (SEO) for various online marketing criteria.
  • Once everything is running, maintain a good list of suppliers and distributors — include backups just in case. It’s smart to test out new suppliers with smaller batches of products before going full blast to see if everything goes smoothly.
  1. Running your own business
  • You have finally set up shop — get ready to market, sell, earn, and be your own boss!
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