Starting a business is among the best things you can do to build wealth.
It can be daunting. But with the right systems, it can be for beginners.
The good news is that all of the things that need to get done in order to start your business have been done a million times before . Even if you’ re starting from scratch, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or even waste brainpower on determining what to do.
There are at least 24 things that you should do when starting a new business and I will stroll you through each one of them step-by-step.
I’m going to assume you curently have a business idea, and I am not going to show you how to build or even grow your business in this article. These are the practical steps essential to begin operations.
How to Start a Business in twenty-four Steps
Below are the 24 steps to starting a business:
- Put together a very high level and basic business plan
- Come up with a name
- Buy your domain name
- Secure social media accounts
- Develop a brand name identity
- Setup a G Suite accounts
- Create a fundamental, foundational website
- Get some business cards
- Find an accountant and an attorney
- Set up an LLC
- Get an EIN
- Create a good operating agreement
- File necessary paperwork along with your state
- Open up a business bank account
- Set up a payroll program for employees and contractors
- Set up QuickBooks
- Put a accounting system in place
- Start using a project administration solution from day one
- Build an internal wiki system from day one
- Set up a Slack account
- Setup a conference call quantity
- Set up 1Password
- Create a subscription tracker
- Produce a strategic plan for the next a year
1st, define your business
1 . Put together a very high level and basic business program
You wouldn’ t want to take a lengthy road trip without mapping out your journey. And you wouldn’ to want to do the same to your company.
That’ s i9000 why you need to start by answering two basic questions:
- What do you need to do to get to profitability?
- How are you going to pay for the things that you need to do in order to get to profitability?
Don’ t overthink this. Be realistic about what it’s going to get.
Do your research, and know your numbers. Place it all to paper, as well as the business plan will evolve into a useful tool plus true north for at least the first 6–12 months.
You can use this business plan template to get started.
2 . Come up with a name
This is a tricky action. Your name has to be good. It doesn’ t have to be perfect and it doesn’ capital t have to be a fancy, made-up word like Google or even Yahoo. But , you will be stating this name a lot but it will surely be your URL, as well, most likely.
We wrote an entire guide to How to Buy the RIGHT Domain Name, which you may want to check out. Generally speaking, here is what matters:
- Be confident in the name. Honestly, this really is probably all that really issues. It’s definitely the most important facet of coming up with a name. If you don’t like it, then you can’t sell it. You are going to be selling it 24/7/365 for a long time. At least that is the plan.
- Pick something unique. The general rule of thumb is the fact that when you search Google for your name there isn’t a recognised business or product that will already has the same name.
- Your name must be memorable, brandable, and simple. You don’t want to make this harder than it already is to be found and known.
- Get the. com of your name. This is critical. It’s unbelievable how many people make use of this for granted and just completely disregard their domain name. If you would like people to take your business significantly, make sure you have the. com.
A good process for coming up with a business title
- Brainstorm words, concepts, ideas, beliefs, descriptors, etc .
- Brainstorm names based on your initial brainstorm in step one.
- Check the brands in Google. Delete any options that are already a known business — especially not one in your space.
- Make sure the domain name can be acquired. Check out our guide on how to buy a domain name for help right here. Do not expect to register a domain name for $7/yr and call it a day. You really need to invest in a domain name for your business title. If you have a tight budget, get creative. You can get a great name that checks off all the boxes for under $1, five hundred if you put in the effort.
More tricks for coming up with a name
- Imagine your title with a logo on a big sign in your future office space.
- Imagine your title on a T-shirt.
- Say your name out loud. “Hi, I’m Name through Business Name. ” How exactly does it feel? Do you like exactly how it sounds?
- Bounce your options around and talk to people about it.
- Spend some time thinking about it and allow it to sit for a while. Do you always come back to the same name?
Next, develop your business and marketing security
3. Purchase your domain name
Again, do not take this lightly.
That means don’ capital t cheap out on the website name. I use Domain. com to buy my domains — you can read more about why in our review of the best domain registrars.
Depending on your business, you might say the url as much or as often as you say the actual title of your business. The more spending budget you have for your domain name, the greater you’ ll be able to perform.
4. Protected social media accounts
It’s tough enough to discover a good name where buying the. com is possible. Chances are, a person won’t get exact match up social media handles as well. Perform everything you can to get them, but if that fails — get creative. Your social networking handles / URLs are less important than your website, but they’re still worth putting effort into.
You can choose how much effort to put into your social media right off the bat — you can simply have the name and hold them, you can populate them with some images and pieces of information, or you can go all out. That’ s up to you. For now, I just want you to make sure you have the handles.
five. Develop a brand identity
It’s nice to get a logo, colors, fonts, along with a general look and feel to go along with your name. You can always update your brand identity down the road, so the initial run just must be good enough. 99 Designs is a superb option for a full brand identity package. You can run a style contest that allows you to pick from hundreds of options.
Unlike your business name, your brand identity isn’ capital t locked in stone. It’ s more than OK to visit with a “ starter approach” here — it doesn’ t need to be perfect (or expensive); it just must get done. You can always come back around and do another design circular — most businesses do.
6. Set up the G Suite account
G Suite is the most important tool for our business. I actually do almost everything using G Collection. My team’ s email messages and calendars are all upon G Suite, too. We also rely heavily on the search engines Drive / Docs.
You’ll need to get this set up as soon as you have got your domain name. Then you can simply get your business accounts set up. As of April 1, 2019, a Basic account is $6 per user.
7. Create a basic, foundational website
Your website can be a very big project depending on your business. In some cases your website could be the business. That’s the reason why the focus here is simply on the basic, foundational website.
It’s good to get a one-page site live with information regarding your company. Then you can build additional from there.
You may be up and running in a matter of minutes with Squarespace. Once you’re ready to do a full feature web site, it’s easy to switch to WordPress, using our guide on how to create a website along with WordPress.
7. Get some business cards
Your brand identification package from 99 Styles will come with business card styles. You can use them to get company cards printed online simply by Vista Print.
This might seem like an antiquated idea to you, but think me. Once you start your company, you’ ll be discussing it and every person you talk to should be handed a card with your information on this. I like to keep my phone number off the card, and hand-write it on there for people who I would actually want to call me. It makes it easier to hand the cards out freely — and it lets the people that I do give my quantity to know that I really mean this.
Now, get your business legally squared away
9. Find an accountant and a lawyer
This one is simple to put on the back burner. You’ll avoid a lot of hassle and possibly save your business altogether simply by getting ahead here. Fall into line the legal and tax pros ahead of time. There are lots of great options and your accountant plus attorney can both end up being remote.
I actually haven’t personally used it, yet I’ ve heard a lot of good things about Upcounsel.
10. Set up a good LLC
You can use your attorney for this, or you can use an online legal program. Setting up an LLC is straightforward, so it’s a good place to save some money by using a program like LegalNature or Lawful Zoom.
eleven. Get an EIN
Getting your Employer Id Number is something you can create care of along with the LLC. These people typically go hand-in-hand. You’ll need that to do just about everything, including business banking.
12. Create an operating agreement
Even if it’s just you, an operating agreement is required. Unless you have other people involved with your business, you can definitely break free with LegalNature here. Odds are, things will evolve and you may update your operating contract down the road anyway. If you do have got other people involved, have your own attorney help out here.
13. File necessary paperwork with your state
If you’re using a attorney, they can do all of this to suit your needs. Otherwise you’ll need to do a few research into the requirements within your state, which also differ depending on the type of business you’re starting.
14. Open a business bank account
Pretty straightforward. You will need that EIN. It’s typically most convenient to go using the same bank you’re currently using for your personal balances.
One thing to consider is the upselling that many from the bigger banks do. For example , with Bank of America, I went ahead and took them up on an offer for Intuit Payroll. It ended up being a terrible user experience. The people at Intuit recommended that I sign up for a new account directly with Intuit because they couldn’t figure out how to solve some of the issues we were having. They put the blame on Bank associated with America. This ended up exercising because instead of signing up for Intuit Payroll, I researched other options and found Gusto, which is much better.
The purpose here is to use your bank account for the bank account and be wary of using them for other offers or services.
Sign up for your key operating equipment
15. Setup a payroll service intended for employees and contractors
As I said, I really like Gusto. They are very good. I use all of them and find the service to become superior to Intuit Payroll.
You won’t need to worry about this until you start spending employees or contractors. It’s good to have it prepared and on deck though. Not only will the service automate your payroll, but it may also take care of taxes and forms that need to be filed.
16. Set up QuickBooks
A QuickBooks account is essential from 1. This is how you’ll manage your own books and ensure you always have good records. Going back plus importing historical data isn’t fun. The sooner you get it set up the better.
17. Put a basic management system in place
The best bet here is to operate closely with your accountant. A great approach is to ask your accountant what you need to be performing throughout the year to make things simpler when tax season comes and to make sure all quarterly obligations are met.
QuickBooks does all of the heavy lifting, but there are still things you’ll need to stay on top of. There is some crossover with what’s recently been outlined here, but Shopify put together a good guide on small business accounting.
18. Start using a project administration solution from day one
The biggest thing the following is to get in the habit of tracking all of your work. Looking the only person in your firm, you should operate like an company because someday you will have no choice. The other benefit apart from creating good habits will be the historical information and data that will come from working such as this starting day one.
It’s very valuable for new people to come into your organization and be able to look back at exactly what work has been done in earlier times. It’s context that will help all of them (and your business) be successful going forward.
It doesn’t matter what tool you use. You’ll likely change it a bunch of instances anyway. We use Trello. There are dozens of great tools.
19. Develop an internal wiki system through day one
Just as you should use a project management device from the very early stages, it’s extremely valuable to start documenting everything right away.
If you ever want to scale your own startup, you’ll need your brain to scale too. Your internal wiki is like your brain. Giving your future team immediate access to your brain is huge. If you already have a disciplined approach to documenting things in the wiki, your team will follow fit.
It’s not fun figuring out the value of a wiki system 3 years down the road, fifty people deep. You’ll think of an endless number of documents you want you’d have written away as you went along.
We use Confluence.
20. Setup a Slack account
Everyone loves Slack. It just works. Mobile communication is key. There is a Free plan that’ s a good place to start. It’ s about $7 per user per month for your next plan up, which grants you controls like guest access to different stations, and more storage and app connections.
twenty one. Set up a conference call number
A lot of businesses will need to do conference calling at one point or another, and GoToMeeting makes that easy. Instantly join, host or manage a video, sound, or web meeting from the conference room, your table or a remote location through your Mac, PC, or even mobile device. Visit GoToMeeting to signup and get were only available in just minutes.
22. Set up 1Password
By now you are starting to see the theme here: Reduce future headaches. Set up your techniques now and you’ll be able to focus on growth moving forward.
1Password is an excellent device for managing all of your passwords and sensitive data. Much more it easy to securely share logins with your team — which is key because Centrify estimations that lost passwords price $416 in productivity for each person.
twenty three. Create a subscription tracker
This is easy but often overlooked. 1Password is ideal for keeping track of your subscription logins. You still need some way to quickly see everything you have got and what you are paying for, specifically as you grow and have more people using and subscribing to different tools and subscribers.
A simple spreadsheet is all you need. Track the subscription, cost per month or even year, terms (if any), payment method (what accounts or card is it tied to? ), and renewal date.
Now, strategy your goals for your 1st year in business
24. Create a strategic plan for the next 12 months
Like your business plan, your strategic plan doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here’ s how to write an easy startup business plan for year one
- Come up with one big objective for the next 12 months.
- Determine what you need to do to be able to reach your goal. Exactly what projects or activities will you need to perform?
- Figure out what metrics or parameters you can use to monitor progress. Put in place a system for tracking them.
- Review and challenge monthly. Make any kind of necessary adjustments.
Even in a one-person shop, taking the time to do this may force strategic thinking and purposeful action. It will help you avoid being reactive and randomly doing whatever comes your way.
It becomes even more important when you have a team that needs to know what direction to march. They will require that context in order to do their particular jobs.
Other guides written on how to start a business are pretty common. I don’t see a lot of value in reiterating what is currently out there, so here is a list of guides that I would recommend for further reading on how to begin a business:
- Startup Checklist by Company Know How
- Guide for Entrepreneurs Starting a company
- 105 Greatest Tools to Start Your Business