Featured Checklist for Starting a Business

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djbaxter

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How to start a business: The Checklist
By Jennifer Friedman, GoDaddy: The Garage
March 26, 2018

When it comes to starting a new business, preparation is key. Let’s look at what’s involved with each main step in our checklist.

1. Get organized
First things first — you’ll need to establish some ground rules for your business.

Name your business and buy a matching domain.
Even if you’re not ready to launch your company yet, it’s always a good idea to secure your domain early.

Write a business plan.
It should outline your business goals, operating procedures and target market, as well as help you identify your unique selling proposition. Not sure where to start? Check out these business plan templates.

Determine your business entity options.
Sole proprietorship? LLC? S-Corp? Research your business entity options and file accordingly.

Obtain your federal tax identification number.
Get a federal tax ID number (otherwise known as employer identification number), as well as your respective state tax identification number (if needed). Contact your state taxation department to be safe.

Get your business license(s).
Determine and apply for necessary business licenses. Contact your Secretary of State and local government for current information.

Decide on a location.
Will you be working from home or looking to rent some office space? Depending on your business, it might be beneficial to have both an online and and offline presence. Don’t forget to factor building costs and resources into the equation.

2. Prepare your financials
Once you’ve got all the paperwork in order, it’s time to start thinking about money.

Set up a business bank account.
It’s important to set up an account just for your business — one that’s separate from your personal finances.

Apply for a business line of credit.
Uninterrupted capital helps with day-to-day expenses, and a credit line helps establish a favorable credit history.

Invest in bookkeeping software.
Tools like GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping will help you keep your finances in order from the get-go.

Get experts on your side.
Consider hiring a professional accountant or tax attorney. Their expertise could come in handy throughout the life of your new venture.

Determine how you will secure funding for your business.
From angel investors to government grants, every penny counts.

Obtain necessary business insurance.
As your business grows, you could take on more liability, and having the right insurance in place could you save heartache and cash. Visit the Small Business Administration Blog for more information about selecting the right kind of insurance.

3. Branding basics
Before you can welcome customers in the door, you’ll need to make sure your business’s identity is solid. Using your business domain as a starting point, keep these considerations in mind when creating a consistent presence.

Set up a professional email address.
A professional email address shows customers that you’re serious about your business by attaching email to your new domain. It establishes credibility and strengthens your brand.

Add a business phone line.
Consider adding a business phone line to your mobile device. Gone are the days when you needed two separate phones to do business — utilize a second phone number app like GoDaddy’s SmartLine to make and receive calls while keeping your personal information private.

Get a logo.
Create a logo and use it on business cards, letterhead and across your website for a streamlined identity. Don’t have time to design one yourself? Get a beautiful creation with GoDaddy’s Logo Design Services.

Launch a website.
Whether you’re starting an eCommerce venture or simply need a stunning site to display business information, a website is a must-have in today’s digital world. Here’s the start-to-finish guide for creating your first website.

Pro tip: If you’re already taking on too many tasks, leave the web design to a professional. With GoDaddy’s Website Design Service, you can unveil a mobile-friendly site in as a little as seven business days.

Set up your business’s social profiles.
Whether or not you’re ready to start engaging on social media, you’ll want to set up an account for your business across multiple platforms. That way, when you are ready to start tweeting, sharing, posting and more, your social identity will match your business name.

Create a marketing strategy.
Much like establishing a business plan, you’ll want to outline some ideas for marketing success before you take your products or services to market. Consider using social media to generate new leads or other advertising methods to bring traffic to your doorstep.

4. Business best practices
In order to succeed as a new startup, you’ll want to position your business as a reliable, credible entity. To inspire trust and encourage visitors to act, consider these best practices.

Define business policies.
Clearly define any and all policies in easy-to-understand language. Make sure they’re visible on your site and easy for customers to access.

Craft sound contracts (if needed) for your business ahead of time.
Setting straightforward guidelines and expectations benefits both your business and your customers.

Make contact information easily accessible.
Make sure your contact information is readily displayed across your website, as well as your operating business hours.

Offer social proof.
Include customer testimonials on your website. Testimonials are a great form of social proof, and they provide unique and trustworthy insight into your products, services or business.

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i would also like to add here....there is another important aspect in launching your new business and that's consumer demands have shifted drastically towards on demand services so anyone looking to launch their business should launch it with both website and apps as it will allow them to capture customers on the go using on demand apps
 
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