I’m launching a new business

Who are you? A leader? A mentor? A mastermind? A risk-taker? Many would-be entrepreneurs share these attributes. But few understand what it truly means to build a business.

If you don’t quite know, that’s OK. We were there once too. Here’s a simple list to help you begin your journey.

Top 7 considerations for launching a new enterprise:

  1. Brainstorm. What are your products? Who are your customers? Why will they buy what you’re selling? Answer these questions before you go any further.
  2. Plan. Many people wait until they need a business plan for an external purpose, like lending or investment. But a business plan should be one of the first things you begin and continue to refine for the life of your business.
  3. Logistics. Pick a company name (but don’t obsess--you can always change it later) and use it to register for an EIN, business license, permits, and taxes. Choose your company structure. Open a business bank account.
  4. Team-build. No one can go it alone. Be honest with yourself about your strengths, and find people who share your vision and who can shore up your weaknesses.
  5. Bootstrap or fundraise. Whether you’re self-funding your venture or raising capital through loans/investments/grants, you need proper working capital and an understanding of cash flow. (Consult your business plan before you attempt to go to market.)
  6. Infrastructure. Laptops, offices, vehicles, whatever assets and expenses you might have to support operations--get those things in place (and save all your receipts for taxes). The worst-case scenario is not being able to serve clients.
  7. Marketing. Spread the word. Set up a simple website and claim your social media profiles. Nothing fancy, but if people google your company, they should be able to find you.
  8. Open your doors! Find that first person who will buy what you’re selling--and treat them right. In the digital age, both positive and negative client feedback spreads quickly.
  9. Finances. Don’t set pricing in stone until you have a few customers. Forbes says focus on “getting through the first few months and obtaining those initial clients…[Then] become more concerned with how much you can charge.” Estimate, then adjust accordingly.
  10. Drink lots of coffee. Your first few years are going to be interesting!
Need help? Masterplans has created business plans for thousands of new entrepreneurs. As a business owner, it’s your bible. Rely on our financial forecasts, exclusive market & industry analysis, and growth strategies to chart your course and secure funding. With over two decades of experience, we know exactly what you need.
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