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Free Book: Checklist for Starting a Small Business

 

Checklist for Starting a Small Business

Must Know Must Do Before Setting Up a Business

Checklist for Starting a Small BusinessThis guide will walk you step by step through all the essential phases of starting a successful business.
Owning a business is the dream of many people ... starting that business converts your dream into reality. But there is a gap between your dream and reality that can only be filled with careful planning. As a business owner, you will need a plan to avoid pitfalls, to achieve your goals and to build a profitable business.

The checklist is a guide to help you determine if your business idea is feasible, to identify questions and problems you will face in converting your idea into reality and to prepare for starting your business.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Identify Your Reasons
3. A Self-Analysis
4. Finding a Niche
5. Is Your Idea Feasible?
6. Market Analysis
7. Planning Your Start-up
8. Protecting Your Business
9. Business Premises and Location
10. Finances
11. After Start-up

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Sample Content:

1. Introduction
Owning a business is the dream of many people ... starting that business converts your dream into reality. But there is a gap between your dream and reality that can only be filled with careful planning. As a business owner, you will need a plan to avoid pitfalls, to achieve your goals and to build a profitable business.
The "Checklist for Going into Business" is a guide to help you prepare a comprehensive business plan and determine if your idea is feasible, to identify questions and problems you will face in converting your idea into reality and to prepare for starting your business.

Operating a successful small business will depend on:
a practical plan with a solid foundation;
dedication and willingness to sacrifice to reach your goal;
technical skills; and
basic knowledge of management, finance, record keeping and market analysis.
As a new owner, you will need to master these skills and techniques if your business is to be successful.

2. Identify Your Reasons
As a first and often overlooked step, ask yourself why you want to own your own business. Check the reasons that apply to you.
1. Freedom from the 9-5 daily work routine.
2. Being your own boss.
3. Doing what you want when you want to do it.
4. Improving your standard of living.
5. Boredom with your present job.
6. Having a product or service for which you feel there is a demand.
Some reasons are better than others, none are wrong; however, be aware that there are tradeoffs. For example, you can escape the 9­ to 5 daily routine, but you may replace it with a 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. routine.

3. A Self-Analysis

Going into business requires certain personal characteristics. This portion of the checklist deals with you, the individual. These questions require serious thought. Try to be objective. Remember, it is your future that is at stake!
Personal Characteristics
Please answer with a 'yes' or 'no':
1. Are you a leader?
2. Do you like to make your own decisions?
3. Do others turn to you for help in making decisions?
4. Do you enjoy competition?
5. Do you have will power and self discipline?
6. Do you plan ahead?
7. Do you like people?
8. Do you get along well with others?
Personal Conditions
This next group of questions though brief is vitally important to the success of your plan. It covers the physical emotional and financial strains you will encounter in starting a new business.
Are you aware that running your own business may require working 12-16 hours a day six days a week and maybe even Sundays and holidays?
Do you have the physical stamina to handle the workload and schedule?
Do you have the emotional strength to withstand the strain?
Are you prepared if needed to temporarily lower your standard of living until your business is firmly established?
Is your family prepared to go along with the strains they too must bear?
Are you prepared to lose your savings?

Personal Skills And Experience
Certain skills and experience are critical to the success of a business. Since it is unlikely that you possess all the skills and experience needed you'll need to hire personnel to supply those you lack. There are some basic and special skills you will need for your particular business.
By answering the following questions you can identify the skills you possess and those you lack (your strengths and weaknesses).
Do you know what basic skills you will need in order to have a successful business?
Do you possess those skills?
When hiring personnel will you be able to determine if the applicants' skills meet the requirements for the positions you are filling?
Have you ever worked in a managerial or supervisory capacity?
Have you ever worked in a business similar to the one you want to start?
Have you had any business training in school?
If you discover you don't have the basic skills needed for your business will you be willing to delay your plans until you've acquired the necessary skills?

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