Supposedly you have done your research and you have a very strong intuition and vision about this. In addition, you have the necessary capital to invest and to get paid for a period of 6 months to a year in order to survive and pay the bills. Moreover, you have the time needed to devote yourself to it and the support of your family and friends. In other words:
You are absolutely sure,
you are determined and
you have all the resources needed.
Well, if you have all these, you are probably at the stage of being ready to begin, but what are the first 7 things you have to do when you start a business?
1. Find a good Lawyer, a very good Accountant and an excellent Mentor (Consultant or Coach).
Never start a business without these three people. You are going to need them in order to avoid serious mistakes that will cost you a lot or that may determine the future of your business. I know that they cost money, but overall they save you more. If you are not able to pay them now, try to find three good friends that are willing to play this role and reward them by exchanging your products or services, if possible, until you are ready to find a professional solution or to pay them accordingly. Many will say to start just with the accountant, which is an affordable cost to the business, but sooner or later you will need the advice of the other two to solve or prevent problems that will cost you more. However, if you do not have any other choice, just be prepared for this at some point in time.
2. Formulate a business plan (marketing plan is included)
This is essential if you want to consider all the factors and to be ready for what you are going to confront. Furthermore, many times, investors or banks are asking for this in order to evaluate the potential of the Start-Up. A business plan includes a marketing plan that will help you prepare your overall marketing, advertising, tactics and strategy, budget, segmentation and target group, positioning, communication, product/services, prices, promotion, distribution channels, social media and so on. As a result, you will be equipped for your business development.
3. Find your company name and close your domain name and hosting for your website.
Probably you have already in your mind a name, for example, “ibbds”, or at least when you formulated the business plan. It is important to check if your company name exists as a domain name. You have to think if it is going to be www.ibbds.com or www.yourname.eu or www.yourname.co.uk. and so on. Generally, it depends on the market you want to be present. If it does not exist, you have to close it as soon as possible before someone else gets it. If it exists, you should consider changing your company name, otherwise, you will confuse your clients, something you would not want. Finally, you must buy the web hosting, where you will upload your website.
4. Find the place that you will work from and the relevant equipment (offices, computers, etc.) and do the business registration procedure with all the necessary legal issues.
You have to decide where your offices will be. Are you going to work from home at the beginning and for how long? Are you going to rent offices? Are you going to rent a retail store and have your office there? What do you need as far as equipment is concerned? Again, all these issues should be in the business plan. Take care of these matters first and then you can go ahead with the business registration procedure with all the legal licenses you need.
5. Find a good advertising agency or graphic designer / freelancer to create your logo, corporate identity and branding.
This is the fun part, creating your logo, corporate identity and branding. This has to be according to your business vision, mission, strategy, communication objectives and positioning. A talented agency or freelancer will help accomplish that. After all, it is your image; it is who you are and what you represent. It has to be very good. Everything needs to have an identity, your business identity, and it has to be proficient.
6. Find a good digital advertising agency or a web developer / freelancer to create your website and the social media (based on No 5 creations).
The agency or freelancer, you have already chosen can undertake this project also, as long as they have expertise in the digital area. If you cannot use the same, try again to find the most talented one. If they are not the same, try (during the management process) both of them to create material based on the same corporate identity. Everything has to be integrated. Many times you observe a company with different brochures (old and new), different website, different fonts, colors, and generally wrong communication. Your communication, including website, e-brochures or printed brochures, social media, etc. should not confuse your clients. Your website and social media are powerful tools through which you promote and advertise your business constantly.
7. Establish working relationships with all the business stakeholders, find the HR (if you need from the beginning), and communicate your Business start to all.
Finally, you are ready to establish all the relationships needed with your suppliers, banks, clients, community, etc. Now is the time to recruit and train your HR (if you need). When you establish the relationships that you want and everything is in order, you can communicate that your company has started working (according to your business and marketing plan). Now, you are in business!