Key Steps to Consider When Starting a Business
Starting a business can be an exciting and fulfilling endeavor. However, it involves navigating a multitude of complex issues, including legal, financing, sales and marketing, intellectual property protection, liability protection, human resources, and more.
Here are key steps to help you get started, along with additional resources for more in-depth information:
- Understand the Challenges and Commitment: Coming up with a great and unique product or service, having a strong plan and vision for the business, securing sufficient capital and cash flow, finding and retaining great employees, firing bad employees quickly and legally, managing your time efficiently, maintaining a reasonable work/life balance, and knowing when to pivot your strategy.
- Protect Your Personal Assets: Form your business as a corporation, S corporation, C corporation, or limited liability company (LLC) to minimize personal liability. Ensure you follow corporate formalities, such as using the corporate name, using proper signature, following bylaws, keeping funds and taxation separate, and keeping transactions separate, to further minimize risk.
- Select a Great Name for Your Business: Avoid difficult-to-spell names, limit names, conduct thorough Internet and trademark searches, and test the name with employees, partners, investors, and potential customers.
- Prioritize Building a Great Product or Service: Differentiate it in meaningful ways from the competition and get it to market quickly enough to obtain customer feedback.
- Create a Search Engine Optimized Website: Feature high-quality content, load quickly, register a memorable “.com” domain name, showcase your products or services, and encourage visitor engagement.
- Develop a Concise and Compelling Elevator Pitch: Introduce your business to investors, customers, employees, or partners. Start strong, be enthusiastic, tailor the pitch to the audience while conveying why your business is unique and the problem it solves.
- Establish a Written Founder Agreement: Clarify the details of your business relationship with co-founders, including equity split, vesting, roles and responsibilities, buyback rights, time commitment, salaries, decision-making, removal, asset contributions, sale, and dispute resolution.
Starting a business is no easy feat, but with proper planning and execution, it can be a rewarding and successful venture. Use these key steps as a guide to help you along the way and be sure to seek out additional resources and support to address any challenges you may face.