If you have a great business idea but you are afraid to set up a business in the current economic climate, there is never a perfect time to launch a business; fortune does favour the brave and if you have done a feasibility study and everything looks good, there’s every reason to expect success. From a single idea, you can create an efficient organisation and if the demand is there and your marketing is on-point, you should have a successful launch.
Here is out ultimate business start-up checklist to make sure that nothing is overlooked.
- Concept –Every business needs a concept; kit could be to provide a fully comprehensive solution, or have unbeatable prices. Your company should have an identity to give it some firm direction and a digital marketing agency can help you with concept creation. Take your time with this and seek out professional help if you find it difficult.
- Business plan – This should be the first thing you do once you realise the project is doable; a good business plan covers every aspect of the organisation and this should be your guide from the word go. There are free resources online to help you prepare your business plan and taking your time is important; when you think the plan is complete, hand it to a business guru and see what they have to say. The expert would probably find a few points that need your attention and he would play the role of devil’s advocate, which is necessary when putting together a business plan.
- Funding – Without money, your business idea will remain an idea. Crunch the numbers to find out how much money it will take to, not only launch the business, but support it for the first 6 months. If you can’t quite get that amount together, search online for a commercial lender that offers business start-up loans; if you have equity in your home, you can release it to finance your business; another option is to find a sleeping partner who is looking for investment opportunities. The number of businesses that fail due to lack of funds is quite alarming, so do make sure that you can gain access to extra funds in the event of an emergency.
- Digital Marketing – We cannot overstate the importance of digital marketing; if you want to create and maintain a strong digital footprint, you need the help of professionals. If you would like to learn more about digital marketing and how it can help your business, click here. There are many ways to drive web traffic to a website and the agency tailors their services to suit the client.
- Risk Assessment – You need to carry out a risk assessment and identify the risks to the business; taking out the right insurance policies will protect you in case of fire, theft and even cover for legal costs in the event someone files a lawsuit against the company. There are specialist companies that can help you regarding risk assessment, which is a critical aspect of business development.
- Disaster Recovery – Imagine if all your customer financial data was hacked! Or you became the victim of ransomware, when a hacker digitally encrypts your data and will only give you the key when you pay a ransom. If it is critical data and if you don’t have backup copies, you might have no choice but to pay up. Without a disaster recovery plan in place, you are risking further damage to the business in the event of a disaster.
- Business Assets – You should list all the company assets and make sure that you have the capital to acquire them. If money is tight, you can outsource at first, which might also work out cheaper than in-house.
- Business registration – You must make your business legit by registering with the government; there are numerous types of business registration and in Thailand, a foreign investor can enjoy several perks, which include long-term working visas. Here are some growth strategies that are suitable for the small business.
- Organisation Flow Chart – You need to know who is going to take on each role and the best way to do that is create a flowchart, which should be included in the business plan. Of course, you will be overseeing everything and if you are hiring people from the outset, you are advised to find an HR consultant who can ensure you are compliant with the complex labour laws.
- Business Premises – Of course, you will need an office and depending on your type of business, you might need a factory or warehouse. You have a choice of buying or leasing and that would depend on your funding. Of course, in the long run, buying is better, but not every small business owner can afford to do that; talk to a business lawyer when looking to lease commercial real estate and he or she will make sure there are no hidden clauses that could impact the business.
- Logistics – If you have logistics needs, you are probably better off outsourcing to a 3rd party provider. There are specialist logistics firms that service the e-commerce sector and they offer a great service at a reasonable cost. Third party logistics ensures rapid order fulfilment, which is essential when delivering products to the customer.
This is an exciting time and one that demands your full attention; if you have done your market research and have a comprehensive business plan, there is every reason to expect a level of success. The path to long-term security is long and you will encounter many obstacles along the way; ask any successful business person about the early days and they will tell you stories of working round the clock and there will be times when you wonder why you went to the trouble of setting up your own business.
Once you have everything in place, you can set the ball rolling and hopefully, this time next year, you will be very happy with your progress.