Here at Women’s Council of Entrepreneurs, we create downloads, resources, and on-demand training to help women entrepreneurs become the best business owners they can be. But, we also want to make sure that we include the women that have the heart of an entrepreneur but haven’t been able to take the leap into business ownership yet.
This week and for this download, we are focusing on the entrepreneurs that are just starting out or that are ready to take that side hustle to the next level! Our free download this week is WCE’s Business Startup Checklist. We take you through the things you need to prepare for the groundwork of your new business, the legal & financial aspects of starting a business, the creative side and setup, the marketing & PR for your new business, and other things to keep in mind before your opening day.
Even if you have a side hustle already this business checklist will help you organize the start of your full-fledged business and help you do things legally too! Below we will go over the steps of the checklist, but first ~ to download the checklist click the button or image below!
Before you start your business we think doing some groundwork and research is essential to make sure that your business is one that will be successful. The first steps are:
- Create a Business Idea
- Research your Business Idea
We know a lot of you probably have your side hustle going already and have a business idea, but it is always good to make sure you are on target and moving in the correct direction for the most growth. Research to make sure trends aren’t shifting and your business can pivot as needed.
- Identify Your Target Market
This is one of the most important (if not the most important) thing to do when starting your business. You need to know going into this that not everyone is going to be your customer. You need to figure out who your ideal customer (target market) is so that you can properly market to them. We have another great article about identifying which social media platforms your Target Market Uses!
- Competitor Analysis
Another important thing to know when starting a business is who is your competition?? You will always have competition and that’s a good thing! It means that your industry is thriving and there is room for growth. Check out your competitors and see what makes you different from them, find your angle by studying your competition. You can also take notes on how they market to their customers. But, remember ~ always be original. Never be a copycat that steals ideas or undercuts the competition your business will never survive on that model.
WCE also has created a free Target Market Worksheet in our Marketing & Sales Plan Packet. You can get the Free Version here:
You can also get the Full Version of our Marketing & Sales Plan Packet that includes a Competitor Analysis Worksheet here:
- Write a Business Plan
Having a business plan is key when owning a business. Not only does it keep you on track for your goals, but it is essential if you want to get eventually get a loan for your business.
Next up on the checklist is to make sure all of your Legal & Financial items are done and done correctly!
- Select a Business Name
- Check availability
- Check if your website domain is taken
- Check for any copyright infringements
- Register your business with the state
- Secure Permits, Licenses, and Employer Identification Number
- Establish a Budget
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Set up your books
- Buy insurance
If you are in Texas click the button below to find all the links for registering your business and all the forms that you would need to submit.
As far as tracking your startup costs and your finance we have created free printables for these too!
Click below to get WCE’s Free Startup Cost Worksheet and Track Your Finances Worksheet:
Once you have your Legal and Finances in order you can move onto the Creative and Setup of your new business! Are you getting excited yet?!
- Create a Logo
- Build a Website
- Setup a business email account
- Order Inventory (if needed)
- Purchase Equipment (if needed)
- Purchase Supplies (if needed)
- Setup Social Media Accounts
- Look into automating parts of your business
As long as you followed our Startup Cost Worksheet you should have known your budget for your inventory, equipment, and supplies!
We suggest checking out Brittni Schroder who can help you automate your business!
We’re getting close!! Next on the Checklist is the Marketing and PR Side of the business.
- Create business cards and other marketing material
- Create a Publicity Press Release
Surprise! WCE has yet another Free Printable to help you with this! Our Press Release Planner and Template will help you organize your business and it’s mission so that you can put together an eye-catching press release. You can find our Press Release Planner & Template here:
Surprise again! WCE can help with this too if you are in the Houston and San Antonio Areas! Check out our Upcoming Events here:
More ways to market your new business:
- Create content for downloads to gain emails
- Create email lists for newsletters
- Find ways to advertise your business
- Announce to your friends and family your plans and ask for their support
- Join neighborhood Facebook groups, be a familiar face, and post about your business on approved days
And just a few more things to consider when you are starting your business….
- Find Network and Support Groups
We are biased and think the Women’s Council of Entrepreneurs (WCE) is the very best, but there are so many amazing groups out there. Try them out and join the one (or ones) that fit YOU and your business best.
- Find a Mentor
You can easily find a mentor at networking events and make sure you are a part of our Facebook Group where you can find other women entrepreneurs that can guide you!
Most importantly, and what we find a lot of women entrepreneurs struggle with the most is…
- Ask for help!
You shouldn’t be doing this journey alone. Even though it is fulfilling, business ownership is a rough road and you WILL need the support of others to help you through it.
We hope this has helped you and we want you to know that WCE always has your back when you need us! If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org