If you are starting new exciting business adventure (or thinking about it). Congratulations!
While there is a pretty straightforward way to start a business, when you first start, it feels overwhelming. Dividing this process into stages will keep you sane, provide structure and move the project forward. This tutorial is optimized for bright, but less than consistent (highly variable!) people.
This checklist below makes several assumptions, here they are:
- Google email, calendar, voice and related products are the best way to manage business communication.
- WordPress is the best platform for initial websites because it is free and easy to configure.
- New businesses require an investment of time and money, but should be optimized for value.
- NEW Email Address – GMAIL – SIGN UP FOR ALL tools and services below using this. – Free.
- Google Calendar – integrates with appointment scheduler – linked to your new gmail. – Free.
- Google Voice Phone Number – local area code – sign up while logged into gmail. – Free.
- Start thinking of building your support team. Get help if stuck. (For coaches, get a mentor coach.)
- Choose Business Name – Your Name or Business Name – Easy to change later.
- Sole Proprietorship or LLC – Google for your state – may require business license.
- Business Bank Account – Use this for all expenses and income – consider credit card or paypal account.
- Track business expenses separately – you can file email receipts in you gmail for later.
- Business Insurance – Through ADDCA or Lockton – Mine was $150/year.
- Domain Name / URL – www.site.com – with me on Dreamhost or GoDaddy – ~$12/year.
- Website Hosting – Same place as Domain Name – $55/year with me / $60 with GoDaddy.
- Install WordPress – One click installs on hosting services – I can do this if you host with me.- Free.
- Setup Email Forwarder to Gmail – firstname.lastname@example.org – I can do this as well. – Free.
- Configure WordPress – 30 to 90 min – google “WordPress tutorial for beginners” or get help. $0-$75
- Continue thinking of building your support team. Get help if stuck.
- Write a Tag Line – what would excite YOU or YOUR PEOPLE? – keep it positive.
- Take a Professional Photograph – Free to ? – Target is $10.
- Make a logo – make something basic for $50 here: LogoMaker, talk to me or use my designer.
- Create copy for Contact Page – Use your new email and goggle voice phone number.
- Create copy for About Page – Who are you and why are you awesome?
- Create copy for Services and/or Coaching page. (can always evolve later).
- Create copy for Welcome page – (decide if it is one of the other pages or not).
- Mess with the copy and media for your site until 80% happy with it.
- Put pages up on WordPress or have me or another web developer do it. No programing needed on WordPress.
- Test to make sure you site looks right on computers, smartphones and maybe a tablet.
- Create business cards – VistaPrint – include new contact info, logo and photo on back.
- Figure out how much you need to make a month to be (at least) COMFORTABLE.
- Brainstorm and set specific goals for your business, write them down.
- Develop you pricing structure, based on how much you need to make.
- Get a phone line – Landline or Hosted Voice Over IP – Cell is not good enough
- Continue thinking of building your support team. (Mentor coach, Gym Routine, Website Developer, Business Lawyer, CPA etc…)
- Write a contract. I can show you mine, it is in plain English. Subscribe to mailing list below to get it.
- Create welcome package.
- TimeTrade appointment scheduling software – free to $49.
- Speek voice conferencing account – free to $10/month.
- MailChimp mailing list account – less than $10 per month.
- Create a Facebook page and/or a twitter account.
- Join professional organizations in your field, preferably locally.
- Plan to attend conventions in your field. If you can, volunteer.
- Practice using all your new tools peers and pro-bono clients.
- Start either writing monthly blog posts or Newsletter.
- Configure Mail Chimp mailing list and set us a newsletter or update opt in
- Volunteer to help with 3 relevant to your community events / projects.
- Make and Distribute Flyers.
- ItzyBiz – Free Tiny Business Marketing courses.
- Use the Business Model Canvas to track progress overtime.
- Take a free Udacity Lean Launchpad How to build a Startup course.
- Read or listen to books about marketing by Seth Godin.
- Buy a high quality hands free Headset if you will work by phone.
- Square or Paypal for Credit Card Processing.
- Consider getting a business credit card.
- Volunteer to lecture at event or run action groups.
Please drop me a line if anything is not clear or you would like additional help setting up your new business or website or other aspects of your online presence. Print it out and hang it on a wall, so you can check things off.
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- Detailed instructions for each item above
- Printable Service Startup Staged Checklist
- Access to a 20% Discount on Startup & Website Services