Checklist for starting a business
If you’re thinking about starting a business to try to meet your career, financial and lifestyle needs as a working mum, you need to take into account all the practicalities and considerations it will involve.
There’s plenty to think about – from where you find customers and what services or products you sell, to whether you should be a Ltd company or sole trader and if you need an accountant. To help you decide if starting a business is right for you, we’ve put together a useful list of questions.
Starting a business
- Why do you want to start a business?
- What’s your vision for your business?
- How realistic is your plan?
- What’s your business’ USP?
- What services or products can you sell?
- How will you keep your skills up to date?
Researching your business idea
- How much research have you conducted into your market?
- Is there anyone you can talk to for advice or insights?
- How much competition is already out there?
- How can you be better, different or cheaper than the competition?
- Is there anyone who can help you with your business idea?
- Do you need to protect your business idea or products?
- Do you need to register with any professional body?
- Do you need any specialist qualifications or certificates?
- Can you test out your product or service to see if it works?
Thinking about money
- How much money do you need to start your business?
- Do you already have the equipment you need?
- Will you need to invest in marketing materials?
- Will you need any professional help to do your work?
- Do you have the funds you need to start your business?
- If not, where can you find them?
- Is there enough need for your products or services?
- Can you charge enough for your products or services?
- How will you support yourself while you’re establishing your business?
Identifying your market
- Who will your customers be?
- What type of businesses or people are they?
- What are their budgets?
- What are their needs?
- How do they currently meet those needs?
- How will you meet those needs?
- Where do they look for your products or services?
- What makes you better than other businesses (price, speed, quality of work)?
Finding customers for your business
- How do you plan to find customers?
- Are there any resources you can use, for example online listings?
- Where can you network to find customers?
- Do you have any existing contacts that can help you?
- How much are you planning to charge for your services?
- Who are your competitors?
- How do they find work?
Marketing your business
- Have you chosen a name for your business?
- Do you need a logo?
- Do you need a website?
- Can Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn help you?
- What three promotional methods will be best for you?
- How will you set up your business (Ltd company or sole trader)?
- How will you pay tax?
- Do you need an accountant?
- Do you need professional insurance?
- Are there any regulations you need to follow?
- Where will you work?
- When will you work?
- Do you need specialist premises or equipment?