Starting a business can be challenging, but if you have a vision it is worth following through. It’s important not to jump into things blindly, though. You’ll want to create a business so that you and your investors know where you are going, and how everything you’re doing fits into that plan. Imagine your development process as a standard 9-5 work day, and break things down step-by-step. This process can guide you through the start-up process without overwhelming you, so let’s get started!
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Set Your Business and Lifestyle Goals
Start your “workday” by establishing your business and lifestyle goals. Do you want a passive income business, or do you want to sell the company for a large sum in the future? How hard are you willing to work? Answer these questions to clarify your intention. You can’t make an effective strategy if you don’t know what you are doing or why.
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Choose Appropriate Business Ideas
Next, work through some of the details so you can create a thorough business plan. According to Business News Daily, you’ll use this business plan to solicit funding, attract executives, and guide your business’s development. Start with the idea you have and flesh it out so that others will see it, too. Remember, investors will be skeptical and want to know that your plan is solid, well thought out, and that you are addressing a real need (so it will make money).
A good business plan will also help you to determine what you need to get started. Ideally, your business idea won’t require massive funding. Sometimes, however, funding is necessary if the business requires a marketing budget or equipment, so decide where you’ll find the start-up cash if you need it. You’ll also think carefully about your target market and how you will reach them, which will be important later on in your “work day.”
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Pick Your Business Structure
Once you have your business idea and goals, it’s time to select your business structure. Two common choices are:
- A sole proprietorship, which gives you complete control of your business, and it’s easy to create.
- A partnership, which is a good idea if you have business partners. There are two types of partnerships: limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. Partnerships are great for professional groups, such as attorneys.
However, you may decide to choose an LLC. An LLC offers superb benefits, such as less paperwork, flexibility, tax advantages, and limited liability. LLC rules differ from state to state, so check the rules accordingly. Instead of researching the ins and outs of how to start an LLC, a formation service can handle the legwork.
Once you’ve decided on your business structure, consult a professional (or the Internet) to learn which forms you need to complete to make everything official locally and with the IRS. This is also when you’ll be assigned an EIN – Employer Identification Number – which you’ll need for many things along the way.
12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Create a Business Bank Account
Business accounts have various benefits, such as financial protection, professionalism, fewer tax headaches, and more organized expenses. You’ll need the following:
- Photo ID of the director who’s opening the account
- Articles of incorporation
- An EIN confirmation letter
- Proof of personal address
- Proof of a business address
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Start Strategic Marketing
You’ve worked hard all “morning.” Now it’s time to dive into the fun stuff – getting your name out there! A business isn’t a business without customers. You identified your target market in your business plan, but now you really have to know where to find them. This is where your marketing strategy comes into play.
Your marketing strategy — although it may cost money — is critical to your business’s success, and it depends on your client base. Take some time to research your client base. Who are they? What do they value? Why will they be interested in your product or service? Then, figure out what services and platforms they use. Are they on social media? If so, are they more likely to be on Twitter or Twitch? Facebook or Instagram? Will mailers be effective, or do you need to focus on videos? What about commercials?
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Hire Freelancers
At this point, you have a lot of wheels in motion, and you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and under supported. If you’re starting to bring in money, this may be the perfect time to hire a few freelancers to fill in or take over responsibilities you can no longer manage on your own. In the last two years, the world has learned a lot more about remote workers. According to Upwork, over 59 million Americans performed freelance work in 2021. You can hire freelancers to handle administration, sales, and marketing.
3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Set Up Your Website
You may have included your website development in your Strategic Marketing Plan (1 p.m. – 2 p.m.), but now is a great time to revisit it. Regardless of your business, you need a website. It is vital that it really showcases your brand and helps you promote your services. If you haven’t already, use SEO tactics to boost your services and attract potential clients. If this is outside of your knowledge base, don’t be afraid to outsource. Hiring a skilled web developer is well worth the money because they know the best ways to present your services through the website and target your SEO information to drive traffic to your site. Without these things, a brilliant website will just sit there unvisited.
Developing a business is hard, but this 9-5 schedule can help to keep you on track. Start with a strong business plan and consistently return to it to keep your focus on point, but don’t be afraid to revise your strategies as more information emerges. And, if you discover that you need to build up some strategic skills, visit The Business Project for free courses on starting and growing your business.