Small Business Start-Up Kit - Page 6

Timeline • • • • • • • • • • • • • You must decide how you will go about introducing your business to the public. Determine advertising, promotion, and public relations strategies. Get your business license. (See Occupational Tax) Review non-financial objectives (public image, legal questions). Make a final selection of the business location. Make sure that the location you choose is within your budget and also fits into your business plan. Cheaper rent may cost you more in the long run. Remember: Location, location, location. Select outside advisors. This will be a very hectic time. It will be beneficial to have people you can call on to listen to your ideas, problems, and plans. These people should be able to provide you with guidance, constructive criticism, and feedback. They should be people experienced and knowledgeable in business. Set up a network of mentors. Select people who can help you by giving you insight and new ideas. Choose your business’ legal form. Will you be a partnership, sole proprietorship, or corporation? A legal form should be chosen very carefully as it can impact your business in many ways. Set up bookkeeping, accounting, and office systems. How are you going to operate your office? Will you need to hire a bookkeeper/bookkeeping firm? If you are going to keep your own books, make sure your skills are adequate. Seek outside demographic information on your targeted customer base. Gather secondary information. Continue working on your business plan. Define your brand. Develop a logo. Three Months Before Startup • • • • • • Decide on your pricing strategy. After determining your variable and fixed costs, decide what your markup rate will be. You will also need to consider demand and competitive factors in setting your price. Forecast sales. Determine your company’s employee needs. How many people do you need on your staff? This is important to decide as it effects your requirements for insurance, cash flow, etc. Project your cash flow. Write out an estimated statement of all revenues and expenditures. This statement should cover one calendar year. Also project your net cash flow for the entire year. Set up your office, display areas, etc. Have everything exactly as you want it. The last few days before opening are not the time to do this. The look of your store or office sets the tone of your business. You should p