Step-By-Step Outline To Launching Your First Business

I know many budding entrepreneurs who are itching to launch their first business, but get stuck because they aren’t sure “What comes next?”

I thought I would create a simple step-by-step outline of how to launch your first company. This will be useful if you ever feel overwhelmed by the process or need some guidance of how to move forward.

All of these steps are important. Missing or rushing through these recklessly may get your business launched faster but will bite you in the butt later.

My one piece of advice for entrepreneurs wanting to launch their first business is this: Take the time to build a strong foundation for your business, don’t rush or ignore the parts that scare you, and never hesitate to reach out for help from those more experienced than you!

With that said, here is a guide to getting your first business off the ground!

  • Refine your business idea- get specific!
  • Research, research, research
    1. Is there a need for your product/service?
    2. Who will be the primary demographic?
    3. Who else has a business like yours?
    4. How will you be better than the competition?
    5. What will make your business stand out?
    6. How successful are other businesses like yours?
    7. How much revenue potential will you have?
    8. What do other services/products like yours cost?
    9. Can you run it on your own, or will you need to hire contractors/employees?
  • Write your business plan- again, get specific! A good business plan should include:
      1. A basic summary (snapshot of your business, should be straightforward and easy for a third party to understand immediately what your business is all about).
      2. Company description (a more detailed description of what you do and how you do it).
      3. Market analysis
      4. Organization structure
      5. Business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC)
      6. Services/products that will be offered
      7. Marketing and sales (how you will market your business and gain clients/customers)
      8. Funding!!!!
      9. Financial projections (how much it will cost to startup and run your business, how long to become profitable)
      10. Permits, licenses, legal documents (what permits or licenses you will need to acquire plus other legal documents)
    • Assess finances
      1. Any and all fees associated with starting your business, always round up!
      2. Where will the money come from? Savings? Lenders? Investors? Crowdfunding?
      3. How will you support yourself until your business becomes profitable? Overestimate the time it will take to become profitable so that you will have a solid cushion!
      4. Choose an accounting system (hire an accountant or use an accounting software)
  • Set up your business structure
      1. You should already have a plan for your business structure from your business plan (sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC).
      2. Pick and register your business name
      3. Register your domain name (if you will be online)
      4. Get licenses and permits
  • Get an insurance policy

  • Build your team (if you need one)
      1. Create detailed outlines of each employee/contractors responsibilities
      2. Take the time to interview/hire the best people for the job
      3. Create easy-to-understand contracts that outline the commitment from both you and the employee/contractor (Is is a weekly or monthly contract? Are they paid flat rate per hour or per project? Are they commission based? How often will you pay them?)
      4. Create systems to keep everyone accountable
  • Build your brand
      1. Create a logo to use across all platforms
      2. Set up social media accounts
      3. Set up a website/online presence
      4. Create a business email and start building your list  
      5. Create a marketing plan
  • Grow your business
    1. Lots of steps to be put in here- stay tuned for more great tips and strategies for growing a successful and profitable business!

I hope you’ve found this outline useful! Every business is unique, but this is a great system to follow so that you have a strong foundation when launching your business. It may bring clarity to your idea and also help you know if you are prepared financially to be a business owner.