Starting a business takes a lot of work, usually more work than people tend to realize. If you are in the process of starting a business, then you understand. You’ve spent countless hours preparing your business, securing loans and business financing, finding the right team of people to help you, and doing countless other tasks.
Hopefully, all the hard work you’ve endured will pay off. While there’s no way to guarantee what the future will hold for your company, there is one way that you can ensure you don’t fail miserably right away—make sure you are 100% prepared to open your business’s doors.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is opening their door to the public too soon. If your company is not yet ready to handle the public, your clients and/or customers can have a bad experience, and this can result in poor publicity, a poor launch, a poor future.
Before you light up the OPEN sign, make sure you’re ready for business by using the following checklist:
You have all your legal needs in order.
The very first thing you need to do before opening your doors is ensure you have all your legal needs in order. For example, you will need to file your business with the government so that you can pay your taxes. You may also have to file with your state and your town, so be sure to do your research on business laws in your area. If you are a restaurant, you may need a health inspection or a liquor license before you can open your doors. Your company, no matter the industry, may also need business insurance. Use the small business government website to help you fully understand all the legal items you may need to get your business off the ground, and then ensure you have it all in place before opening your doors.
You have a website.
Some companies will put this off until the business is up and running, but setting up a company website is essential to your company’s success, especially in the pre-launch phase. Today’s consumers use the Internet for everything, and having a website allows you to put information about your company in the hands of your market in order to spread the word and get them excited. This is a great marketing tool that can help your company’s launch be successful. It can also be a great way to reach a larger market rather than those in your general area. So before you put off creating the website until you see how the company is doing, put the company website on your list of priorities before you launch.
Your employees are all set up.
If you have employees, you will need to make sure that they are all set up before your company is open for business. Make sure you spend the time to train your employees correctly, whether you need to teach them about the products or services you offer, the technology and software used in your company, or even the dress code. If you are using uniforms, be sure that they are ordered and ready before the launch in order to adhere to your brand standards. You will also want to make sure that your employees have filled out and that you have filed any necessary paperwork, including W2 forms and I9 forms, and that your payroll software is working and up to date. If you have employees working hard for the launch of your business, but you have a glitch in the system that pays them, your company’s launch could be a disaster.