Because of the present state of the economy, many people are leaving the corporate world, not always voluntarily. Some choose to start their own business rather than to find a position with another company.
JoAnn M. Laing, author of The Janus Principle: Focusing Your Company to Sell to Small Business, offers this checklist of items that should be considered before starting a company.
* Do something you are passionate about.
* Then draft a vision and write a business plan.
* Look at the competition. Define what makes you different.
* Work on an action plan (steps needed to move from idea phase to opening day).
* Check local, state and federal requirements; get any licenses, certification needed; follow government rules.
* Set up a legal business structure (LLC, LLP, S or C corporation).
* Register "Doing Business As" names.
* Appoint a registered agent.
* Protect the company's name: File business's names on a per-state basis; conduct a trademark search to ensure the company's name isn't already in use.
* Obtain federal and state employer identification number (EIN).
* Complete additional filings (such as amendments) as needed.
* Draft internal documents (such as bylaws, operating agreement) for the business.
* Talk to a lawyer about business entity, liability, etc.
* Staffing: Outsource or use free-lancers when possible; hire people who have growth bandwidth; have background checks done.
* Budget: Determine how much money is needed for start-up; set up expense and revenue projections.
* Research financing: Gather financial statements if looking for bank financing.
* Obtain start-up capital.
* Get an accountant/CPA; find out when taxes need to be paid, what expenses can be written off, etc.
* Get bookkeeping software.
* Learn about cash flow!
* Open business checking account; get a separate bank card and online access.
* Get quotes for insurance (such as general business, unemployment, workers' compensation) if needed.
* Find a mentor/adviser/coach.
* Set up an advisory board with people who have complementary skills.
* Join local associations (online or local) of professionals/business owners.
* Research networking groups in your area and plan to attend one or two a week.
* Visit SCORE and SBA and attend seminars for start-up businesses.
* Develop business collateral with the company name and logo: business cards, letterhead, forms, brochures, signs, ads, flyers, postcards, etc.
* Determine how the business will be marketed: Online? Local? National?
* Search domain name to see whether it is available, then purchase it.
* Set up a Web page or build a Web site.
* Create an Internet presence: through writing a blog, twitter, social marketing, etc.
* Check to determine whether it is conducive to doing business; also see what the competition is doing.
* If virtual, consider where to meet clients, suppliers; set up mailing address.
* Set up a communication system.
* Schedule personal time to relax, exercise and keep fit.
* Take time for family and friends.