Now that you’ve made up your mind to get into entrepreneurship, you may be wondering where to start. Should you spend a lot of time planning out every detail? Or just leap in and see what happens? Or work it out step by step as you go along? Not all questions about business have a single easy answer, but one thing is definite: planning well before you launch can take a lot of the headache out of the process, and mitigate some risk. So here’s a checklist to follow as you prepare for the launch.
Clarify the nature of your business
If you just have a general idea about a kind of industry you want to work in - construction, for instance, or real estate, or accounting - take a little time to get more specific. What kind of construction? How big will your business be? Will you need to hire employees? What kind of competition will you face? Do you have a clear perspective on the niche you will fill? Have you analyzed the market to be sure there’s a need for this kind of business? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before proceeding.
Choose a business structure
The decision about how to structure your business is a pragmatic one, as a number of factors depend on it, including taxation, personal liability, your legal relationship with the business, licenses required, and the type of paperwork you’ll need to deal with. The four main types of business structure to choose from are limited liability company, corporation, sole proprietorship, and partnership. Read up on each of these and see which makes the most sense for you and your prospective business.
Choose a location
You may be able to run your business from your home initially, depending on the size of your business and how much space you need. If this is not viable, however, you need to decide on a good location that works well for your business, is affordable, and will allow for the possibility of growth. You also need to be sure the area you choose is zoned for the kind of business you intend to run.
Decide what kind of team you’ll need
If you know you need to hire additional employees, decide which positions you will need to fill and whether you will hire full-time, part-time, or contract. Even if you are envisioning a small company, there is some help you’re likely to need in areas such as accounting, web design, marketing, and data analytics. You won’t necessarily need to hire employees for all these areas, as you can find capable freelancers via online job platforms.
Figure out purchases, inventory, and invoicing
Some businesses don’t require a lot of inventory to get their start. You may be able to get off the ground with just a few office purchases, including the tech you’ll need. But if you’ll be manufacturing or shipping products, traveling, or bringing in a team, you will need more. You’ll also need to furnish your home office or workspace. Decide on the purchases you’ll need and figure out where you’ll source them. Then assess how much you can expect to spend on these purchases.
You’ll also need to set up a process for invoicing. Businesses should email invoices and bill customers promptly with easy-to-understand terms. You can create branded invoices by using a free invoice maker. Choose from predesigned templates and then include details of goods or services provided. You can customize your invoice by adding your own logo and color scheme.
Decide out how to fund your business
If you realize you’re going to need additional funding to start your business, several alternatives are available to you, including applying for grants, taking out loans, crowdfunding, or getting support from investors. If you opt to take out a loan, make sure you go with a reputable lender, and figure out the monthly payments you can reasonably afford.
Write a business plan
Now that you have all these details clarified, it’s time to write up your business plan. This will be needed if you do opt to apply for a grant or loan. Your business plan should contain the following elements:
Although starting a business may take a lot of work and be stressful at times, it will be a lot easier if you have a detailed plan. Use the tips above to take the guesswork out of launching your business.
When you’re ready to start a cleaning business, visit Cleanerpreneur for courses, podcasts, and valuable information that can set you up for success!
Danny Partida is the creator and host of