Business Development Checklist

So you want to start your own business?
Small businesses of less than 500 employees are the backbone of the American economy and account for just under 50% of the U.S. economy.   They create about 67% of all new jobs and are responsible for some of the most significant technological developments ever patented. There are over 27 million small businesses in the United States and just over 300,000 in Oklahoma alone.
The following checklist is very simplified and is not meant to be all-encompassing or in perfect sequence as to address every type of business. It is general in nature to serve as a template that outlines many of the steps necessary from concept to ribbon-cutting.
The complexity of each step varies significantly. You may be well-equipped to handle the minimum accounting necessary to get started and yet completely lost in the depths of building codes.  Don't be afraid to contact our offices with any question you may have. Chances are, someone has asked the very same question before.  We do not have all of the answers, but our team help you find out what you need to keep going.
___  Perform a self-assessment:  Are you financially and mentally ready for these challenges?
___  Determine if the product or service is viable.
___  Educate yourself about the industry through coaching, training and/or experience.
___  Estimated start up and operating costs.
___  Line up investors.
___  Create a business plan.
___  Choose a name for your business and apply for a trademark if necessary.
___  Determine legal structure best suited for your situation.
___  Obtain a Federal Employer identification Number (FEIN)
___  Register domain name for internet presence.
___  Start relationship with an attorney to separate personal finances from business.
___  Initiate relationship with a lending institution, set up accounts.
___  Obtain software and set up procedures for accounting and cash management.
___  Consult a certified public accountant for tax advice and audit purposes.
___  Find a good location and lease space if a public-facing storefront is necessary.
___  Purchase insurance necessary to do business and to protect yourself from excessive liability.
___  Obtain federal, state and local licensing and permits.
___  Remodel and equip place of business as needed.
___  Plan ahead:  Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly and long-range (5+ year goals).
___  Contract for additional services as necessary or hire personnel.
___  Define you brand.
___  Develop a marketing plan for your products and services.