Top Ten Steps for Business Start-Ups

In her column this week Rhonda Abrams, a nationally syndicated small business consultant, sets out the top ten steps for business start-ups.

Abrams says this is what most entrepreneurs ACTUALLY do:

1. Choose a business name.
2. Get business cards.
3. Search the Internet for information and advice.
4. Envision how much money you’ll make. (This is almost always wrong).
5. Set up a place to work.
6. Set up some basic financial accounts.
7. Look for customers.

Instead, Abrams advocates that entrepreneurs MUST DO the following:

1. Talk to an attorney and/or accountant. (I advise you definitely should do both).
2. Objectively check out the competition.
3. Get a domain name and/or email address.
4. Get all necessary business licenses, permits and certifications.
5. Contact an industry trade association.
6. Get a business bank account and set aside one credit card for business use.
7. Develop at least a simple budget.
8. Get bookkeeping software.
9. Develop a business plan.
10. Develop a marketing plan and go for it!

It is important for entrepreneurs to talk with an attorney and accountant first. You should consider the type of business entity (corporation, limited liability company, sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.) and whether there are any contracts you will need in your business. Further, it is important to understand the tax implications of your business upfront.

Abrams’ advice is right on the money.