Checklist For Startup CEOs & Founders

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Owning your own business and leading it into long-term success is not an easy feat. The position of founder or CEO carries with it a handful of responsibilities; plenty enough to fill your plate. And as if the workload isn’t enough, as a CEO, one should also be wary of the competition within the industry. Heavy is the head that wears the crown!

Around 500,000 new businesses start up every month of every year! With an overwhelming number of possible local and global competitors, you should be ready to face many business challenges. With current statistics showing only 50% of small businesses survive for 5 years or longer, you have to know the “what’s and how’s” of starting a business. This will increase the chance of surviving amidst the fierce startup and corporate competition. 

What You Need To Know As A Startup Owner 

Before starting your own business, there are a few things you need to ponder on to make a smooth beginning. Here are some of them 

Manage Your Business Finances 

Look at yourself as a worker before identifying yourself as the owner. Put yourself in the state of your company’s shareholders and keep track of the expenditures you are making. Use your resources only when necessary, this will pave the way for savings. 

Also, don’t forget to separate your personal life from business. Don’t exploit your business’ profit for your personal wants and vices. Be objective, use the money you generate for the growth of your business. 

Open Your Mind And Learn From Others 

Listen to your mentors and be open to suggestions and criticisms. If you want to start your business right, listen to what the experts tell you. But you should also filter the messages — not everything your mentors will say is applicable to your situation. You know your business better and you will be able to understand it better than others. 

Planning Comes First, Application Comes Second 

Being too aggressive is not the right way to start your business. Yes, gambling is a part of growth but intelligent planning takes precedence over instant action. Never skip the planning stage; be as careful and meticulous as you can be, you can even make a personalized business plan if you deem it necessary. 

Great Ideas Are Never Enough 

Having great ideas in your mind without putting them into action is a time-waster. Learn to have the courage and do experiments. Famous people of the old times have built their reputation through a series of trials and errors and continuously materializing their ideas while improving them. You will never know how great your ideas are if you don’t show or use them. 

Keep A Constant Source of Income 

Not all businesses start smoothly, some go through rough roads where income doesn’t come as fast as expected. Try to look for or keep a constant source of cash source. If you have a day job, don’t quit if you can manage. You will fare better when you don’t have to rely on your new business’ income for your daily living. 

Business Legal Considerations 

Name Your Business Entity 

Give your business an unused and unique name. Make sure to try doing research when deciding on the name you’re going to bestow on your business. It should reflect the type of business and the services you provide. It also can't utilize existing trademarks or service marks depending on the type of business you have and local, state, federal, or international laws.

Document Your Business Finances And Agreements 

Protect your business from frauds and scams by safekeeping copies of your agreements with other business parties. Remember, illegal contracts can damage your businesses’ workflow as well as its reputation. 

Also, don’t forget to have a good bookkeeper by your side. A reliable person should keep tabs on your company’s financial situations. This way, you can properly assess the strengths and weaknesses of your business. In cases where you need proof of business performance for inspection or review, good records will come in handy. 

Your Employees 

Make your employees’ classification clear at the very beginning. Decide whether employees are in house or outsourced, hired as a freelancer, by contractual or as a regular company employee. Make an agreement and properly explain the terms to them. Angry and rallying company employees are the last thing you want to be against. 

Intellectual Property 

Protect your intellectual property! Business owners often forget how important this is for a company. Intellectual property defines your business, it is an identity that should belong only to you. Intellectual property may come in many forms, here are some of them: 

- Trademark 
- Company Name 
- Company Logo 
- Recipes of Your Products 
- Patents in Process Techniques and Types of machinery 

Always resort to privacy policies and be compliant with privacy legislation. Let your customers and competitors know that your prized information is precious for your company. 

Have A Business Legal Expert By Your Side 

This is probably the safest and most important of all that you need to consider in terms of your startup business’ legal matters. Having a competent legal team backing your startup up and giving you advice will help you prevent possible violations. 

Startup Business Checklist 

A business startup checklist serves as a helpful tool structure that guides anyone planning to start their own business. 

Business Plan 

A business plan will be most helpful to be ready for any pressing challenges. Be imaginative but purposive at the same time, simulate likely scenarios and situations 

Get Into The Internet 

Create your own website. Having your own website will increase your business’ likelihood of becoming popular. Many people surf the web each day and these users are possible business prospects that you can possibly reach if you own a website. 

Use Social Media 

Register a profile on social media. Take advantage of the astonishing number of social media visitors, reach them by making a profile for your business which you can use to interact with social media users. 

Open A Bank Account 

Accounts are essential in today’s business situation. Gone are the days where cash is the only mode of payment, today we already have banks that offer money transfer services. Having a bank account will make your profit turn over easier. 

Don’t Look For Partners 

Trying to find a business partner that you can tie yourself with might be counterproductive. Aside from the amount of time and effort you spend in trying to look for one, having someone else dictate the direction of your business just might be a drag. Stop wasting your time trying to find business partners. Just focus on your work and let the money roll in. When your business becomes successful, business partners will be the ones to look for you. 

Have An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) 

A minimum viable product is comparable to a prototype; they are used to acquire information from customers in the fastest way possible. This is an effective strategy to minimize possible losses from investing in products that will not flourish in the market. 

This strategy begins with the introduction of the new line of products in populations that are likely to provide comments and suggestions or may provide valuable reactions towards the new product. This strategy aims to produce helpful data in assessing the viability of the product. 

Hire Fast, Fire Fast 

Your employees are the very fabric that holds together your company’s productivity. They define the strength and efficiency of the whole workforce. If you find faulty and unproductive employees, it should be in your best interest to fire them fast before they further affect the flow in your company. Likewise, the employees you fire should immediately be replaced to ensure that the productivity of your company will not decrease. 

Consider Outsourcing To Cut Costs & Concentrate On Core Competencies

As your business grows, so does the amount of tasks you need to face. Instead of hiring additional staff, try to outsource it from a reputable service provider first. Doing so will not only help you to save cost in the long run but also a strategic move. Outsourcing allows you to take advantage of the readily available resources in the BPO company you want to partner with. 

Before doing this, make sure to assess the capabilities and limitations of your business. This will help you come up with a better decision in choosing the company that will fulfill the functions you need to let go. 

Today, many companies worldwide have already outsourced call center outsourcing services, back office operations, research and development, and many more. 

Positive Mindset Above All In Big Business

As a new business owner, you should be ambitious and realistic at the same time. You need to be ambitious for business growth so that you will become greedy for progress and good outcomes. Being engrossed in the thought of improving your current standing is an effective motivation to get yourself going when you find yourself in a pinch. 

Despite being ambitious, you should also be realistic. Dreaming is a good thing but sticking to unrealistic visions will be counter-productive. So keep aiming for a great future, just make sure that the future you like to materialize is within your means. Continue to reference this checklist for startup founders and CEOs to increase your chances of long-term business success.

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