Following these basic steps when starting your new company can help ensure your long term success.
I am a firm believer that your environment is conducive to your success. So get organized and be professional. Get a date book or app on cell phone that will handle your scheduling and serve the reminders. Treat this area of your home like your business. Do you want t o come in your office an see dirty laundry and the kids toys all over the floor? I also advocate going to work in the other room dressed professionally. Don't start making calls in your PJ's.
Get on a budget
. You should already be on one personally and a business is no different. This would be part of the business plan. Optimally, I would get out of debt first before launching a business.
Having a business plan. A plan is very important so when I say “don't spend too much time on this initially” I mean spend time on the important issues of your short term plan. Your probably not giving this to a bank. Just get your goals and expectations in there and review them daily. I think some small businesses let this really bog them down. Just put together a 6 month plan at first as you get things up and running. Plans change so frequently that it makes more sense to be flexible in your planning. This would cover the corporate documents, sales etc...You might find your entire business model changes in the first two weeks.
Planning ahead for “Murphy” type situations. We all know Murphy's law is bound to happen so go ahead and prepare for this mentally and financially. Being organized and having an emergency fund will help smooth the murphy curve into a bearable situation.
What is a worst case scenario? You find there is problem with a product you sent to all your customers or there is typo on a custom product and your clients start calling and demanding their money back. That type of day. They happen!
Before you get things running it is nice to know how much money you are going to need based on what your service or idea is. Having a cash buffer is nice to start but not a necessity. Hopefully your business won't require much cash to start. Use the phone to solicit opinions from customer or have a brief questionnaire ready to ask some brief questions. You will be surprised at how well you will be received in most cases. Customers are anxious to have solutions to problems. You can be the one to help them fix it.
Before I did any fillings for corporate status, I tested my idea. I want to see if this is going to work before I spend money or make any investment aside from phone calls and office paper. That really is the great thing about the internet and being in a home today. I can look more professional online than many fortune 500 companies.
I don't condone breaking local and federal laws but make some calls to your potential customers see if it looks realistic to pursue before you start.