Are you looking to start a business in Kenya but don’t have the necessary requirements to start? Worry not, as this business startup checklist will guide you through the most important factors to consider before starting your business.
Let’s dive in…
1. Assessing Your Opportunity – What do you want?
- Determine why you want to start a business
- Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
- Decide whether you want to provide a product or a service; build an online business or bricks and mortar.
- Assess how much capital you have to risk and how long it will last
- Determine if you want the business to be part-time or full-time.
- Discuss your plans with family members to ensure they are behind you.
2. Committing to Your Business
- Make a list of business ideas that fit your strengths and interests.
- Identify businesses that are having success today.
- Understand the problem(s) your business will solve.
- Define the market you want to pursue and your target customer.
- Validate your idea by talking to potential customers about it.
- Evaluate how customers solve this problem today, as well as what the competition offers.
- Create a quick financial plan, identifying costs and forecasted sales to see if your capital gets you to a profit.
3. Setting Up Your Business
- Select your business name and search the internet to make sure it’s not being used.
- Register a domain name and secure social media profiles for the company.
- Apply for a Business name, License and permit at e-citizen
- Decide on a legal structure or business structure and incorporate Corporation, LLC or Sole Proprietorship.
- Get your website up and running.
- Establish your company’s accounting plan: hire an accountant, select an accounting system, and a fiscal year.
- Evaluate and select needed insurance policies for your business: liability, workers comp, or health insurance
- Open a business bank account and business credit card.
- Begin networking with pre-marketing materials such as business cards, brochures, or public relations.
4. Ensuring Sufficient Funds are Available
- Estimate how long it will take for your business to acquire paying customers.
- Itemize your living expenses for the first year, at least, and assess where this will come from.
- Itemize how much capital is required to launch the business and project how long before profitability.
- From this, determine how many months of savings or investment you have to get to break even or profit.
- If outside investment is required beyond the founders’ savings, complete a business plan that will enable you to seek funding.
5. Planning For Your Business
- Write an Executive Summary after the other sections of the Business Plan are completed below.
- Complete a Company Overview that includes basic information and a summary of the management team.
- Write a Product Description section describing your products or services and what problems they solve.
- Prepare a Market Analysis section describing the total market and your target market, specific segment needs, competitive offerings available, and any trends affecting the analysis.
- Describe an Operating Plan for the business, such as operating hours, number of employees, key suppliers, or seasonal adjustments your business might need to adjust to.
- Create a Marketing and Sales Plan with a “Go to Market” or launch plan, pricing, how your business will generate leads, and close new business.
- Build a Financial Plan that shows a break-even analysis, projected profit and loss, and projected cash flows.
6. Setting Up to Operate
- Find and secure a business location, even home offices need good design.
- Identify any staffing needs and the profile of the employee or contractor that is best.
- Recruit, interview, hire, and train employees.
- Identify and set up any needed technology: POS, Email, Phones, CRM, Billing and Payment systems
- Ensure your technology systems are secure with your information or customer information.
- Depending on the business type, identify and partner with suitable suppliers.
Attention: 7 strategies to business success
7. Marketing and Launching Your Business
- Develop and refine a brand for your company and its products or services.
- Create and fine-tune an Elevator Pitch through conversations with anyone who will list.
- Begin distributing or displaying your marketing materials: shop signs, brochures, or banners.
- Online, initiate digital marketing through blogs, emails, or SEO strategies to drive traffic to your website.
- Hire a salesperson or sales team.
- Let the local or regional press know you are opening. Inform bloggers, radio stations, and TV stations, if possible.
- Utilize Guerrilla Marketing tactics to generate traffic.
- Organize an opening day.
- Good Luck!!