Starting a Business: The Importance of a Checklist to Get Started
Having a business checklist is one of the most important things that you can have to create structure and balance for your new startup. If you’re looking to stay focused on the task at hand, then it’s time to download either a pre-made business checklist for your industry, or use an online tool like ‘My Business Coach’ to customize one for your own business. You’ll soon realize that there are several key benefits to creating a business checklist…
#1: You’ll be able to prioritize what’s most important
The very nature of a checklist (i.e. first do this, then do this) naturally lends itself to logical, linear thinking. It’s easy to get distracted and feel like you are constantly being torn in different directions when you are an entrepreneur and figuring out how to start a business. With a business checklist template, all the heavy lifting has already been done for you. You’ll have a handy list of everything that needs to be accomplished before you open for business on Day 1.
#2: You’ll gain a true 360-degree view of the business
Another key reason to use a business checklist is to get a full overview of all the different parts of your new company. There will be a lot of moving parts, and as the founder and CEO, you will be responsible for keeping an eye on all these different parts. You will be wearing a lot of different hats over the first 6 to 12 months of launching a business, and a business checklist can give you a way of managing this.
#3: You’ll be able to develop more accurate timelines and schedules
Part of being an expert planner is simply knowing how much time it takes to accomplish certain tasks. You’ll often hear from entrepreneurs that, “I had no idea it took so much time to…” With a business checklist, though, you’ll see step-by-step what needs to be accomplished, and you’ll have a much better idea of how long a certain process takes. If you’re launching a new business, for example, it’s important to know how long it takes to get the right licenses, permits and approvals in order to move forward to the next step. If you’re having trouble judging how long each new item in your checklist is going to take, that’s where you can tap into the savvy and insights of a business coach.
#4: You’ll create a solid foundation for your new business
Let’s face it, there is something that feels very fulfilling about crossing an item off a list. It’s the reason why people create weekly to-do lists, why people create shopping lists, and why many professions develop checklists of things that they must do before even getting started. An airline pilot, for example, would never think of flying a plane until all the items on the pre-flight safety checklist have been checked off. And a top chef would never think of preparing an elaborate meal until all the right ingredients have been assembled so that a step-by-step recipe can be followed. Once you’ve established the proper foundation, that’s when you can really thrive.
When you are starting your own business, it simply can’t be overstated enough how important a business checklist can be for preventing any important steps or processes from “falling through the cracks.” Using checklists will help you to stay focused, since you won’t be constantly worrying that you or your team is somehow missing something. (Your team will appreciate this, too, since they won’t be getting email or text messages at midnight, asking if they’ve remembered to do something!) To stay focused as an entrepreneur, then, it’s absolutely vital to commit to creating a checklist when starting a business.