7 key milestones for a startup to prepare for opening day

With Setup Complete, there are 7 steps to prepare your brand new startup. 

You’ve written a business plan. You have your financing in place. Your legal filings are complete, and now you’re ready to get to work, right? Well, each startup has their fair share of hard work and there is plenty to be done to get to that all-too-important opening day. 

Yes!  But opening day is still at a bit of a distance.  Starting your own business is about preliminaries such as a business plan, financing, and legal requirements of course, but now that the preliminary stage is out-of-the-way, you have to move to next stage: the preparative stage.

In this stage of a startup there are 7 key milestones:

  1. Find the place

    Yes, it’s time to go shopping … for the location of your business.  Depending on the type of business you are starting you can determine the characteristics of your best location.  If you are startup happens to be a food services business such as a restaurant or quick serve, a high traffic location will be very important.  Retail businesses also need the right location where access must be convenient and easy for getting foot traffic (not car traffic.)  Compromising on location for price is always a challenge but be careful not to compromise on location too much as no great price is worth a bad location.

  2. Architect your interior and start to build it out

     Once you have a location you need to use some of your capital to get the interior built out.  Start with an interior design, and test it on paper either with a consultant, or feedback from family and friends.  Think about inside product location with customer traffic, and find ways to make your customers comfortable.  For retail businesses, find ways to keep your customers within your business as long as possible, giving them time to choose more products.  For food service businesses ensure that every table or counter location is comfortable avoiding direct A/C or open door vents.  Choose a decor that is not only fitting for your business, but also aesthetically pleasing for a broad range of clientele.

  3. Order and install your POS and IT systems

    Don’t wait around to the last-minute for your technology systems.  Most likely you are not an expert with many of today’s technology for businesses, and you also don’t want to pay a fortune for something beyond what you need.  So contact a POS dealer and consult with them on the best point-of-sales system, Wi-Fi, and other technologies to ensure that your business runs smoothly from day one.

  4. Order your supplies or inventory

    As a small business, you are now the buyer.  Contact multiple suppliers or vendors to choose your products or goods carefully.  Get your orders in early so that your inventory arrives in plenty of time prior to opening day.  Inspect it, and make sure it is exactly what you want.  For food services, test your food supplier’s quality and delivery services timeline so that you are prepared to order at the right time to ensure fresh food quality.

  5. Interview and hire staff

    There are many ways to connect with employees to help you run your business.  Using today’s social channels you can advertise your positions to get an opportunity to interview many potential people.  Meet with the best candidates face-to-face so that you can fully experience their personality and charisma, to make sure they are the right person for the role you need done.

  6. Execute your go-to-market

    Depending on your location you may be thinking that there is nothing that you need to do to get customers into your business.  Well, it may be true that a great location can generate customers, but there is always some go-to-market work to be done.  It starts with messaging.  Think about the words you and your staff will use to talk about your business.  Write down slogans, bullets of what you do, and list benefits such as “why” your customers should do business with you.  Then do marketing.  Put these words on signage, and use them on all your promotions.  Go social by marketing your business through Facebook, Instagram or other social channels that your prospective customers may be using.  No need to spend lots of money anymore on ads; so think about the ways your customers use their mobile devices and reach them there.

  7. Prepare for Opening Day

    With your business ready to open, systems in place, promotion in process, and staff on hand, get ready for opening day.  Train your employees on how to use your point-of-sales system; educate them on your products or menus; give them a meal with your food; and go through the exception cases when you may encounter a problem customer.  Have your policies in place mixed with a lot of kindness, to ensure that everyone involved in your business is ready for that big day.

So, make today about rolling up your sleeves and starting to crank out work. It’ll be worth it.

Thanks for reading.