Breakthrough Performance Coaching for Small Business Owners

A Simple “Launching A Business” Checklist

Launching A Business

When launching a business the pressure is high.  Typically, entrepreneurs face a dichotomy.  They expect perfection and want the ability to shoot from the hip. 

Shooting from the hip and perfection are on opposite ends of the spectrum. You don’t need perfection, but you will need some structure so you don’t fall victim to victim thinking. 

You’ll need a list of milestones. You’ll also need to organize those milestones. I’ll tell you the categories that you need to dial in if you want to see success. 

All The “Launching A Business” Things

Entrepreneurs see opportunities everywhere.  Therefore, things get overwhelming pretty fast.  Think about it… all of these opportunities to grow and launch their very own business.

What are all of the things to do? 

Most start with a list like this:

  • Launch a website
  • Decide on a product/service
  • Set up social media accounts
  • Establish a business structure (Sole Prop, LLC, LLP, S-Corp, etc.)
  • Build a team
  • Make a sale
  • Build relationships with Banker, CPA, and Attorney
  • Find a Virtual Assistant
  • Hire a Coach
  • Hire a Web Developer
  • Watch ALL OF THE YOUTUBE on social media marketing
  • Hire a CPA
  • Start an email newsletter
  • Build a Facebook Group
  • Build a following
  • Open a storefront
  • The list goes on and on and on…


Before you do any of those, you need to do one thing… Make a sale.  

There is nothing more disheartening than watching a business owner agonize over what to do and when to do it BEFORE they even know if the business they are launching is a viable one.

Are you a musician?  Get hired to play a gig. Or record your music and sell it to someone.  If someone will pay you for the work, it’s a business.

Will you sell a product?  Make a sale.  If you can take one dollar and turn it into two, you have a business.  THEN worry about the rest of the things on the list.

All of the things on the list are important.  Not all of  the things are important to every business.  They also don’t share the same sense of urgency.

Instead of going full force on the fun things on the list like Social Media Marketing, start with making a sale.  Once you’ve made a sale, determining the next steps comes from being well organized.


Get Organized

Get organized by making a list of essential and non-essential items from the list up there.  Also, remove items that are not vital to taking one dollar and turning into two dollars.  Add missing items that are vital to your specific business (licenses, etc.).

Once you’ve got a good working list, put the items on a timeline.  This doesn’t have to be fancy.  In fact, just draw it out.  I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs get caught up in detailed business plans that turn out to be a waste of time.

Business plans are a waste of time if you are making a plan to get a loan.  A business plan serves a fantastic purpose which is to guide YOU, the business owner, on what to do and when.

The reason a banker wants to see one before giving you a loan is to determine whether you, the business owner, actually have a plan that leads to profitability.

FYI… Start Instagram Page.  People flock to me and buy” is not a viable business plan UNLESS you have a significant amount of influence in a particular market already.  Let that sink in.  Sorry… that’s real talk.

Put the essential items on the timeline in the order they need to be completed.  Then go back and layer in the non-essential items.  This allows you to know what you can compromise on and what you cannot when your time runs short.

Categorize Your Work

The final step in getting these items organized is categorizing the work.  There are essential and non-essential launch items as previously discussed.  There are also ongoing process items required to run a business. 

Four categories I see used in businesses are essential.  The four categories are Administrative, Product / Service Development, Marketing & Sales, and Delivery.  If you have a team, the fifth category is People.

Steps to Organize Work

  • Identify Essential / Non-essential launch tasks
  • Organize the launch items on a timeline
  • Identify Essential / Non-essential process tasks
  • Organize the process items on a Monthly/Weekly/Daily calendar
  • Categorize the items as:
    • Administrative – Bookkeeping, banking, filing paperwork, etc. Working with CPA, Banker, Attorney, Secretary of State, etc.
    • Product / Service – Creating content you can sell, the services you get paid for, or products that people buy.
      • Workshops
      • Downloads
      • Music
      • Widgets (physical products, apps, etc.)
      • Packages (Travel, Coaching, etc.)
    • Sales & Marketing – Lumping these together but could be separated depending on the business.  This is anything from public speaking, handing out company/product information, networking, advertising, social posts, email newsletter, etc.
    • Delivery – If this is for a physical product this could be shipping, logistics, etc.  If this is for a service, this is the performance of the service. I.e. Massage therapists would consider doing a massage as delivery.
    • People – If you employ people in your business this is a vital portion of your business and actually belongs at the top of the list.  People are your most valuable resource.  Yes, from a “touchy-feely” kind of “we love the people that work for us” way, but more.  This also means that people are helping produce results for you and their well-being deserves as much if not more attention than any other area of your business. 

      If you are a solopreneur then this category could be the VA or Coach you hired to support your business.  For instance, your banker is someone you don’t directly pay, but they are a vital partner for your business. 

Let’s Recap

The short-list of what needs to be done:

  • Make a list of all that is in your noggin about launching and maintaining a business
  • Organize them based on Essential & Non-essential tasks to support making money
  • Organize those tasks on the timeline, Essential items first, then Non-essential items
  • Categorize the items to make it easy to review and divvy up the amount of time spent on each

If you’re interested in learning how much time to spend on each, I am happy to help you with that.  There are some simple ratios that can be a good guide and make life easier.  Reach out with the “Let’s Connect” button at the top. (There’s a button on most pages, but you don’t see it… look here.)

Ryan McKinney

Ryan McKinney

Ryan is a leadership coach, sought after speaker, and transformational workshop facilitator. He works with highly successful business leaders to develop discipline, enhance leadership, and build confidence so they can enjoy the success they deserve without giving up what they want most.

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