Here Is A Checklist For The First Year Of Your Business. How Many Have You Ticked Off?

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Every business success relies on a number of things in order to succeed. When you start a new business, you might well put up a checklist on what you expect to achieve after a certain period. And ideally, you will go through the checklist after a year to look over your progress. With the help of a business expert or a financial consultant, anyone can set up his or her business goals. To get help from any of these, check Freelancer and hire the best professionals there are for this job.

The first quarter of the financial year is the best time to set up a checklist, and aim to see everything succeed in the remaining months or coming years. It can get overwhelming along the year, even when you start by running a solo business, and you may need to employ a few people to help you. This means that if you have already done a checklist that involves you alone running the business, you should review it to include the people now working for you.

Whatever time you choose to do it, or however big or small the business is, it is never too late to make a checklist and it is an important step to take. The most important things to take into consideration are the following:

  • Budget: to include anticipated and actual sales, purchases, overheads, salaries, tax and profits.

  • Customer and supplier contracts

  • Customer relationships

  • Working capital

  • Shareholder management

  • Employee management

  • Statutory obligations

  • Business ideas and name

  • Others

With all these in mind, sit down and write up a checklist. At the end of the financial year, go through it and see what you have accomplished and what you have not. You might find a number of the following items are important features of your first year. Did you include and tick off any of the following?

Working capital

  • Move old inventory or sell personal stuff to get your working capital

  • Your cash flow is consistent

  • Maintained a good cash flow, and agreed date of payments with suppliers

  • Able to meet your statutory obligations and still have enough working capital

Customer and supplier contracts

  • Most of your customers pay you on the agreed timely basis

  • You have a good number of repeat customers

  • Made payment schedule contracts with suppliers to allow a better accumulation of working capital

  • Pay some suppliers especially the ones with few supplies up front

  • Get value from suppliers like rebates, discounts, transport arrangements and KPIs

  • Depend on a small clique of suppliers

  • Do everything possible to increase supplier diversity

Employee management

  • Employees live up to your performance expectations

  • Give out bonuses and pay rises to employees

  • Do something different and special to retain high-performing employees

  • Give employees incentives, special opportunities or promotions to keep them working for you

  • Check on any changing employee needs since they started working

  • Manage underperforming employees appropriately

  • Has the performance of the underperforming employees got better after setting up new standards?

  • Set goals for employees in alignment with the goals and objectives of your business

Shareholder management

  • You have any shareholders that expect dividends at the end of every financial year

  • You are able to pay all dividends

Statutory obligations

  • Your business needs an audit review and you are planning to get the audit done.

  • Your tax preparations are smooth and timely

  • Seek out any guidance on tax depreciation, write-downs and any other tax issues with an expert tax agent or tax adviser

  • Successfully meet all your other statutory obligations like PAYE, GST, FBT, company tax and employee tax

  • Make any profits after tax and after meeting all the other statutory obligations

Business name and domain

  • Did you think well about your name? Have you bought a number of domain names and URLs - just in case? With the proper research, hopefully this one won't appear as a negative point on your review list.

  • That should have given you plenty to think over. Now let's look at the really serious stuff! By the end of that crucial first year, how many of these will you relate to?

  • Not enough time to change from what you wore the previous day because you did not have time to go home and change, though you started the year cleanly dressed and swearing to keep it that way!

  • Cannot get a good night’s sleep because all you think about is your business

  • Joined social media to promote your business

  • Left all social media groups, and turned off all notifications due to lack of time to be online

  • Sometimes you get so busy that you think of closing shop for a few days to go finish off on some pending work

  • Gone into hiding from family in order to answer calls and respond to emails without any interruptions

  • Tried working from home, thinking it will be different only to realize you are still working

  • Referred to yourself as ‘everyone’ even though you are solo. You are the ‘we’ and ‘us’

  • Received a good deal or managed a huge sale, and did a victory dance all by yourself at work or home

  • Hate anyone that says working from home is relaxing because you know it is not

  • You finally get some time off to relax, and after 10 minutes remember you need to write up a certain invoice or receive some goods

  • You spend so much time alone in the office attending to customers that the need to chat with someone on a personal level gets overwhelming - when the mailman arrives he becomes your instant friend and you tell him more than you should

  • You only have one day to actually rest in a week but you do not know what happens because that day has never come

  • You are a control freak and you turn your siblings, parents or children as your readily available helpers for the right price - which you control of course!

  • You feel tired, take a break and before the break starts, you get a big idea that will make you lots of money and, break already forgotten, you start working on it

  • You start talking to objects and animals, sometimes even apologizing to them for saying the wrong thing

  • Your cat and dog are your best friends, because they do not question any of your ideas and they are great listeners.

  • Your phone feels like a switchboard and you want to change numbers

  • You want to disappear and never come back because you are too overwhelmed

  • You set up a text notification so texts from the bank can get to you without the need to keep checking if a payment has been made - but you still check for texts every five minutes anyway.

  • Ignored a child’s tantrums, banging on the door, and pleas while on phone, completely assuming the child is not there and it is just noise from somewhere else

  • The first thing your friends tell you is to ‘please don’t talk about business today’ and you wonder what else there is to talk about.

  • Forget to go home and fell asleep on the couch in your office, only to wake up and wonder what happened

  • Miss many family occasions because there is just no time to spare


Running a solo business is both tiring and time-consuming while still being rewarding for the advantages it brings. Almost every day is spent thinking about work and how to progress, so there is barely any time for yourself. Surviving a year without going insane is in itself a big milestone.

How many of the above checklist facts did you tick yes to? Is this how you spend your days in your business? Has anything changed one year down the line, or do you still do the same things repeatedly? Share your experiences with the community: is there anything else you'd recommend?

Postat: 30 octombrie, 2017


Entrepreneur & Creator

Nick is the Entrepreneur Correspondent for He is based in Sydney, NYC, & London. His life consists of frequent flyer points.

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