They say you need a business plan to start a business. Nonsense. You need a checklist. Business plans change too quickly and no one is going to bother reading them. Checklists can change often and be easily split down into smaller bites and measured.
Today I want to share with you my checklist for a recurring revenue business. It includes my favorite tools and methods of setting up an online business.
An idea –
Look at the following sites and see if you can identify a business that can be done better, hasn’t been done in Australia or exists without a subscription model.
1 page business plan
Seriously. Open up notepad and in one page describe what your business sells and why a customer would pay for it. Put in your profit margin and per unit costs. Put in your start up expenses. Put in what marketing methods you will use once launched. And finally put in your goal in order to make it financially awesome (ie number of subscribers needed).
Domain name – www.name.com
Don’t ever be fooled by godaddy, they are horrible. They will try to upsell you the world. Name.com is the simplest one click buy domain name registrar out there, simply put, use them.
Wireframes – www.gomockingbird.com
Every single idea I’ve had that needed an iPhone app or website I have always started here with this amazing free tool. Plan out your whole site, down to every word and button with this great web app. Then save it in the cloud, share it with your partner and export it as a PDF. Pass it on to your designer and developer and you’re set to go.
Hosting – hostgator.com
Tried and true, I’ve got at least 20 websites on the internet all running off of one $9 plan with them. Starting out, they are cheap and all you need.
Finding designers and developers – www.freelancer.com
These guys are my first choice as I have always managed to get great work at awesome prices done through them. However a lot of my friends prefer www.odesk.com andwww.elance.com, I have used all 3 and would name odesk as my 2nd choice. Be sure to interview applicants and pick based on past positive reviews no matter what you pick.
Payment gateway for recurring payments from creditcards (Australia) – www.eway.com.au
These guys rock, best customer service I’ve ever dealt with. They will hold your hand through the entire process of getting your site to accept creditcards and even manage the application to your bank for an internet merchant account.
you will need one of these at some point to make your site secure. I use the ones offered by hostgator.
Registering a company– Cleardocs.com.au
Yep just $550 and you can have your very own PTY LTD company in under 30 minutes. If you are under 18 then ask your parents to help.
Kickass brand/design – www.melewi.net
Melissa is the most talented young designer I have yet to meet. Hiring her to consult you in the beginning of your branding will ensure success with your customers. She’s done work with Sony, Heineken and a ton of different hot web startups.
SEO – www.softwaresyndicate.com.au
These guys know their stuff, from setting up google ads to getting more traffic to websites. Their founder has revolutionized the Internet marketing space with the invention of several pieces of software, and he’s still only 19, yikes.
Shipping (if your business has a physical product) –
Australia post works fine for us at the moment. But we’ll be transitioning to DHL as we grow.
Me. I love writing quirky sales copy, so if you want to talk, get me through my contact form
File storage – dropbox http://db.tt/PwRNH2X
If for whatever reason you have been under a rock for the past few years, I recommend using these guys to keep your files safe online and on your computer. Immensely useful for keeping versions up to date and working in teams.
Ok, that’s it, my favourites have all been revealed now. I may or may not continue to update this list as I continue to discover new things.