Things to do when starting a business

Starting a business is an exciting and challenging journey that requires careful planning and strategic decision-making. Whether you’re launching a small local shop or an innovative tech startup, certain foundational steps can set you on the path to success. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the essential things to do when starting a business.

1. Conduct Market Research

Understanding your market is crucial. Conduct thorough research to identify your target audience, understand their needs, and analyse your competitors. This will help you refine your business idea, tailor your products or services to meet market demand, and find your unique selling proposition.

2. Develop a Business Plan

A detailed business plan serves as your roadmap. It should outline your business goals, target market, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, operational plan, and financial projections. A well-crafted business plan is also essential if you’re seeking funding from investors or loans from banks.

3. Choose a Business Structure

Decide on the legal structure of your business. Options include sole trader, partnership or a limited liability company. Each structure has different legal, tax, and financial implications. Consult with a legal or business advisor to choose the best structure for your business.

4. Register Your Business

Register your business name with the appropriate government agency to ensure it’s legally recognised. In New Zealand, you’ll need to register with the Companies Office. Also, consider registering your domain name and securing your online presence.

5. Open a Business Bank Account

Separating your personal and business finances is essential for managing your business effectively. Open a business bank account to handle all transactions related to your business. This will also simplify your accounting and tax filing processes.

6. Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping Systems

Implement an accounting system to track your income, expenses, and profits. This can be done using accounting software or by hiring a professional accountant. Proper bookkeeping is crucial for financial management, tax preparation, and making informed business decisions.

7. Secure Funding

Determine how much capital you need to start and grow your business. Explore various funding options such as personal savings, loans, grants, angel investors, or venture capital. Prepare a compelling pitch and business plan to attract potential investors.

8. Develop a Marketing Strategy

Create a marketing plan to promote your business and attract customers. This should include branding, online marketing (website, social media), offline marketing (flyers, local events), and a plan for customer engagement. Effective marketing is key to building brand awareness and driving sales.

9. Build a Strong Team

If your business requires a team, focus on hiring the right people who share your vision and bring valuable skills to the table. Foster a positive work culture and invest in training and development to ensure your team can contribute effectively to your business growth.

10. Set Up Your Location

Whether it’s a physical storefront, an office, or an online store, setting up your business location is crucial. Ensure your physical location is accessible and attractive to your target audience. For online businesses, focus on creating a user-friendly and visually appealing website.

11. Ensure Legal and Tax Compliance

Consult with legal and tax professionals to ensure you’re compliant with all local, and national regulations. This includes understanding your tax obligations, filing the necessary paperwork, and adhering to employment laws if you have staff.

12. Plan for Growth

While starting your business, think ahead and plan for future growth. Set long-term goals and outline strategies to achieve them. This could involve scaling operations, expanding product lines, or entering new markets.


Starting a business requires a blend of vision, planning, and execution. By following these essential steps—conducting market research, developing a business plan, choosing the right structure, securing funding, and focusing on marketing and legal compliance—you’ll lay a strong foundation for your venture. Remember, persistence and adaptability are key as you navigate the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship. With careful planning and dedication, you can turn your business idea into a successful reality.

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