Small Business Startup Checklist

With more than 10 years of business experience, please see my guide on how to start your own business, which includes the most basic checklist that business owners can follow.

Small Business Startup Checklist
Small Business Startup Checklist

I had a brainstorming session this week and put together a small business startup checklist.

With more than 10 years of business experience, please see my guide on how to start your own business, which includes the most basic checklist that business owners can follow.

How you go about acquiring the things you need is entirely up to you, it’s all about trial and error.

So here it is, the exact things you need when you have a business idea and would like to make it grow into an online start-up.


Startup Business Checklist

Domain Name – First you have to come up with a name for your business idea.

You might think this is quite easy, but take your time, research the name online, and see what results from your domain will be competing against. It’s always a good idea to have the product you are selling in the domain i.e., but it’s not fundamental.

Think about what kind of website it will be, informational, product sales, directory, entertainment, advice? If it’s entertainment a short and fun domain is always good (think buzzfeed), if it’s informational, you might want a domain that is a bit longer and had a few buzz words like help, advice, and information.

Once you have pinned the domain name, there are plenty of places you can get it registered.

 When you register your domain, the suffixes also need a bit of thought, is your business UK based and will only trade in the UK? Is your business even more local than London?

The most common suffixes are .com, but if you are running an informational website, it might be a good idea to also get .net or .org if your site is non-profit.


Web Hosting – Once you have your URL, it’s time to host your website so it can actually go live on the big world wide web. Hosting usually costs peanuts but it frightens a lot of people because they think it’s quite a technical process.  Get Hosting from £3.71 per month

You will usually have the hosting option available through the domain registration website, which is all fine, but should you want an even cheaper deal, of course, you should do your own research and see which one seems the easiest for you to manage. If you still have trouble, simply message me so I will be able to sort it out for you in no time.


Logo – You need to get this done quite early so there are no discrepancies at a later stage with design and communication. Logo designs are one of the simplest things to do these days, there are websites that will even enable you to do it for free (if you’re feeling creative), but if you would like something quite bespoke, definitely get a graphic designer on board, if you need more info about what to expect, read our interview with our very own graphic designer.

When you have your logo done, do not forget to also have the logo on different backgrounds and on different formats.

Take the logo, sometimes it’s on a black background with white font, and sometimes it’s black on a white background. The formats you will need your logo in are, png (transparent background), eps (can create a billboard and it will still be pixel perfect), and a high-res jpeg for general use.

Hint! Keep your graphic designer’s contact details handy, because you never know when you’ll need an icon or your logo to be resized, and there is nothing worse than having a blurry or distorted logo on your website.


Website – So this is probably what you have been waiting for, to really get stuck in and build your product and be fully in control of the design. Again, before you jump in and throw every idea you have, it’s worth getting the basic structure in a simple black-and-white sketch.


‘In order to make a great website, professional web designers take advantage of mockup tools to analyse layout, design, and functionality.’


Once you have a layout, you will know whether you need to be looking for a template design that you can customise without the need for HTML, or whether it’s best to get a bespoke HTML designer to code your design ideas.

If you are going to stick to the simple template, your easiest option is WordPress.

Select your template, and start your website hierarchy structure.

Not sure how?

Your homepage is the most important page of your domain, you should, to start off, have main 4 other link outs from your homepage, the product you sell, the services that are dynamic i.e. blog, deals page, top sellers, etc, the company overview like the About Us and the Contact page.

Once you have your website all designed and built according to your mock-up, you are ready to start marketing your brilliant idea, service, or product


Email Account – For this, you will need to go back to the place you registered your domain and set up your email. This is more important than you might think, a lot of people when they are starting out think that a Hotmail or a Gmail account will suffice, but no, your email has a big impact on business association and growth.

Once you have your account make sure to link your contact form or add your email on the Contact Us page of your website.

I am flying through this checklist!!

Let us know if this is easy to follow in the comment section below.




Blog - This is not a luxury, it’s a necessity if you are to attract clients online.

If your website is running on WordPress, it would make to have a WordPress blog, if not, you might need a little HTML coding to ensure that your blog looks like your main website.

Don’t forget to get a subdomain for i.e.

Once this is all in place, create categories around your product or service, start with 3 generic categories and 1 purely to do with your company.

For example, if you are running a dog clothing e-commerce website, your blog might want to cover, Dog Clothing Styles, Dog Accessories Styles, Latest Dog Clothing, and then one category that is all about what you are offering Best Dog Clothing Deals, Best Dog Clothing Stores.

When you write in a very specific category, make sure to have enough range, For example, in the best shoe stores, you can really look at each of the products you offer and write why that product is best bought on your website and what else there is in the world on offer.

This category will really make you think about the whole value proposition of your business and will get you thinking about why you are unique from everyone else.

For the blog, you will also want to make sure that whatever you write is keyword optimised, if you are on WordPress the Yoast plugin will do the basics for you, but if you would like to drive traffic through the content you write, we suggest you watch this video, yes it’s a little long so get yourself a cuppa:

Proofread – This might sound a bit basic, but remember you are a business so first impressions are very important. Also, you need to make sure that all your website pages are full of content and that you have enough information for your visitors to start exploring what your website offers.


On-site SEO – So you have the blog working to bring new traffic for various keywords and topics, but you also need to make sure when people search for your products or services your website appears. To do on-site SEO, there are a thousand things you can do, but the most basic are page titles, tags, and Meta descriptions.

Also, look into your URL structure to make sure it’s something like this rather than index.php?id=1 also, check your website's loading speed to make sure it’s all running ok.

Also make sure your product pages have enough tags, descriptions, and even image alt-tags to ensure google indexes the products or services you offer and allows people to find you directly.

There will be a lot more things you will need to do as your website grows, but let us walk before we can fly ;)

Social Media Pages – This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be social on all the platforms, it’s just to extend your SEO and to allow the people that find you through content to connect with you so your client base can start growing and you can start recording data.

Even though your social media community is small, all your pages, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest need to look the part.

So get your logo as the profile picture and choose images that reflect your product or services so people can connect your website to your social media accounts. Also, don’t forget to add your social media links on your website so they can start appearing on the first page of google for your url.

On-site marketing – Make sure that any traffic you get to your website you can capture. Insert plugins for registration forms, test with exit pop-ups to capture emails, and allow your customers to create accounts so you can then market to them at a later stage.

So, here I have 10 things that you need when setting up your website.


Do you need all the things mentioned in this blog done for you?