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Business startup checklist: How to launch a startup step by step

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Here, we'll walk you through all the things you need to launch a startup. And you can download our business startup checklist to keep you on track as you take your first steps as a new business owner .

Checklist for starting a business

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1. Write a business plan

A business plan will help you nail down your goals and expectations and give you a roadmap for getting your company off the ground. If you plan to pitch investors or apply for a business loan, you'll need a business plan—most won't even consider a pitch unless there's a business plan attached.

Parts of a business plan

Depending on the complexity of your business idea, a business plan can be as short as a page or as big as a thick, data-packed document. No matter how simple or complex, every business plan should have at least a few key parts:

An executive summary , or a top-level outline of everything in the business plan.

A business description , including your company's structure, industry, value proposition , background information, and both short- and long-term business objectives.

A market analysis that evaluates where your business stands in relation to competitors, target customers, and industry trends.

A description of your products or services.

Financial projections like pricing and sales strategy, profit goals, and investor details.

An operational overview laying out the logistical "how"s of your business, including logistics, distribution, and production plans.

Business planning software

If you have any basic business experience or know-how, you can probably get through writing a business plan on your own, but if you're feeling totally lost or if you just want something to help move you through the steps more efficiently, business plan writing software might be the way to go. 

BizPlan and Enloop are two examples of business plan platforms with reasonable monthly costs. IdeaBuddy is another platform that's meant to be used earlier in the process when you're still fleshing out ideas to help develop and refine your business concept, then guide you toward a formalized plan. 

2. Estimate your startup costs

Calculating your startup costs will help you appeal to investors and estimate when your new business will start to become profitable. 

Types of startup costs

To begin, you'll need to calculate your exact startup costs. These may include:

One-time startup costs: state business registration fees, lease deposits, etc.

Labor costs: your salary plus worker salaries

Overhead costs: monthly office rent, utilities, taxes, computer equipment, production costs 

Spreadsheets are your friend with planning business finances—and we have a set of business budget templates to help you estimate monthly and one-time expenses for your business.

Start saving

Just like homeowners need an emergency fund for when the roof starts leaking, you also need an emergency fund for your new business. How much you need depends on the size of your operation and whether you're keeping your current job or going all-in on your new endeavor. It takes most startups at least a few months (and usually more) to become profitable, so if your startup is going to be your main source of income, you'll need at least a few months of operating expenses plus your own living expenses stashed away.

Find funding

Skip the family loan and second mortgage. Better loan options include the Small Business Association , your local bank, or new types of online lenders .

You might even start a crowdfunding campaign to generate cash—which is also a good way to test out your business idea's viability. Remember, though, that your purpose isn't to raise money. Your purpose is to create a viable business with products or services that genuinely help your customers.

3. Register your business

Before we dive into the details of business registration, a disclaimer: what we're providing here is a basic overview of the general requirements for most businesses in the United States. If you operate internationally or work in some niche industry like long-haul tobacco and airplane fuel shipping , these guidelines are one hundred percent guaranteed not to cover everything you need to know about registering your business. 

Even if your company is fairly small, there may be specific requirements in your state or county that aren't covered here. No matter what, make sure you do your own research with local and state governments or consult with a lawyer to determine the legal requirements that apply to you.

Pick a business structure

Business structures boil down to four main types: sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. For legal and tax purposes, decide which type you'll operate under—though you can always switch to a different business type as your company grows.

Sole proprietorships: This is the simplest type of business to start and run. It means that you are the company, and all assets and debts of the company are yours too. This also means you'll be personally liable for all business obligations like lawsuits or unpaid debts, so this is the riskiest business structure. 

Partnerships: T hese are like sole proprietorships, except there's more than one owner. Co-owners typically structure their business relationship with partnership operating agreements. Partners split the company's legal and financial obligations and also share in the profits.

Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships (LLCs and LLPs): When you form an LLC or LLP, you work as a "member" of the company, along with any company partners. If the company goes into debt or gets sued, your personal assets are protected. Compared to corporations, there's less paperwork and smaller startup costs.

Corporations: When you incorporate, you create a separate legal entity that owns all of the assets and liabilities for the company. Corporations are usually more attractive to outside investors—you can "go public" with an initial public offering (IPO) and raise money through selling stock in the company. 

Illustration of hands shaking, a person working alone in an office and a group of three individuals representing the four business structure types

Choose a business name

Start by writing down every single name that pops into your head, including the ridiculous names ( bad idea brainstorms work!). This will get your creativity flowing. Plus, you can pull elements that you like from the throwaway names and incorporate them into your more serious ideas.

If you plan to register a trademark on your business's name, keep in mind what can't be trademarked:

Any person's name who hasn't given expressed permission

Swears or other offensive content

Government flags and insignia

Your name also needs to meet the U.S. Trademark Office's requirements for "distinctiveness," which just means your trademark needs to be unique enough to avoid confusion between yourself and other similarly named businesses.

Register your company

All businesses except sole proprietors with no employees must register with the IRS and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is your company's federal tax identification, which you'll use when paying taxes, opening a bank account, applying for business licenses, and hiring employees. 

You may need to register your business with your state government. Use the Small Business Administration's state lookup tool to find information for your state. Similarly, contact your local government office to find out if additional registrations or permits are necessary.

4. Open accounts and obtain permits

With your business plan in hand, it's time to lay the operational and financial groundwork to get your company off the ground. 

Open a company bank account

Even if you run a sole proprietorship and your business is just you, life will be easier if you have a separate bank account to manage your business finances. If you want to accept credit card payments either online or in person, look into credit card payment processing services .

Get licenses and permits

In certain industries, you'll need licenses and permits in order to operate legally. This usually applies in industries where there's a risk of damage to the customer—think construction, hair salons, and financial consulting. Some municipalities also require home-based businesses to hold a "home occupation permit," so make sure you find out what licenses you need before you open your doors, no matter what industry you're in.

Find out if you need a Sales Tax Permit

If you sell physical products and you operate in a state that collects sales taxes, you likely need to register for a Sales Tax Permit. Most states administer these permits for free or for a nominal fee.

Illustrated table showing the common types of business licenses and permits

5. Set up a financial accounting system

Money can get complicated very quickly, so you want to have an automated system for financial accounting, budgeting, and documentation before you start making any sales. 

Basic bookkeeping 101

There are a number of bookkeeping records that small business owners need to update on a regular basis to keep their business finances in order. These tasks include:

Income statements

Balance sheets

Cash flow statements

Bills and invoices

Quarterly financial statements

Tax returns

Unless you're very confident in your skills with an Excel spreadsheet, you should invest in accounting software or consider hiring a part-time bookkeeper . Check out Zapier's list of the best accounting software for small businesses for some apps to try out.

Understand your tax liability

Business taxes are very different from employee taxes. The biggest difference is that small businesses are required to file taxes quarterly instead of annually. You need to have enough cash on hand to remit payment to the IRS every three months, which can take some getting used to.

If you have employees, you'll also need to keep in mind that employee taxes are paid to the government by the employer. If you've ever looked at your own pay stubs, you'll know that each includes a record of what taxes were taken out of your paycheck. Those taxes aren't taken by the government directly—they're taken out by the employer, who is then responsible for sending employees' taxes to the IRS.

6. Buy business insurance

As soon as you hire employees, open a physical location, or begin to scale your business, you'll need liability insurance of some sort. General liability insurance covers you in case someone is injured on your property or as a result of your company's activities.

Additional policies that are common for new businesses include:

Professional liability: Covers you in case an error or omission on your part costs your clients money.

Workers' compensation: Covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured while working. 

Business interruption insurance: Helps replace lost revenue if your business is forced to close temporarily due to a natural disaster or other event.

Property insurance: Covers your physical property, from company equipment to office or warehouse space.

7. Create a management system

For a single-person business, a management system can be as simple as a set of to-do lists for keeping track of budgets and schedules. Larger businesses will need to formalize processes for managing workflows, finances, schedules, team organization, and more.

Management setup

When getting your management system up and running, focus on the essentials. At a minimum, you'll need a structure for managing:

Calendars and scheduling

Customer communications

Budgets, invoices, and other financial documents

Industry-specific KPIs

Purchasing and order fulfillment

If you're starting with a team, you'll also want to put together an organizational chart . Determining each person's responsibilities will help eliminate confusion and oversights.

Invest in branding and marketing

The fun part, of course, comes at the very end of all the operational logistics. Take some time to think through your marketing strategy before launching your business. At a minimum, you'll need to start with a website, a logo, and social media accounts.

Establishing a brand identity

Start by thinking through how you want to come off to others as a brand. Usually, your brand voice will align closely with the industry you're in—financial and legal firms tend to be serious and authoritative, while creative agencies need to be witty and innovative.

Consistency is far more important than trying for fancy, versatile, or expensive branding. A company with a simple, casual tone and one or two brand colors and basic designs will do far better than a company that tries out a different tone with each social post.

List of things needed to start a business

Starting a business doesn't need to be an overwhelming undertaking. With a bit of organizational planning and this business startup checklist , you can get your company up and running quickly. Of course, the more tasks you automate on this list, the smoother everything will run, and the quicker you'll be able to start making sales. Learn more with this small business guide to automation .

Related reading:

Start a business: 22 low-cost business ideas  

9 books every small business owner should read

11 small business advertising ideas for your business

The best free small business software

20 free proposal templates to ace your pitch

This article was originally published in October 2016 by Melanie Pinola and has also had contributions from Amanda Pell. The most recent update was in May 2023.

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Amanda Pell

Amanda is a writer and content strategist who built her career writing on campaigns for brands like Nature Valley, Disney, and the NFL. When she's not knee-deep in research, you'll likely find her hiking with her dog or with her nose in a good book.

  • Small business
  • Entrepreneurship

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How to make a business plan

Strategic planning in Miro

Table of Contents

How to make a good business plan: step-by-step guide.

A business plan is a strategic roadmap used to navigate the challenging journey of entrepreneurship. It's the foundation upon which you build a successful business.

A well-crafted business plan can help you define your vision, clarify your goals, and identify potential problems before they arise.

But where do you start? How do you create a business plan that sets you up for success?

This article will explore the step-by-step process of creating a comprehensive business plan.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a formal document that outlines a business's objectives, strategies, and operational procedures. It typically includes the following information about a company:

Products or services

Target market


Marketing and sales strategies

Financial plan

Management team

A business plan serves as a roadmap for a company's success and provides a blueprint for its growth and development. It helps entrepreneurs and business owners organize their ideas, evaluate the feasibility, and identify potential challenges and opportunities.

As well as serving as a guide for business owners, a business plan can attract investors and secure funding. It demonstrates the company's understanding of the market, its ability to generate revenue and profits, and its strategy for managing risks and achieving success.

Business plan vs. business model canvas

A business plan may seem similar to a business model canvas, but each document serves a different purpose.

A business model canvas is a high-level overview that helps entrepreneurs and business owners quickly test and iterate their ideas. It is often a one-page document that briefly outlines the following:

Key partnerships

Key activities

Key propositions

Customer relationships

Customer segments

Key resources

Cost structure

Revenue streams

On the other hand, a Business Plan Template provides a more in-depth analysis of a company's strategy and operations. It is typically a lengthy document and requires significant time and effort to develop.

A business model shouldn’t replace a business plan, and vice versa. Business owners should lay the foundations and visually capture the most important information with a Business Model Canvas Template . Because this is a fast and efficient way to communicate a business idea, a business model canvas is a good starting point before developing a more comprehensive business plan.

A business plan can aim to secure funding from investors or lenders, while a business model canvas communicates a business idea to potential customers or partners.

Why is a business plan important?

A business plan is crucial for any entrepreneur or business owner wanting to increase their chances of success.

Here are some of the many benefits of having a thorough business plan.

Helps to define the business goals and objectives

A business plan encourages you to think critically about your goals and objectives. Doing so lets you clearly understand what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there.

A well-defined set of goals, objectives, and key results also provides a sense of direction and purpose, which helps keep business owners focused and motivated.

Guides decision-making

A business plan requires you to consider different scenarios and potential problems that may arise in your business. This awareness allows you to devise strategies to deal with these issues and avoid pitfalls.

With a clear plan, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions aligning with their overall business goals and objectives. This helps reduce the risk of making costly mistakes and ensures they make decisions with long-term success in mind.

Attracts investors and secures funding

Investors and lenders often require a business plan before considering investing in your business. A document that outlines the company's goals, objectives, and financial forecasts can help instill confidence in potential investors and lenders.

A well-written business plan demonstrates that you have thoroughly thought through your business idea and have a solid plan for success.

Identifies potential challenges and risks

A business plan requires entrepreneurs to consider potential challenges and risks that could impact their business. For example:

Is there enough demand for my product or service?

Will I have enough capital to start my business?

Is the market oversaturated with too many competitors?

What will happen if my marketing strategy is ineffective?

By identifying these potential challenges, entrepreneurs can develop strategies to mitigate risks and overcome challenges. This can reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes and ensure the business is well-positioned to take on any challenges.

Provides a basis for measuring success

A business plan serves as a framework for measuring success by providing clear goals and financial projections . Entrepreneurs can regularly refer to the original business plan as a benchmark to measure progress. By comparing the current business position to initial forecasts, business owners can answer questions such as:

Are we where we want to be at this point?

Did we achieve our goals?

If not, why not, and what do we need to do?

After assessing whether the business is meeting its objectives or falling short, business owners can adjust their strategies as needed.

How to make a business plan step by step

The steps below will guide you through the process of creating a business plan and what key components you need to include.

1. Create an executive summary

Start with a brief overview of your entire plan. The executive summary should cover your business plan's main points and key takeaways.

Keep your executive summary concise and clear with the Executive Summary Template . The simple design helps readers understand the crux of your business plan without reading the entire document.

2. Write your company description

Provide a detailed explanation of your company. Include information on what your company does, the mission statement, and your vision for the future.

Provide additional background information on the history of your company, the founders, and any notable achievements or milestones.

3. Conduct a market analysis

Conduct an in-depth analysis of your industry, competitors, and target market. This is best done with a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Next, identify your target market's needs, demographics, and behaviors.

Use the Competitive Analysis Template to brainstorm answers to simple questions like:

What does the current market look like?

Who are your competitors?

What are they offering?

What will give you a competitive advantage?

Who is your target market?

What are they looking for and why?

How will your product or service satisfy a need?

These questions should give you valuable insights into the current market and where your business stands.

4. Describe your products and services

Provide detailed information about your products and services. This includes pricing information, product features, and any unique selling points.

Use the Product/Market Fit Template to explain how your products meet the needs of your target market. Describe what sets them apart from the competition.

5. Design a marketing and sales strategy

Outline how you plan to promote and sell your products. Your marketing strategy and sales strategy should include information about your:

Pricing strategy

Advertising and promotional tactics

Sales channels

The Go to Market Strategy Template is a great way to visually map how you plan to launch your product or service in a new or existing market.

6. Determine budget and financial projections

Document detailed information on your business’ finances. Describe the current financial position of the company and how you expect the finances to play out.

Some details to include in this section are:

Startup costs

Revenue projections

Profit and loss statement

Funding you have received or plan to receive

Strategy for raising funds

7. Set the organization and management structure

Define how your company is structured and who will be responsible for each aspect of the business. Use the Business Organizational Chart Template to visually map the company’s teams, roles, and hierarchy.

As well as the organization and management structure, discuss the legal structure of your business. Clarify whether your business is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or LLC.

8. Make an action plan

At this point in your business plan, you’ve described what you’re aiming for. But how are you going to get there? The Action Plan Template describes the following steps to move your business plan forward. Outline the next steps you plan to take to bring your business plan to fruition.

Types of business plans

Several types of business plans cater to different purposes and stages of a company's lifecycle. Here are some of the most common types of business plans.

Startup business plan

A startup business plan is typically an entrepreneur's first business plan. This document helps entrepreneurs articulate their business idea when starting a new business.

Not sure how to make a business plan for a startup? It’s pretty similar to a regular business plan, except the primary purpose of a startup business plan is to convince investors to provide funding for the business. A startup business plan also outlines the potential target market, product/service offering, marketing plan, and financial projections.

Strategic business plan

A strategic business plan is a long-term plan that outlines a company's overall strategy, objectives, and tactics. This type of strategic plan focuses on the big picture and helps business owners set goals and priorities and measure progress.

The primary purpose of a strategic business plan is to provide direction and guidance to the company's management team and stakeholders. The plan typically covers a period of three to five years.

Operational business plan

An operational business plan is a detailed document that outlines the day-to-day operations of a business. It focuses on the specific activities and processes required to run the business, such as:

Organizational structure

Staffing plan

Production plan

Quality control

Inventory management

Supply chain

The primary purpose of an operational business plan is to ensure that the business runs efficiently and effectively. It helps business owners manage their resources, track their performance, and identify areas for improvement.

Growth-business plan

A growth-business plan is a strategic plan that outlines how a company plans to expand its business. It helps business owners identify new market opportunities and increase revenue and profitability. The primary purpose of a growth-business plan is to provide a roadmap for the company's expansion and growth.

The 3 Horizons of Growth Template is a great tool to identify new areas of growth. This framework categorizes growth opportunities into three categories: Horizon 1 (core business), Horizon 2 (emerging business), and Horizon 3 (potential business).

One-page business plan

A one-page business plan is a condensed version of a full business plan that focuses on the most critical aspects of a business. It’s a great tool for entrepreneurs who want to quickly communicate their business idea to potential investors, partners, or employees.

A one-page business plan typically includes sections such as business concept, value proposition, revenue streams, and cost structure.

Best practices for how to make a good business plan

Here are some additional tips for creating a business plan:

Use a template

A template can help you organize your thoughts and effectively communicate your business ideas and strategies. Starting with a template can also save you time and effort when formatting your plan.

Miro’s extensive library of customizable templates includes all the necessary sections for a comprehensive business plan. With our templates, you can confidently present your business plans to stakeholders and investors.

Be practical

Avoid overestimating revenue projections or underestimating expenses. Your business plan should be grounded in practical realities like your budget, resources, and capabilities.

Be specific

Provide as much detail as possible in your business plan. A specific plan is easier to execute because it provides clear guidance on what needs to be done and how. Without specific details, your plan may be too broad or vague, making it difficult to know where to start or how to measure success.

Be thorough with your research

Conduct thorough research to fully understand the market, your competitors, and your target audience . By conducting thorough research, you can identify potential risks and challenges your business may face and develop strategies to mitigate them.

Get input from others

It can be easy to become overly focused on your vision and ideas, leading to tunnel vision and a lack of objectivity. By seeking input from others, you can identify potential opportunities you may have overlooked.

Review and revise regularly

A business plan is a living document. You should update it regularly to reflect market, industry, and business changes. Set aside time for regular reviews and revisions to ensure your plan remains relevant and effective.

Create a winning business plan to chart your path to success

Starting or growing a business can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, a well-written business plan can make or break your business’ success.

The purpose of a business plan is more than just to secure funding and attract investors. It also serves as a roadmap for achieving your business goals and realizing your vision. With the right mindset, tools, and strategies, you can develop a visually appealing, persuasive business plan.

Ready to make an effective business plan that works for you? Check out our library of ready-made strategy and planning templates and chart your path to success.

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Business Plan Checklist

Business Plan Checklist

Whether it’s for a bank, investors, validation, and/or a roadmap, your company needs a written business plan to convert your ideas into an organized, professional document. 

The business plan format will change depending on why you’re writing it and who you’re writing it for. If you’re seeking validation, it’s best to start with a simple one-page pitch. On the other hand, if you’re pursuing funding, you’ll need a professional, formal business plan. 

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

  Regardless of the intentions behind your business plan, having a checklist of what needs to be included is helpful to make sure you’re effectively getting your ideas and strategies down on paper. 

As a baseline, your business plan should include these 10 sections:

Executive Summary

  • Company Overview

Industry Analysis

  • Customer Analysis

Competitive Analysis

Marketing plan, operations plan, management team, financial plan, the essential business plan checklist.

Here, I will explain the different elements you need to include in each section. Use this resource as a business plan questions checklist and mark them off as you go.

Your executive summary should explain the problem you are solving and how you intend to solve it. When reviewing your business plan, address the following:

  • The function of your business
  • Competitors
  • Target customers
  • Key financial highlights
  • Key members of your team
  • Business goals

Essentially, you want to ensure that your executive summary introduces your business in a detailed yet concise form, explaining the key parts of your business and the market.   

Company Overview 

Here, you will give a brief summary of your company as a whole and how it functions. Be certain to include:

  • Company history
  • Founding members
  • Milestones you have achieved
  • The legal structure of your business

    Finish Your Business Plan Today!

Your industry analysis will provide a summary of your market research. After doing your research, include answers to the following questions in your business plan:

  • How big is the market?
  • Where is the market currently: growing or declining? 
  • Who are some of the key competitors? 
  • What is influencing the industry? 

Customer Analysis 

In your customer analysis, you will explain the audience you are targeting and expect to serve. Be sure to focus on your target customers and the customer needs. It should explain the:

  • Demographic profile of your target market
  • Customer segments within that market

Your competitive analysis will address your competition in the market. It should have three subsections as follows:

  • Direct Competitors: other businesses in your market (example: if you own an ice cream shop, other ice cream shops are direct competitors)
  • Indirect Competitors: other businesses that may not specifically be in your business’s market, but provide similar results to that of your company (example: if you own an ice cream shop, grocery stores that sell ice cream are indirect competitors)

For each competitor, identify both their strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to address the following:

  • What features do they offer?
  • What is their pricing? 
  • Who are their customers?
  • What are they good at? 
  • What are their weaknesses?

Describe your competitive advantages or what your business will do better. Here, provide answers to the following questions:

  • Will you offer more or better features?
  • Will you ensure better results for your users?
  • Will you offer better pricing?
  • Will your customer service be more efficient?

Be sure that your competitive analysis describes just how your business will succeed and stand out in its competitive market.   

Your plan should include the following marketing plan sections:

  • Product : detail the specific features of your business’s product
  • Price : identify your business pricing and if there will be different pricing levels (e.g., free, premium) and what exactly those levels will be
  • Place : name where your business will be located
  • Promotions : how you will attract customers to your business (social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising, magazine advertising, public relations, etc.)

Here, you will describe how your company will effectively meet the goals you identified in the earlier sections of your business plan. Your operations plan should have two sections:

  • Every day short-term processes: all necessary daily operations completed simply for the function of your business (providing customer service, writing code, fixing bugs, etc.)
  • Long-term goals: milestones you hope to achieve (reaching $X in sales, having Y amount of employees, etc.)

It is essential to have a strong management team for the function and success of your business. Be sure to include the following:

  • Management team: highlight your key players’ backgrounds and describe their skills and talents
  • Management team gaps: any experience that you think your business will need in order to succeed 
  • Board members 

Your financial plan will document your 5-year financial projections , broken down in monthly or quarterly projections for the first year, and then annually thereafter. Your focus here is to show how much money you need, how much income you will earn, and when you will be profitable. 

Your financial plan should include:

  • Profit & Loss statement 
  • Cash flow statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Sales forecast
  • Personnel plan
  • Break-even analysis

To provide evidence to your numbers, include supporting documentation in your financial plan. 

Your appendix will provide any and all other documentation or information that you believe supports your business plan. If necessary, your appendix can include: 

  • Resumes of key management, blurbs on other management members
  • Job descriptions/titles
  • Copies of forms
  • Copies of licenses
  • Personal and business tax returns (if applying for a loan)
  • Marketing materials 

To ensure that your business plan effectively portrays the mission and potential success of your business, go through this checklist and make sure you have included each concept mentioned. A fill in the blank business plan also includes each of these key sections and can help you quickly and easily complete your business plan.  

Business Plan Checklist FAQs

How do i make a business plan checklist.

We’ve completed the hard work for you! You can download this Business Plan Checklist PDF for quick reference as you complete your business plan.

What are the 10 Components of a Business Plan?

Read our article detailing the 10 Key Components of the Business Plan .

Finish Your Business Plan in Just 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your business plan today.

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How to Write a Business Plan, Step by Step

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What is a business plan?

1. write an executive summary, 2. describe your company, 3. state your business goals, 4. describe your products and services, 5. do your market research, 6. outline your marketing and sales plan, 7. perform a business financial analysis, 8. make financial projections, 9. summarize how your company operates, 10. add any additional information to an appendix, business plan tips and resources.

A business plan outlines your business’s financial goals and explains how you’ll achieve them over the next three to five years. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan that will offer a strong, detailed road map for your business.



A business plan is a document that explains what your business does, how it makes money and who its customers are. Internally, writing a business plan should help you clarify your vision and organize your operations. Externally, you can share it with potential lenders and investors to show them you’re on the right track.

Business plans are living documents; it’s OK for them to change over time. Startups may update their business plans often as they figure out who their customers are and what products and services fit them best. Mature companies might only revisit their business plan every few years. Regardless of your business’s age, brush up this document before you apply for a business loan .

» Need help writing? Learn about the best business plan software .

This is your elevator pitch. It should include a mission statement, a brief description of the products or services your business offers and a broad summary of your financial growth plans.

Though the executive summary is the first thing your investors will read, it can be easier to write it last. That way, you can highlight information you’ve identified while writing other sections that go into more detail.

» MORE: How to write an executive summary in 6 steps

Next up is your company description. This should contain basic information like:

Your business’s registered name.

Address of your business location .

Names of key people in the business. Make sure to highlight unique skills or technical expertise among members of your team.

Your company description should also define your business structure — such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation — and include the percent ownership that each owner has and the extent of each owner’s involvement in the company.

Lastly, write a little about the history of your company and the nature of your business now. This prepares the reader to learn about your goals in the next section.

» MORE: How to write a company overview for a business plan

task list business plan

The third part of a business plan is an objective statement. This section spells out what you’d like to accomplish, both in the near term and over the coming years.

If you’re looking for a business loan or outside investment, you can use this section to explain how the financing will help your business grow and how you plan to achieve those growth targets. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity your business presents to the lender.

For example, if your business is launching a second product line, you might explain how the loan will help your company launch that new product and how much you think sales will increase over the next three years as a result.

» MORE: How to write a successful business plan for a loan

In this section, go into detail about the products or services you offer or plan to offer.

You should include the following:

An explanation of how your product or service works.

The pricing model for your product or service.

The typical customers you serve.

Your supply chain and order fulfillment strategy.

You can also discuss current or pending trademarks and patents associated with your product or service.

Lenders and investors will want to know what sets your product apart from your competition. In your market analysis section , explain who your competitors are. Discuss what they do well, and point out what you can do better. If you’re serving a different or underserved market, explain that.

Here, you can address how you plan to persuade customers to buy your products or services, or how you will develop customer loyalty that will lead to repeat business.

Include details about your sales and distribution strategies, including the costs involved in selling each product .

» MORE: R e a d our complete guide to small business marketing

If you’re a startup, you may not have much information on your business financials yet. However, if you’re an existing business, you’ll want to include income or profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet that lists your assets and debts, and a cash flow statement that shows how cash comes into and goes out of the company.

Accounting software may be able to generate these reports for you. It may also help you calculate metrics such as:

Net profit margin: the percentage of revenue you keep as net income.

Current ratio: the measurement of your liquidity and ability to repay debts.

Accounts receivable turnover ratio: a measurement of how frequently you collect on receivables per year.

This is a great place to include charts and graphs that make it easy for those reading your plan to understand the financial health of your business.

This is a critical part of your business plan if you’re seeking financing or investors. It outlines how your business will generate enough profit to repay the loan or how you will earn a decent return for investors.

Here, you’ll provide your business’s monthly or quarterly sales, expenses and profit estimates over at least a three-year period — with the future numbers assuming you’ve obtained a new loan.

Accuracy is key, so carefully analyze your past financial statements before giving projections. Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic.

NerdWallet’s picks for setting up your business finances:

The best business checking accounts .

The best business credit cards .

The best accounting software .

Before the end of your business plan, summarize how your business is structured and outline each team’s responsibilities. This will help your readers understand who performs each of the functions you’ve described above — making and selling your products or services — and how much each of those functions cost.

If any of your employees have exceptional skills, you may want to include their resumes to help explain the competitive advantage they give you.

Finally, attach any supporting information or additional materials that you couldn’t fit in elsewhere. That might include:

Licenses and permits.

Equipment leases.

Bank statements.

Details of your personal and business credit history, if you’re seeking financing.

If the appendix is long, you may want to consider adding a table of contents at the beginning of this section.

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We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Here are some tips to write a detailed, convincing business plan:

Avoid over-optimism: If you’re applying for a business bank loan or professional investment, someone will be reading your business plan closely. Providing unreasonable sales estimates can hurt your chances of approval.

Proofread: Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors can jump off the page and turn off lenders and prospective investors. If writing and editing aren't your strong suit, you may want to hire a professional business plan writer, copy editor or proofreader.

Use free resources: SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers a large network of volunteer business mentors and experts who can help you write or edit your business plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers , which provide free business consulting and help with business plan development, can also be a resource.

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A Complete Business Plan Checklist - Key Points to include in your Business Plan and Track Progress

Creating an effective business plan requires addressing specific strategic and tactical questions with a high level of detail.

After you complete writing your business plan, how will you make sure that your business plan is complete and you did not miss any important details?

The best and easy way is to check your business plan with a standard business plan checklist.

Business plan checklist is the list of most important sections of the business plan that you should include into your business plan in the same order.

This checklist will guide you through the step-by-step process of writing an effective and successful business plan for your startup.

Business Plan Checklist

Please check the sections that you have included in your business plan from below list and track your  business plan progress .

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Explore our 400+ sample business plans prepared for a wide variety of industries to help you start writing and planning your business plan.

Business plan checklist will also help you to write your business plan table of contents and outline of your business plan.

This business plan checklist is a general guideline for any standard business plan. But you should also keep in mind the purpose of your business plan and include specific details accordingly.

For Example, if you are writing a business plan for a loan from a particular bank, you should learn about their mandatory or specific criteria and must include that details into your business plan.

This business plan checklist prepared here will help you to think through your business and document it in a way that investors and other readers fully understand about your business.

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Business Plan Checklist

  • By Jake R Brady on Dec 22, 2011

Business Plan Checklist

  • Gather your basic financial statements
  • Provide documentation Financial statements are ;formal records of your business' financial activities. There are four basic statements:
  • Income statement: Your bottom line subtracting costs from revenue to come up with net profit
  • Balance sheet: A financial snapshot that shows what you own, what you owe, and what your company is worth
  • Cash flow statement: A cash monitor that follows the flow of cash in and out of your company
  • Budget: Your financial forecast that indicates where you plan to make and spend money
  • Determine your audience
  • Identify customers and the competition This is a critical part of a successful business plan. ;Incorporate research on both groups.
  • Ask these questions of customers: Who is buying, what do they buy, and why ;do they buy?
  • Ask these questions of competitors: How big are they, which customers are they after, and what is their strategy?
  • Incorporate these elements
  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Business environment
  • Company description
  • Company strategy
  • Financial review
  • Action plan
  • Consider these topics
  • Plans: Company mission, vision, goals, and objectives that all work together
  • Organization: A structure for your company that makes sense
  • Procedures: Efficient and effective ways of doing things
  • Leadership: An ability to influence and encourage others around you
  • Skills: The talents and expertise your people need to succeed
  • Culture: Beliefs and attitudes that lead to doing the right thing
  • Consider the other factors on this list of business-planning essentials:
  • Get everyone involved in setting goals and objectives
  • Learn all you can about your customers
  • Understand who your competitors are
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses relative to opportunities and threats
  • Determine which capabilities you absolutely need to succeed
  • List all the things you do that add customer value
  • Make sure that you do your financial homework
  • Imagine several different versions of your company's future
  • Avoid business failure
  • Do your research, and prepare If you're not prepared, your business will likely fail.
  • Establish a long-term company vision Be sure to establish and follow clear goals and objectives to meet the vision.
  • Prepare for change Stay flexible and you will succeed.
  • Focus on the customers And whatever you do, don't underestimate the competition.
  • Be a strong leader Communicate well, and often.
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A well-developed business plan is critical for any start-up business. To develop a thorough business plan, research your customers and competition; avoid mistakes that lead to business failure; and know how to implement a business plan and make it work. Your business plan should include a basic financial statement, all major pieces of a business plan, and information from your business-planning checklist.

  • Keep your focus on these three things:
  • Cut costs to the bone
  • Offer something unique
  • Focus on one customer group

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Starting a business template

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[Old product ui] Starting a business checklist template in Asana, spreadsheet-style project view (List)

With so many steps to track and milestones to achieve, starting a new business can be daunting. That's why we've taken out the guesswork with our checklist for starting a business. It provides a comprehensive list of to-dos to help you get started and can be customized as you make progress to capture every priority. Follow along with our tips below for a strong start.

Tips for starting a business with our checklist template

Invite partners and collaborators. Share your plans and to-dos with trusted partners and collaborators to craft better plans, think through risks and solve them. It's as easy as inviting them to Asana and assigning them a task.

Keep priorities clear. Though everything can feel like a top priority when you're hustling to launch a business, you need to know where to focus your energy each day to maintain momentum. Asana makes it easy to see and track priorities as you go.

Asana helps hundreds of teams thrive from the start, and continues to grow with them over time.

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Free Task List and Checklist Templates

By Kate Eby | July 19, 2016

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In this article, we’ve gathered the most comprehensive list of downloadable task and checklist templates to keep your personal and professional endeavors on track.

Included on this page, you’ll find a variety of free templates in Word, Excel, and PDF formats, such as a weekly task list template , project task template , event to-do list template , and more. 

Team Task List Template

Use this template to keep your team organized and cut wasted time in status meetings. Create a centralized view of all team member's responsibilities across multiple projects.

We’ve also included pre-built templates from Smartsheet, a work execution platform that empowers you to better manage checklists and deadlines with real-time collaboration and project visibility.

Team Task List Template

‌   Download Excel Template Try Smartsheet Template   ‌

Gantt Chart Task List Template

Get a visual picture of your scheduled tasks with this Gantt chart template. Often used in project management, a Gantt chart shows the duration of each task as a horizontal bar that spans start and end dates. Thus, it’s easy to see the different phases of a project, identify dependencies, and prioritize tasks. A Gantt chart can be useful for managing any task list that spans a set period of time.

Gantt Chart Task List Template

Task Tracker Template

This task tracking template documents the progress of each item on your list, so it’s easy to assess the status of individual tasks or an entire project. There is space to list start and end dates, as well as to mark completed tasks. This template keeps things simple by providing only essential tracking information, but there is also space for notes in case you need to include further details or instructions.

Task Tracker Template

Project Task Template

This template is designed for project management, and it can be used in both a business or personal setting. The template provides sections for project tasks, priority, deadlines, assignees, and deliverables, and it allows you to track project costs and compare estimated to actual hours. This is a detailed template that can easily be edited to match the exact needs of your project.

Project Task Template

Weekly Task List Template

This weekly task list schedule includes columns for assigning a category to each item, along with deadlines and completion status. The default weekly calendar runs Sunday to Saturday, but  you can also choose the starting date for the week. If you need a combined calendar and task list, this template offers an easy solution.

Weekly Task List

Daily Task List Template

You can use this daily task list template to schedule tasks throughout the day while also planning ahead for an entire week. Choose the starting time for each day, as well as the starting date for your weekly calendar view. You can also adjust the time interval of each task, which allows you to break down each hour into incremental tasks, if needed.

Daily Task List

To-Do List with Drop-Down Menus Template

This simple to-do list template includes drop-down menus for indicating priority and status on each item. When a task is marked as complete, the row changes color; this enables you to quickly spot which tasks are still in progress or have yet to be started. This task template could be used for a broad range of applications, from organizing homework assignments to planning an event or tracking work projects.

To Do List with Drop Downs Template

Prioritized Task List Template

This template is a step up from a basic to-do list, as it allows you to rank your tasks with the highest-priority items first. There is also a section for notes where you can elaborate on your tasks or add reminders. This template offers a simple way to stay organized while ensuring that you don’t overlook high-priority tasks.

Prioritized Task List

‌   Download Word Template Try Smartsheet Template   ‌

Yearly Calendar Template (2024)

Use this 12-month calendar for a high-level look at your schedule and upcoming tasks. The template displays a standard January-to-December calendar, so you can view your long-term projects and tasks at a glance.

2024 Yearly Calendar with Notes

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Basic Task Checklist Template

This task checklist offers a basic outline with checkboxes for each item on your to-do list. It also has sections to note the due date and status of each task to assist with planning. After downloading this template, save a blank version so that you have a master copy ready to print and use any time you need to create a new task checklist.

Basic Task List Checklist Template

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Task Analysis Template

Use this task analysis template to determine the resources and time required to successfully complete a given task. The template includes sections for delineating the steps involved in a task, the resources (human, mechanical, or monetary) required for each step, and the time spent on each item. This provides a detailed analysis of a task, which can be useful for training purposes or for any situation where you need to evaluate a process.

Task Analysis Template

Action Item List Template

Help your team stay organized and on task with this action item list for Word. The template includes a tracking number for each action item, start and due dates, the assigned owner for each task, and a notes section for adding updates or resolving issues. By defining and scheduling tasks as actionable items, you can track individual and team progress — and in the process, create a useful communication tool for all team members.

Action Item List Template

‌   Download Template in Word Try Smartsheet Template   ‌

Password Log Template

This template is designed to help you keep track of the passwords to all of your various accounts. List each account, and then fill in the columns for website URL, email address, username and password, security questions and answers, and any additional notes. Save the form to your computer or print a hard copy — remember, though, to store the information in a safe place and and not to share your passwords with anyone.

Password Log Template

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Event To-Do List

This template can help you stay organized when planning an event, such as a dinner party, a baby or bridal shower, a wedding, or a birthday party. Simply list each task and the person responsible, and assign a priority level to the task so you and your team can prioritize the many moving pieces. Additionally, note the due date and date completed — any discrepancy between the two dates will help you more accurately plan the timeline for your next event.

Event To Do List Template

Family To-Do List

This template, available in Word and PDF, is ideal for families who want a central resource to organize family tasks. The template provides separate tables for each family member to list their individual tasks, and then register due dates and notes, along with a column to mark completion. Of course, you can add or delete tables as needed.

Family To Do List Template

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Household Chores Task List Template

This chore list template allows you to create a weekly schedule for all of your household tasks. Create a list of tasks and assign each item to an individual for any day of the week. With a simple format, this template is easy to use, so you can streamline the planning process and start organizing your home. Additionally, you always have the option of saving the template as a PDF and printing a copy to share with others.

Household Chores Task List Template

Project Punch List Form

In the construction industry, a punch list is a document that you complete toward the end of a project. In it, the contractor or property owner lists any work that has been done incorrectly or does not meet the specifications outlined in the original contract. The construction team then uses this punch list as a reference to complete or repair the work items before the project is officially closed. This punch list form provides a separate table to list each work item that needs repair or attention. Save the PDF form, print it, and fill it out by hand for easy use.

Project Punch List Form Template

Project Closeout Template

Use this checklist to ensure you have completed all necessary tasks in a project. This template is designed with construction projects in mind, but you can edit the categories to reflect the needs of any multidimensional project, whether it pertains to building, real estate, or business — or even as a termination checklist if you are ending an association, an agreement, or a hiring arrangement. Simply list each task, the quantity requested (if applicable), specific requirements, and any notes. This easy-to-use form serves as a final check so you don’t overlook any requirements as you prepare to officially close a project.

Project Closeout Checklist Template

Risk Assessment Matrix

Before you embark on a project, you should perform a risk assessment. While you can’t control or prevent every possible risk, taking the time to assess the possible threats to your project will help you plan for and mitigate some hazards. This matrix allows you to perform a qualitative risk assessment, gauge the probability, and predict how each could affect your project budget, scope, and timeline. The template also provides space for you to list events that could trigger each risk, designate a respondee, and make notes for a response plan.

Risk Assessment Matrix Template

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Customer List

This simple form allows you to list contact details for each customer or client. This list includes columns for the company; the name, title, email, and phone number of your contact; and any comments. You can or remove columns as necessary, and highlight or flag certain customers who you need to follow up with.

Customer Contact List Template

Inventory and Equipment Checklist

Use this template to keep track of inventory or equipment you either need or have newly acquired for a project. List each item number and name, followed by a description, date of purchase, cost, and other notes. Additionally, you can track initial value, loan details, and depreciation amounts for each piece of equipment in your inventory.

Inventory Equipment Checklist Template

New Hire Checklist

This template is designed for human resources to ensure that a new employee (and other internal teams) complete all necessary onboarding tasks. The Excel spreadsheet includes columns for completing new hire paperwork and sending it to the appropriate parties, but you can edit the form to include any tasks that your organization requires of new hires. In addition, there is space to assign tasks to employees, to set due dates, and to list contact information.

New Hire Checklist Template

Grocery List

Use this basic template to make a shopping list; you can fill it out on your computer or print and complete it by hand. In addition to providing an easy-to-read table, the template includes a checkbox column where you can mark off each item as you obtain it, as well as a column for individual items and total cost. This template is created with grocery shopping in mind, but you can edit it for retail, gifts, and other consumer needs.

Grocery List Template

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Weekly Staff Meeting Template

Use this template to prepare for a recurring meeting. Note your agenda, attendees, action items, and whether or not the associated tasks have been completed. The template is designed with weekly meetings in mind, but you can edit the dates for a monthly, quarterly, or annual gathering.

Weekly Staff Meeting Template

Business Trip Checklist Template

Preparing for a business trip may include managing staff adjustments at work, making schedule changes with family members or caregivers at home, and taking on extra work to prepare for the trip — plus, packing everything you’ll need on the road. Use this business trip checklist template to help make the process more manageable and reduce the likelihood of forgetting a vital task or travel item. Edit the template to reflect your agenda, and then mark each item off your checklist as it’s completed. For personal use, you can also edit this template with relevant details for solo, family, or group travel.

Business Trip Checklist Template

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Student Planner Template

Students can plan for the week by using this free template to keep track of classes and assignments. The template includes columns for listing the due date and status of each assignment, which helps students stay organized, prioritize their workload, and meet deadlines with less stress.

Student Planner Template

Day Planner Template

This detailed day planner template provides multiple sections for planning various aspects of your day, from shopping needs to meals and appointments. There is also room for a general task list and a section to add items to be accomplished on another day. Customize the template by applying new labels to sections to match your daily routines.

Daily Planner Template

Business Plan Checklist

Use this simple business plan template to organize project tasks. The template is divided into phases so you can list tasks chronologically; it also includes columns for start and end dates and duration. Plus, a simple checkbox allows you to clearly mark which steps have been completed so you know your exact progress.

Business Plan Checklist Template

Group Project Task List

This template is ideal for organizing the basics of a group project or any assignment that involves multiple people. Simply list each task, a description, an assignee, a due date, and any notes in the columns provided, and add more columns if needed. This template does not have project management capabilities, but will give you an overview of every individual task and who is responsible for it. For more full-scale project management templates, visit “ Top Project Management Excel Templates .”

Group Project Task List

Job Task Analysis Template

A job task analysis can be used to determine which actions are critical for a certain job. Identifying tasks in this manner can help determine the scope of a job, appraise employee performance, inform training methods, and improve work processes. On this template, you can list the tasks that are required to complete a job, then rate the importance of each task, along with how frequently the actions are performed. You can also document your source of information for each task.

Job Task Analysis Template

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Brainstorm and Collaboration Worksheet

Use this form to record information from a brainstorm or collaboration session. The template includes space to list ideas, their pros and cons, and the originator. In addition, there is a column for each team member to rank each idea. While this template doesn’t assist with idea generation, it enables you to keep all brainstorm information in one place so you can more easily compare ideas when it’s time to make a decision.

Brainstorming and Collaboration Worksheet Template

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Internal Audit Checklist

Use this template to prepare for a financial audit. The simple template includes rows for every required document in a standard audit (general ledger, balance and financial statements, tax reports, etc.) and a checkbox to note if an item has been reviewed and is attached. Add or subtract rows to include every document that your audit requires. To learn more about how best to prepare for a financial audit, read this  article .

Internal Audit Checklist Template

Contact List

This Excel template can be used as a contact list for a variety of personal use cases, including for classes, group memberships, event attendees, or emergency communications. The template includes columns for phone, email, and address, as well as to note the preferred mode of contact. The form is fully customizable, so add or subtract sections as needed.

Contact List Template

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1. Write the Executive Summary.

  • Overview. The first section of your business plan is the executive summary. It includes1-2 pages giving a concise overview of the business plan. The section should focus the reader on the key idea of why you believe your business initiative is successful financially. Do the following tasks to write the executive summary of your plan.
  • Document a statement of your company’s mission.
  • Specify date to start business activities.
  • Describe location and address of the company.
  • Make a description of your facilities.
  • Specify current number of employees.
  • Document names of founders and/or executives as well as their roles and functions in the company.
  • Describe products or services your business manufactures/offers.
  • Summarize potential of the business growth, including financial highlights.

2. Conduct Market Analysis.

  • Overview. This section determines a business opportunity your new company can take when having entered the target market. Complete these tasks to conduct analysis of you market.
  • geographical location
  • cyclical trends
  • annual growth rate
  • market segments
  • secondary markets
  • Make a description of your marketing strategies meaning how your business intends to gain market share and what methods are used for this.
  • Specify the pricing structure of the business.
  • Determine financial dominants of your company operating in the existing market environment.
  • Specify profit margins and discount levels offered for purchases.
  • Summarize your market analysis by outlining any trends or changes that would potentially have an impact to your target market.

3. Define Customers.

  • Overview. This section of your business plan will describe people desiring to purchase your product or/and service. You need to investigate customer habits and determines ways to attract target audience. Take the following steps to define customers of your business.
  • Determine people who may be interested in your product/service.
  • Explain why customers need to purchase the product/service.
  • Determine reasons that force customers to change their present buying habits and start purchasing your product/service.
  • Define the value proposition of the product/service to your customers.
  • Outline customer retaining strategies that will encourage customers to repeat multiple purchases.
  • Describe a plan for customer service and support.

4. Investigate Competition.

  • Overview. This section outlines companies competing with your business as well as regulatory issues related to the competitive environment existing in your market. Complete the following tasks to describe competition.
  • Investigate the market and determine companies offering or manufacturing the same or similar products/services.
  • Define competitive advantages of those companies.
  • Describe competitive advantages of your business.
  • Compare the competitive advantages and find out if your business has the first mover (dominant) advantage.
  • Determine any regulatory issues (like licensing, taxation, legal matters, etc.) affecting your competitive advantages.
  • Plan for ways to solve those issues efficiently.
  • (optional) Describe a strategy for treating your business in international trade and under globalization trends – do this task if your business is sufficiently influenced by international competition and foreign markets.

5. Describe the Management Team.

  • Overview. There are some people who make strategic decisions and manage business operations. You need to define those people and form a management team of your new company. The following tasks will be helpful.
  • List names of people involved in managing your business. They are members of the management team.
  • Describe their experience, success and failure in the industry.
  • Identify roles and duties per team member.
  • Specify how much equity every team member has invested in the company.
  • Outline a leadership strategy for keeping the team motivated and enthusiastic.
  • Define the degree of confidence for you as CEO to keep the business successful.

6. Write about Intellectual Property.

  • Overview. This section of your business plan documents unique non-material assets that your company will use to manufacture its products. Do the following several tasks.
  • Refer to patents awarded to the company.
  • Describe patents defensible by the company.
  • Point at breakthrough technology (if any) that your business owns.

7. State Financial Projections.

  • Overview. The final section of your business plan describes financial expectations and trends for a 5-year period. It outlines finance planning indicators and analysis. Complete the following tasks to develop this section.
  • Determine any limiting factors to your company's growth.
  • EBITDA indicator (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization)
  • Gross margin
  • Operating cash-flow projections
  • Explain both optimistic and conservative scenarios of the business growth.
  • List key investors and define their equity shares.
  • Specify main capital expenditures over the next 5 years.
  • Make a description of systems and tools to track and control costs.
  • Revenue ...

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65 Practical Startup Business Goals Examples To Craft Success in 2024

Sudarshan Somanathan

Head of Content

May 3, 2024

Launching a startup is an exciting prospect but comes with its fair share of challenges. Unlike established businesses with access to several resources, startups operate in an environment of constraints. As a result, they have to adapt and innovate constantly to stay ahead of the curve.

Navigating challenges becomes easier if you have a goal in mind. It is a marker of success and lines the path to the overarching business objective. We’re about to share a blueprint of startup goal-setting, along with real-world startup business goals examples to inspire you and illustrate their application.

Are you ready to chart a clear course for your startup’s success?

What’s a Business Goal?

Gives a sense of direction, helps measure progress, creates accountability, sustains team motivation, guides resource allocation, aids in risk mitigation, attracts investors and partners, supports strategic planning.

  • Define your mission and vision

Assess your current state

  • Define and prioritize business goals
  • Convert goals into actionable tasks

Track, monitor, and recalibrate progress

Celebrate milestones and achievements, learn and improve continuously, financial goals, employee retention goals, productivity goals, brand awareness and reputation goals, marketing strategy goals, sales and revenue goals, customer satisfaction and retention goals.

  • Project management software

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform

  • Process mapping tool

Marketing and sales analytics

  • Financial management systems

ClickUp: Helping Startups Become Enterprises

Get, set, go(als), frequently asked questions (faq).

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Every business kickstarts in the pursuit of success.

A business goal is a marker or milestone on the road to this success.

It is a specific target or an outcome that organizations aim to achieve. It reflects a company’s vision and understanding of “success” in the short or the long term.

Although the concept of business goals is common across enterprises, its definition varies significantly.

For instance, an eCommerce store may view success through metrics like average order value or sales revenue. On the other hand, a social enterprise dedicated to safe drinking water accessibility may view success as the number of water filtration plants installed.

You might argue that such variation is obvious since these startup business goal examples concern two highly diverse sectors. However, even businesses operating in the same sector may employ different scales to mark their business goals.

For example, an online retailer focuses on web traffic, while brick-and-mortar stores are busy counting footfall. A SaaS-based startup may define business goals regarding customer acquisition, while an established counterpart may analyze subscription renewals!

Even though business goals differ, their primary function remains consistent—to serve as a guiding principle for informed decision-making.

The Importance of Setting Startup Business Goals

Your business goal is a North Star to guide your startup journey. Here’s how it contributes to the overall success and sustainability of your startup:

The business goal or objective outlines the company’s aspirations. While the objective is more short-term, the long-term business goal governs every business decision and strategy so that you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Naturally, the short-term objectives tie up to the overarching goal. For instance, increasing revenue through sales could help with long-term business objectives of growth and expansion.

Having such clarity of the short and long-term expectations offers a sense of direction to the team. Using this as their focus, they can plan key tasks or activities to realize such goals. It fuels concerted efforts through effective time, effort, and resource management.

clickup goals feature

Organizations can use SMART business goals as a measure of success. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. They convert goals from vague entities into quantifiable metrics to track progress.

Say your basic business goal is to increase website traffic. Then, as a SMART framework, it would read as ‘Increase organic website traffic by 30% within the next six months. ‘ Notice the difference? SMART business goals turn generic ideas into specific, measurable outcomes . They help you objectively assess your startup’s performance and tweak strategies using data-driven insights!

Given a startup’s dynamic environment, it is easier for priorities to shift. Similarly, daily tasks can eclipse the bigger picture and detract from the larger goal.

Startup business goals shield you from distractions and recenter your ideas, strategies, and actions. They cultivate a sense of accountability by acting as a yardstick for performance. At the same time, we’ve seen how they serve as quantifiable benchmarks to track progress toward achieving the broader vision. 

You may review your goals occasionally to get an idea of your startup’s growth while also identifying areas for improvement. Such a holistic overview allows you to prioritize impact-based activities and foster a greater sense of ownership and responsibility .

Business goals are a source of motivation for startup founders and team members. Having a clear shared objective to work towards and clarity on how it ties up with the larger goals drives collaboration and motivation. Plus, publicly shared goals promote transparency, which instills accountability . 

And when goals are reached, recognizing personal and organizational achievements improves team morale.

ClickUp 3.0 Timeline Local Workload view simplified

Setting business goals also involves task prioritization. Entrepreneurs may prioritize based on importance, impact, and urgency. Such weighted distribution of focus enables the smart allocation of limited resources , which is fairly common in a startup setup. 

With clearly articulated and prioritized business goals, you can effectively allocate resources like time, money, and staff to activate success.

This ensures that your startup can meet critical business objectives and launch minimum viable products (MVPs) that can kick-start growth while you secure funding for resource reinforcements!

ClickUp Risk Management Risk Register Template

Startups are highly vulnerable to risks. Identifying potential risks or challenges early on and addressing them or mitigating their impact is instrumental in a startup’s success.

To anticipate hurdles, goal-setting strategies often employ analytical tools and frameworks like SWOT analysis, risk matrices, etc. Knowing these beforehand allows entrepreneurs to prepare holistic risk management strategies and contingency plans that help navigate these challenges in a hands-on manner. This level of preparedness minimizes risks or, if not outright, eliminates them.

While a strong mission statement lays the foundation for your startup, the goals guide your journey. Goals transcend brand building and market positioning and illustrate your understanding of success. Well-defined goals showcase your understanding of the market, target audience, and value proposition.

Imagine two startups: one laser-focused on explosive business growth with a series of fast-paced goals. Another that prioritizes scalability and sustainability through long-term goals spaced out over a considerable duration. In both cases, clear goals paint a picture for investors and partners.

Partners can evaluate if your startup is a good fit for a strategic partnership , while investors can calculate their anticipated return on investment (ROI). They can also adjudge whether the startup’s mission, vision, and values align with theirs. This alignment will attract meaningful partnerships and investor relations for mutual benefit.

Work Breakdown Structure Example in List view in ClickUp

Clear startup goals are pillars of strategic planning. They define your desired outcomes , establish a roadmap for success, and help you navigate the journey. Use them to devise short-term and long-term strategic plans. The cumulative and concentrated result of individualistic strategic plans will enable your startup to take on big, hairy, audacious goals that may have felt unsurmountable at one point. 

How to Set Effective Startup Business Goals: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you understand the mission-critical role of business goals, especially in the context of startups, let’s learn how to set these. Below is a step-by-step guide to setting a business goal:

If you haven’t done it already, start by defining your startup’s mission and vision statement. 

The vision statement demonstrates the long-term aspirations of your business. On the other hand, the mission statement describes the driving force and guiding principles of your startup’s activities. The mission statement is a roadmap to the vision statement; think of the former as your business objectives and the latter as the goal.

Ensure that the two align with your company’s offerings and core values. 

For example, here’s how Amazon weaves its mission statement through its introduction:

Startup goals examples: Amazon's mission statement

Amazon’s goal of becoming the Earth’s most customer-centric company is evident from its trailblazing effort in personalizing the eCommerce sector and its expansive product range.

On the other hand, Apple showcases its workplace culture through personalized stories and anecdotes from its team members:

Startup goals examples: Apple's values

Apple’s mission statement, ‘We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it,’ will attract talent that aligns with this goal.

In this way, mission and vision statements reflect the company’s business model, aspirations, and culture.

Along these lines, articulate what stirs your passion and frame it as your mission and vision statements.

Once you’ve done the groundwork, analyze your current state. You may use any business analysis framework for a comprehensive and cross-sectional evaluation. We find the SWOT analysis to be a great starting point.

A SWOT analysis template highlights your startup’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). It sheds light on your internal strengths and weaknesses, such as team collaboration, skill or talent gaps, resource availability, etc. At the same time, you can visualize external opportunities and threats, such as target market conditions, customer demands, competitors, etc. 

Use the Small Business SWOT analysis template on ClickUp

Keeping all of this in mind, the ClickUp Small Business SWOT Analysis template is designed to help you strategize, plan, and make informed decisions. Such a well-rounded and holistic analysis helps set realistic and attainable business goals. It also lets you divide your analysis into different categories, such as Marketing, Operations, Finance, etc., to assess each aspect of your business.

ClickUp 3.0 Setting Task Priority

You now see your destination. You know where you currently stand. It’s time to bridge the two!

Identify the key focus areas to accelerate your journey to success. It could be through product innovation, brand recognition, operational efficiency, increasing market share, retaining customers, or a blend of all of these.

You might eventually come up with four or five desired goals. However, you may not have the resources and capacity to achieve these together. Hence, you should set priorities for your business goals and define them along SMART parameters.

Each goal must be clear, quantifiable, and time-bound to align with your startup’s business objectives. Be as specific as possible with your SMART goals, as granularity will improve your chances of achieving the goal.

To make this task easier, leverage readily available resources, such as goal-setting templates . 

Startup goals examples in ClickUp

The previous step may lead you to believe that your job is done. However, goal-setting is more than just documenting business goals—it is part planning and part implementation.

So, once you have your business goals ready, break them down into smaller, actionable steps. Continue this division until you reach the smallest task, activity, and timeline required to achieve each goal. Doing so will help you create a comprehensive and actionable roadmap for goal execution.

Work Breakdown Structure Example in ClickUp's Gantt View

When the work breakdown structure is ready, assign these tasks to specific departments, managers, or team members. Clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and expectations will keep your team accountable and focused on goal achievement.

ClickUp Dashboards Progress Tracking view

Business goals are your marker of success. So, use them for measuring progress.

Track the appropriate goals or their underlying metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Most project management tools, including ClickUp, feature an interactive dashboard that helps you visualize progress in real time. Map all the metrics and KPIs you wish to track onto this dashboard and view their progress and any deviations so you can take action in a time-bound manner.

These dashboards also allow you to review your business goals and update them instantly. Your business goal may have changed due to evolving priorities, shifting market conditions, customer feedback, new opportunities, etc. Update them on the fly to run a highly responsive, adaptable, and resilient startup!

We’ve already discussed how celebrating milestones and achievements helps improve team morale. It is also a tangible indicator of success and motivates the team to move on to the next item on the checklist.

Acknowledging individual or team efforts contributing to business objective attainment promotes a sense of belonging and community. The resulting engagement improves team cohesiveness. Therefore, celebrating milestones and achievements should be a part of your goal-setting strategy.

Finally, business goal setting is not a ‘set it and forget it’ job. Embracing a culture of continuous learning and improvement will help startups refine the business model with each cycle.

So, treat goal setting as a continuous process that considers internal and external stakeholder feedback, product improvement and innovation, and experimentation to drive business growth.

This positive feedback loop will improve business goal-setting iteratively.

Setting goals for your startup:

  • Assess the current state
  • Track, monitor, recalibrate
  • Celebrate milestones
  • Learn and improve

65 Real-World Startup Business Goals Examples

This brings us to the end of all the theoretical aspects of business goal setting. Let’s now delve into some real-world examples to solidify your understanding of business goals and to inspire you. From financial to customer satisfaction goals, we’re about to discuss all the different types of business goals for startups, along with appropriate examples. And yes, we will describe each example as SMART goals as far as possible.

On that note, here’s a detailed list of business goals to add to your startup business plan template :

Financial business goals revolve around plans to boost revenue, improve profit margins, reduce costs, and acquire funding. They describe the desired financial performance or health of the company. Use this business objective to maximize revenue and minimize expenses to run a sustainable startup.

Here are some business goals examples to manage your finances better:

  • Increase net profit margins by 10% through effective cost-cutting measures
  • Improve cash flows by reducing outstanding AR (accounts receivable) by 30% in the next six months
  • Increase shareholder value by achieving an ROI (return on investment) of 20%
  • Secure funding of $1 billion from venture capital and angel investors in the next three months
  • Renegotiate terms with vendors to increase profit margins by 25%
  • Achieve financial stability with a 1:1 debt-to-equity ratio
  • Get to your startup’s break-even point within the first two years of operations
  • Reduce wasteful expenditure by 10% through smart, data-driven inventory management

Pro Tip : Track your startup’s financial goals using metrics like:

  • Profit margins
  • Cash outflow
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Quick ratio

As the name suggests, these business goals look to improve employee retention. Your employees are the target audience for these goals, so you should focus on driving employee satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty. Earning your employees’ goodwill reduces turnover rates and ensures continuity in workforce expertise.

Consider the following team goals to improve employee retention:

  • Cut down employee turnover rates by 30% within the next year by introducing attractive benefits and incentives
  • Employ regular feedback mechanisms and engagement initiatives to improve employee satisfaction rates by 20%
  • Establish a 6-month buddy system after onboarding fresh hires to maintain engagement and clarify expectations from day one
  • Offer 2 online skill development courses and 1 internal workshop per quarter
  • Organize monthly team-building exercises with a focus on activities that have more than 70% enrollment and participation rates
  • Launch a hybrid work policy in the next 2 months, allowing 3 days remote and 3 days in-office schedule post manager approval
  • Increase paid time off (PTO) allowance by an additional 3 days per year across all employee levels
  • Offer high-performing individuals a 40% appraisal by the end of the financial year
  • Build a work environment imbibing the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) principles to foster a sense of belonging
  • Conduct exit interviews to understand the main reasons behind employee churn
  • Conduct regular performance reviews to identify areas of improvement and mentorship to employees

Pro Tip : Track your startup’s employee retention goals using metrics like:

  • Employee turnover rate
  • Employee satisfaction surveys
  • Retention rate
  • Time to Hire
  • Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)
  • Absenteeism Rate

While the employee retention goal aims to retain talent, productivity business goals seek to enhance operational efficiency and output. As such, they revolve around day-to-day activities that can streamline productivity levels. You may set targets to optimize workflows, reduce waste, eliminate inefficiency, and increase per-employee output across the company.

Here are some examples of business goals that help achieve success by nurturing a highly productive workforce:

  • Introducing process optimization and automation to drive up productivity by 30% in a few months (3-6)
  • Streamline product development processes to reduce time-to-market by 30% for new products and 70% for product enhancements
  • Reducing server downtimes by 98% to improve the availability of online tools and resources
  • Implement project management software to enhance team collaboration, task management, and deadline adherence
  • Document SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) to standardize business workflows and processes to introduce consistency, eliminate errors, and minimize rework
  • Share employee handbooks to define employee roles, responsibilities, and expectations clearly

Pro Tip : Track your startup’s employee productivity goals using metrics like:

  • Sales quota attainment
  • Tasks/projects completed
  • Bug fixes or code commits
  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Employee engagement
  • Meeting durations
  • Utilization rate

Remember to tweak this according to the employees’ department and expected deliverables.

Startups can grow by generating brand awareness and earning a solid reputation. This strategy focuses on forging a positive brand perception in the target audience’s minds. Businesses can achieve this by increasing brand visibility, earning trust and credibility, and running brand loyalty programs. 

Below are a few business goals examples to increase brand awareness and reputation:

  • Conduct market research to assess brand perception and generate awareness by 20% within 3 months by tracking social media imprints
  • Increase brand recognition and recall by 30% within a year among the target demographics
  • Invest in brand storytelling to communicate the startup’s values and identity
  • Obtain 20 positive customer testimonials and reviews on Google and G2 by Q2 to increase brand reputation
  • Partner with 12 industry experts and influencers to expand brand reach by 40% across LinkedIn, Instagram, and X within 6 months
  • Publish 8 blog posts on the company website to establish a reputable and credible digital presence
  • Use social listening and reputation management strategies to monitor, manage, and mold brand narrative and online chatter
  • Participate in 4 industry events, 8 conferences and webinars, and 2 trade shows to raise brand visibility and awareness in Q3 and Q4
  • Establish and standardize brand guidelines for a consistent and branded customer experience across all touchpoints
  • Launch a brand ambassador program with 40 loyal customers recruited as brand ambassadors in the first month to catalyze word-of-mouth marketing and increase advocacy by 12%

Pro Tip : Track your startup’s brand awareness and reputation goals using metrics like:

  • Impressions
  • Online traffic
  • Search volume
  • Customer reviews
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Brand mentions
  • Social media chatter

Business goals about marketing strategies explore ways to promote products or services, generate more leads, drive customer engagement, and forward highly qualified leads to sales. They guide marketing efforts by specifying outcomes such as boosting conversion rates, increasing brand awareness, unlocking web traffic, etc., to match the larger business goals.

Some examples of marketing strategy goals include:

  • Implement content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) to drive website traffic by 50% in the next 12 months
  • Generate 1,000 new leads per month through targeted paid advertising
  • Boost email open and click-through rates by 20% and 15% by data-driven optimization of email marketing campaigns
  • Increase social media engagement by 25% and earn 3000 new followers in a month through carefully curated content and social media community management
  • Launch an attractive referral program to encourage existing customers and loyalists to refer new business
  • Optimize your marketing strategies using automation to nurture leads and drive conversions
  • Conduct focus group meetings and customer surveys to understand target audience preferences and needs
  • Form strategic partnerships with complementary businesses to break into new audiences
  • Increase marketing ROI by analyzing and optimizing marketing expenditure across various channels
  • Use segmentation and targeted marketing campaigns for a personalized customer experience

Pro Tip : Track your startup’s marketing goals using metrics like:

  • Website traffic
  • Lead generation rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Social media follower growth
  • Social media engagement rate
  • Email open rate
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Sales and revenue goals are an extension of the marketing goals. They focus on attracting more sales or revenue in a time-bound fashion. The sales team may work on acquiring new customers, upselling and cross-selling activities, and other revenue-generating initiatives to infuse sustainability and profitability into your startup’s growth.

Here are a few examples of sales goals to get more sales:

  • Achieve $2 million in annual sales revenue by the end of the fiscal year
  • Bump up AOV (average order value) by 15% using product bundling
  • Drive conversion rates up by 20% through sales process optimization, automation, and training
  • Increase your customer base by acquiring 1200 new customers in the next six months
  • Improve customer lifetime value by 25% through upselling and cross-selling strategies
  • Expand market share by 20% by entering a new geographic or demographic segment
  • Launch an attractive sales incentive program to motivate and reward your sales team and their performance
  • Accelerate sales cycle by reducing timelines by 20% through improved lead qualification, workflow automation, and timely follow-ups
  • Enable the sales team with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to track and quantify sales activities across various channels
  • Leverage AI-powered predictive models to enhance sales forecasting accuracy, effective resource allocation, and sharp inventory management
  • Introduce dynamic pricing to maximize profitability while also staying competitive

ClickUp Smart Tips : Track your startup’s sales and revenue goals using metrics like:

  • Total revenue
  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
  • Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)
  • Sales cycle length
  • Sales conversion rate

These business goals focus on enhancing customer satisfaction and delivering memorable customer experiences to cultivate long-term customer relationships. Startups may aim to improve customer retention through various strategies, from loyalty programs to exceptional customer service to improving product quality.

Here are some goals that you can set to improve customer satisfaction:

  • Increase customer satisfaction scores by 30% through enhanced customer service and support
  • Improve customer retention rates by 20% through personalized re-engagement strategies and customer loyalty programs
  • Implement a customer feedback system to capture actionable first-hand insights and address customer pain points
  • Leverage proactive communication across preferred channels to share updates and notifications to increase trust and transparency
  • Address customer concerns and issues within a prescribed timeline and in the appropriate manner to improve customer satisfaction
  • Measure and track NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) score to get a realistic idea of customer satisfaction levels
  • Identify the KPIs to measure customer satisfaction and measure progress goals using them
  • Invest in training and development of customer-facing teams to improve service quality and add value to customer interactions
  • Offer perks or value-added services to incentivize repeat purchases and customer loyalty

Pro Tip : Track your startup’s customer satisfaction and retention goals using metrics like:

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Customer Effort Score (CES)
  • Repeat Purchase Rate (RPR) 
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
  • Customer churn rate
  • Customer engagement

Digital Tools To Help Meet Your Startup’s Business Goals

They say a goal is just a wish without a plan. In other words, you must cement your business goals with actionable plans and strategies to make them work.

To develop and execute a solid business plan, you will require the right tools, platforms, software solutions, and systems. These add structure to your plan and help you reach your goals faster .

Here is an overview of the various solutions you can use to meet the different types of business goals:

The project management software is the Swiss Army Knife of setting business goals.

ClickUp Dashboards Project Overview (List Overview)

Project management software helps set attainable goals by acting as a centralized platform dedicated to the efficient planning, organization, and execution of projects. To meet this objective, these platforms offer features for task management, project scheduling, collaborative working, team communication, etc.

These enable startups to logically break down long-term business goals into smaller, manageable objectives so that teams can prioritize work tasks . Such hands-on project management improves transparency and accountability, helps track progress, and manages risks and resources to deliver results per specification, timeline, and budget.

We’ll talk more about how you can use ClickUp for Startups in the later section to grant you practical exposure.

Using ClickUp as a CRM and managing customer data in ClickUp List view

CRM tools allow businesses to foster meaningful and enriching customer relationships to drive organizational growth.

CRM platforms centralize all customer data, communication channels, and interactions to offer you a well-rounded view of customer demands, preferences, and behaviors.

Using these insights, startups can curate personalized experiences to improve customer satisfaction and drive brand loyalty. Personalization could be achieved through unique marketing experiences, targeted sales campaigns, or improved customer service to delight customers throughout their journey.

Additionally, its pipeline management features allow startups to track leads, opportunities, and deals to enhance conversions and revenue.

ClickUp functions as both a project management software and CRM, an all-in-one platform designed to streamline various workflows. 

Visualize and manage sales pipelines with over 15+ ClickUp Views , benefit from email integrations, build a customer database, analyze customer data, and much more— all on ClickUp. 

ClickUp List View

So, if your business goals revolve around acquiring new customers or retaining existing ones, then investing in a CRM platform like ClickUp is a smart move.

Whether it is through the loss of employee productivity or by eating into revenues—inefficient processes cost businesses. While established businesses might be able to absorb some cost overheads, the same could be disastrous for startups. After all, they are often resource-strapped as it is!

Startups may turn to process mapping tools to mitigate risks . Use them to visualize, analyze, and optimize business processes and workflows. They allow you to conduct a thorough analysis of the current processes to identify bottlenecks, inefficiency, and areas of improvement. Understanding these hurdles helps formulate effective solutions and optimization initiatives . They also standardize processes to maintain consistency, quality, and compliance across teams and departments.

Pro Tip : Leverage ClickUp as your process mapping tool. ClickUp Whiteboards and mind maps help visualize business processes.

Such a dynamic approach to optimizing processes drives operational excellence and increases profit margins.

You will require a robust data analytics tool to analyze your marketing and sales performance.  They make these two mission-critical activities measurable and more accurate. Most importantly, they are compatible with high volumes of data to help you manage campaigns on the fly.

Leverage these tools to gain insights into market trends, campaign effectiveness, customer behavior, and conversion rates. Tracking these variables helps identify untapped opportunities, recalibrate strategies, and allocate resources effectively to achieve sales and marketing business goals. From personalizing business messaging to benchmarking performance, marketing and sales analytics tools help startups achieve their growth goals . 

Pro Tip : Use ClickUp Dashboards to track sales and marketing metrics in real time, implement strategies, and benchmark performance.

Financial management systems are crucial for startups to meet their financial goals. It helps startups manage budgets and finances effectively, improve shareholder value, maintain healthy profit margins, and ensure compliance. They may even come equipped with AI tools that help with revenue forecasting, demand-supply prediction, and budget utilization with heightened accuracy.

They help maintain accurate financial records and reports. Such well-documented insights fuel informed decisions while managing cash flows, tracking and controlling costs, and optimizing resources. Additionally, they help maintain legal and regulatory compliance by maintaining an auditable log of all financial decisions. 

By improving financial visibility , these systems maintain transparency and accountability while maintaining financial stability.

Pro Tip : Deploy ClickUp as your account and finance management software to stay ahead of your financial goals.

ClickUp is every startup’s friend. After all, we’re a startup ourselves, and we know how challenging—and exhilarating—the startup journey can be. ClickUp is our attempt to make this journey less stressful for innovative startups.

So, here’s a look at how ClickUp helps in setting business goals:

  • Goal tracking : ClickUp Goals help create SMART goals that align with your project requirements. Apart from setting specific and measurable goals along a timeline, ClickUp allows you to track their progress in real time so that you always know where you stand

Startup goals examples: Execute and track progress

  • Strategic task management : Achievable goals must be broken down into specific projects and tasks. Entrepreneurs can use ClickUp to organize, prioritize, and monitor these tasks. You can even dig in deeper to divide tasks into subtasks. Organize tasks in task lists, filter by priorities, owner, and due dates, set up reminders and notifications, and add task dependencies to ensure that every task is completed on time
  • Dynamic resource allocation : ClickUp supports dynamic resource allocation by offering a one-stop view of all activities. Plus, you have workload management and time-tracking features to help you understand how resources are utilized. Having such an overview makes it easier for managers to assign or redistribute resources based on the priority, impact, and urgency of any task or activity

ClickUp 3.0 Workload view simplified

  • Collaboration and communication : ClickUp is the ultimate hub for collaborative working. From an assortment of synchronous and asynchronous communication channels to live editing of shared documents—teams can use ClickUp to stay in touch and on track. Use the ClickUp Chat View to exchange messages in real time, assign comments to escalate issues or draw attention, and create, edit, and manage documents collaboratively using ClickUp Docs .  Share ideas, brainstorm, and work together to meet your business goals 
  • Interactive dashboards : ClickUp Dashboards possess potent data analytics and reporting capabilities that allow startups to monitor KPIs, track progress, and analyze performance. These dashboards share data-driven insights on the current state of the project, which allows you to develop strategic plans, corrective measures, and informed decisions to get to your desired state 

Startup goals examples: ClickUp 3.0 Dashboard showing Team Goals

  • Integration ecosystem : Use ClickUp with various third-party tools, apps, and platforms to build a value-loaded interconnected network. Whether it is incorporating file storage platforms like Google Drive or customer support solutions like Zendesk, you can integrate these into the ClickUp ecosystem to build a comprehensive, one-stop platform for all your startup needs

ClickUp 3.0 Apps and integrations simplified

  • Rich templates : With ClickUp, you get a rich library of highly configurable templates to help you work smart. From detailed Standard Operating Procedures to the Business Plan Template on ClickUp ensures faster time-to-market as you don’t have to build things from scratch

One of ClickUp’s greatest USPs is that it is highly customizable to meet your specific needs. You can use it as a project management platform, a task management tool for HR and other teams, and a campaign and customer management platform for marketing and customer support—the possibilities are endless.

So, leverage its versatility to meet your different business goals without spreading them across multiple tools and platforms. As we often say, one is all you need!

Startup business goals are your compass for venturing into the seas of entrepreneurship.

 Goals give a sense of direction, act as a marker of progress, generate accountability, motivate teams, support strategic planning, and attract investors and partners. Each of these benefits propels your startup one step closer to success.

We highly recommend the startup business goal examples above, as they will inspire you to set SMART goals for your company. All that remains is to use suitable tools and platforms to execute and track these goals. You can choose from various solutions ranging from CRM to process mapping tools and beyond.

On the other hand, you can select ClickUp and replace the disparate tech stack with a centralized one. ClickUp promises flexibility and scalability that will grow along with your startup.

Sign up for free and explore!

How do I prioritize business goals?

Setting priorities for your business goals involves assessing the importance, urgency, and impact of these goals on your startup’s core objectives. Identify those that tightly couple with the mission, vision, and strategic priorities of your startup and place them first. Then, consider factors like potential risks or setbacks, dependencies, and resource availability to meet these goals. Finally, use prioritization techniques like the MoSCoW method or the Eisenhower matrix to assign weighted priorities to your goals.

How often should I review and update my startup’s business goals?

Review and update your startup’s business goals to keep up with evolving priorities, emerging opportunities, and shifting market conditions. Since startups are more dynamic, you may review your business goals every 3-6 months to stay responsive to volatility. Upon business consolidation, you can perform this exercise annually.

Which tools can help me achieve my business goals?

You can achieve your business goals using the following tools:

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform
  • Marketing and analytics solutions

What happens when we don’t achieve all of our startup business goals?

Don’t treat falling short of your startup business goals as a failure. On the contrary, think of it as a learning opportunity through which you can:

  • Analyze the reasons why you couldn’t meet specific goals
  • Optimize your strategies to facilitate goal attainment
  • Celebrate the goals or milestones that you managed to achieve
  • Identify areas where your startup performed beyond expectations and templatize such success
  • Recalibrate your goals to make them more realistic and in line with external factors

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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Home >> #realtalk Blog >> Manage a team >> Create an Effective …

Create an Effective Task List to Better Manage Your Small Business Team

By Christine Umayam

Weekly schedule planner

As a small business owner, managing a team for the first time can be a daunting experience. It’s like being handed the keys to a brand-new car without ever having taken a driving lesson. But here’s the thing – you already possess the skills needed to succeed. What you need are the right tools and a roadmap to help you navigate the twists and turns of team management.

One of the most essential elements of effective team leadership is creating a clear, well-organized task list. In this post, we’ll explore why task lists are so crucial and provide you with actionable tips for crafting comprehensive, structured lists that will help you onboard and manage your employees with confidence. Say goodbye to the chaos and hello to a smoother, more efficient workflow.

Get your team in sync with our easy-to-use, all-in-one employee app.

The importance of a task list for small business owners.

Without a well-defined task list, your team’s workflow can quickly devolve into a game of whack-a-mole. Picture this: John starts working on a project, only to be pulled away halfway through to tackle another urgent matter. Meanwhile, Maria is so busy putting out fires that she can’t even begin to focus on her high-priority assignments. It’s a recipe for missed deadlines, frustrated employees, and a whole lot of unnecessary stress.

Enter the task list: your secret weapon for bringing order to the chaos. A clear, organized task list eliminates the guesswork and keeps everyone on the same page. Your team members will know exactly what needs to be done and when, reducing the need for constant delegation and allowing them to work more efficiently.

But the benefits don’t stop there. A well-crafted task list also serves as a powerful communication tool , ensuring that each team member understands their responsibilities and how their work fits into the bigger picture. This fosters a sense of cohesiveness and accountability, making it easier to identify and address any issues that may arise.

Perhaps most importantly, a task list allows you to prioritize effectively. By clearly defining which tasks are most critical, you can ensure that your team is focusing their energy on the work that will have the greatest impact on your business. This not only helps you stay on schedule but also allows for greater flexibility when adjustments need to be made.

In short, a solid task list is the foundation of a productive, efficient, and satisfied team. It’s the key to unlocking your small business’s full potential and achieving your goals with less stress and more success.

Daily task schedule

Steps to create an effective task list

Now that you understand the power of a well-designed task list, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of creating one. Follow these five simple steps, and you’ll have a roadmap to success in no time.

Step 1: Define your goals and objectives.

As a small business owner, you know how important it is to set detailed goals for yourself. The same goes for setting goals for your whole team—both short-term and long-term. In fact, 90% of people perform better with relevant, challenging, and achievable goals. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

But here’s the key: break those goals down into specific, actionable tasks. It’s not enough to tell your team that you want to increase marketing engagement by 20%. You need to outline the daily, weekly, and monthly steps required to reach that target. By assigning clear, manageable tasks to each team member, you’ll provide them with a roadmap for success and a sense of accomplishment as they check items off their list.

As you define your goals and tasks, always keep your overarching business objectives in mind. Every task on your list should contribute to the success and growth of your company, ensuring that your team’s efforts are aligned with your vision.

When you are defining goals and tasks, always consider your overall business objectives and how completing your tasks will ultimately align with those objectives.

Step 2: Categorize tasks by department or role.

With your goals and tasks clearly defined, it’s time to assign them to the appropriate team members. To avoid confusion and duplication of effort, group tasks by department or role, such as marketing, sales, or operations.

As you delegate tasks, be mindful of each employee’s workload and capacity. Overloading one team member or department while others have too little on their plate can lead to burnout, resentment, and decreased productivity. Aim for a balanced distribution of work across your team, and be prepared to make adjustments as needed.

Step 3: Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.

In the fast-paced world of small business ownership, it can feel like every task is a top priority. However, attempting to tackle everything at once is a surefire recipe for overwhelm and subpar results.

The solution? Use a priority matrix to categorize tasks based on their urgency and importance. A simple matrix might include four categories: high impact/high effort, high impact/low effort, low impact/high effort, and low impact/low effort.

As a general rule, focus on high-impact tasks first, as these will have the greatest influence on your business’s success. Be sure to also consider the urgency of each task, giving priority to those with looming deadlines.

Remember, setting realistic deadlines is crucial. Rushing through tasks or constantly pushing back due dates can lead to sloppy work and increased stress levels. Be thoughtful and strategic in your scheduling, and communicate any changes to your team in a timely manner.

Step 4: Break down complex tasks into subtasks.

Large projects can be a bit intimidating, especially if you try to take it on all at once. This can mess with deadlines, cause delays, and interrupt productivity. Instead of tackling a large project in one bite, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.

Assign each subtask to a team member, providing clear instructions and milestones to help them stay on track. By chunking the work into bite-sized pieces, you’ll make the project feel less daunting and more achievable, boosting morale and productivity along the way.

Step 5: Regularly review and update your task list.

No matter how well you plan, unexpected challenges and changes are bound to arise. That’s why it’s essential to schedule regular task list reviews – be it weekly or monthly – to assess progress, celebrate successes, and make necessary adjustments.

During these reviews, take the time to acknowledge completed tasks and milestones, recognizing your team’s hard work and dedication. This not only boosts morale but also reinforces the importance of the task list in keeping everyone on track and moving forward.

Don’t be afraid to reprioritize tasks as needed, adjusting deadlines and resources to ensure that your team can continue to work effectively. The goal is to maintain a flexible, adaptable approach to team management, allowing you to navigate challenges with confidence and ease.

How to Make an Employee Schedule (Six Easy Steps)

Simplify team management with Homebase

At Homebase, we understand the unique challenges faced by small business owners. That’s why we’ve created an all-in-one app designed to streamline task list creation, easily onboard employees, assign them tasks and monitor performance.

Key features of Homebase for task management

With Homebase, creating and managing task lists has never been simpler. Our intuitive platform allows you to easily build and assign tasks, while our built-in messaging tools keep everyone in the loop with real-time updates.

As your team progresses through their assignments, Homebase’s integrated time tracking and scheduling features provide valuable insights into employee performance. This allows you to offer timely feedback, make necessary adjustments, and ensure that your team is working efficiently and effectively.

Say goodbye to team management stress

Effective task list creation is the cornerstone of successful team management for small business owners. By following the steps outlined in this post and leveraging the power of an all-in-one app like Homebase, you can simplify your management processes, boost productivity, and foster a more positive, engaged workforce.

So, what are you waiting for? Start building your task list today and take control of your team’s success. With the right tools and strategies in place, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals and growing your business, one checkmark at a time.

How often should I update my task list?

It’s recommended to review and update your task list weekly or monthly, depending on the nature of your business and the complexity of the tasks. Regular updates ensure that priorities are adjusted as needed and that your team stays on track.

How can I ensure my team members are completing their assigned tasks?

Using an app like Homebase allows you to monitor task progress and team performance in real-time. You can set up notifications and reminders to keep your team accountable and provide feedback to help them improve their productivity.

What's the best way to prioritize tasks on my list?

Use a priority matrix to categorize tasks based on their urgency and importance. Focus on completing high-impact tasks that align with your business objectives first, and then move on to less urgent or important tasks.

How can Homebase help me with onboarding new employees?

Homebase simplifies the onboarding process by allowing you to create and assign tasks specific to new hires. You can provide clear instructions, set deadlines, and track their progress to ensure a smooth integration into your team.

Remember:  This is not legal advice. If you have questions about your particular situation, please consult a lawyer, CPA, or other appropriate professional advisor or agency.

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The Ultimate Guide…

Brought to you by ProjectManager, the online task management tool used to plan over 2 million projects.

Tasks in the ProjectManager list view

What Is a Task List?

Why use a task list, what is task list software, desktop vs online task list software, must-have task list software features, to-do list vs weekly task list vs project task list.

  • How to Manage a Task List in

Maintaining Your Task List

More on task management, task lists resources.

A task list is, of course, a list of tasks. Listing out your tasks is a useful exercise that helps you work more efficiently, because you have outlined what you need to do.

Therefore, your task list is a place where all the work needed to complete the project is collected. It can be a personal task list that gathers only your own work, or a team task list that captures the work the group needs to accomplish.

A task list can be more than just a simple list of tasks, though. For example, ProjectManager lets you add priority to tasks to show what tasks need to be completed first. You can also note deadlines, add descriptions of the work, create sub-tasks and even set recurring tasks. Our list view is great for teams managing their work and tracking it in real time, but it’s also a rudimentary schedule or simplified work breakdown structure.

List view in ProjectManager

ProjectManager has robust online task lists so you can manage work with your team— learn more .

Simply, a task list makes big goals appear more achievable by breaking them down into smaller bits.

Writing things down is always helpful. As you assemble your task list, you might notice things that had first escaped you. This gives you a better picture of the whole project and helps you plan to complete it.

There’s also an advantage to task lists when it comes to analyzing your work. By looking back over your task list, you can determine what worked best and what didn’t. Then, when you create a new task list, you can use this knowledge to better organize and execute your work.

Task list software has features that let you organize your work by helping you plan, prioritize and track your progress . It’s designed to help you define each task and tag it for priority, project and more.

Project management training video (7zt8uh5pzt)

Some software solutions offer greater control over your tasks, allowing you to assign them to team members, attach files and even include the costs and resources associated with executing them. Task list tools like this are typically bundled with larger project management software features.

A task list, at its most basic, is just a number of things you have to do, but digital tools have more bells and whistles, save you time and can help you work more productively.

But how do you choose the best task management software for your team? There are pros and cons to both that should be outlined before you make a decision.

Desktop Task List Software

Desktop software applications tend to be pricey, and that cost increases for each team member you want to add to the tool. They do, however, tend to be faster and somewhat more reliable because they aren’t reliant on the speed of your internet connection. If you lose internet connectivity, a desktop tool will still allow you to work which is a big pro.

Online Task List Software

For online applications, there’s always a concern about security. Your work is in the cloud, which means it might not feel as secure, but it’s actually safer than if it resides in one hard drive that can burn out or be corrupted. Pricing is by the subscription model, so you can sign up for what you want.

The biggest difference between the two is that online task list software connects managers and teams, which is especially helpful if you’re working remotely and not all networked in one office. Also, online tools provide real-time data, so you’re reacting to the most current information on the state of the project.

Not all online task list software offerings are the same. When you’re looking for the one that’s right for you, make sure it has these essential features.

Collaboration icon

Connect Teams with Real-Time Tools

Get your teams to work more productively by giving them a collaborative platform where they can communicate in real-time and share documents. Better still, have automated alerts that keep everyone updated by email whenever a comment is made on a task.

Collaborate in real time with ProjectManager's task lists

Manage Your Own Workload

Keep productive by managing your own tasks on a personal to-do list. Look for one that doesn’t have to be shared by the whole team, but allows you space to own your own work. It is also helpful if your to-do list can be shared with others when you’re collaborating.

Manage your personal tasks with ProjectManager's task lists

Know Who’s Working on What and When It’s Due

Manage your work better by not only having a list, but a tool that allows you to assign tasks from it to others on your team. By having a start and finish date you can set the expected duration, which allows team members to know what’s due when, which keeps you on track.

Assign work to your team members with ProjectManager's task lists

Add Documents and Images to Tasks

Attach files to your tasks to have all the important related information right at hand. Look for a tool that has unlimited file storage, which allows you to attach files directly at the task level but also all paperwork that goes along with the project in one central hub.

ProjectManager's task lists allow you to share files in real time

Find What You Need Fast and Easy

Put tags on your tasks to better organize your work. You want tags that will detail the priority of the tasks, of course, but it’s also helpful to have tags that identify the project, department and other details that will make them easier to search.

ProjectManager's task lists have tags and filters that allow you to better communicate with your teams

See the Smaller Tasks & Set Recurring Ones

Know your sub-tasks when you look at your task list. Not all task lists go into the detail you get when planning on a Gantt chart. Task list software that has subtasks gives you more information, which helps you get organized and better execute the work. If the task repeats throughout the project, save time and see recurring tasks to avoid busy work.

ProjectManager's task list view showing subtasks

“Task list” and “to-do list” are often used interchangeably. Sometimes, you’ll even hear it referred to as a project task list. Then there are weekly task lists, which seems self-explanatory. While all these terms are similar in concept and share many aspects, there are some key differences that are important to know.

A to-do list is often more personal than professional. It tends to be the shopping list stuck to your refrigerator door. In fact, to-do lists are often even more specific than a grocery list in that they tend to organize only a day.

Weekly Task List

A weekly task list is used to expand on the scope of the to-do list. It’s not a bunch of items that must be completed during the day, but rather a more long-term look at bigger projects. That is, they’re milestones. Milestones in projects mark the end of one phase and the beginning of the next, but they can also be used to note important dates or work.

Project Task List

This brings us to the project task list, which is usually more professional and robust in what it aims to do. It’s like a to-do list, in that there can be daily work included in it, and it’s like a weekly task list in that it usually has milestones, too. But it is more collaborative. There are other stakeholders involved. It’s going to have more features and the due dates will be less flexible. It’s the tool preferred by businesses working on projects because it works harder to organize.

How to Manage a Task List in ProjectManager

ProjectManager is an award-winning tool that organizes your task to help you work more productively. A full project management software, task list features are seamlessly integrated into a suite of tools that manage your project from start to finish. To begin managing your task list follow the following steps.

Add or Import Tasks

Creating a task list starts with assembling all the tasks required to fulfill the requirements of your work. Be thorough and include everything, no matter how small, as you can edit it down later.

Import that task list from any spreadsheet or add the tasks manually into the task list project view. There are also industry-related templates to help you get started.

The “Import” screen in ProjectManager

Prioritize Tasks

Having all your tasks is the first step in organizing them. Next, you want to prioritize what must be done when to provide a chronological order. This begins to develop your schedule.

Make a tag for each task to determine the level of priority, from very low to critical. This tells teams what must be done first and also helps you search your task list.

ProjectManager's task list view

Add Due Dates

Every task has a beginning and end date. To build your schedule you must start by estimating the duration of each of the tasks.

Add the dates to our task list. There’s a calendar that allows you to select the dates. Just choose the timeline and save the task.

ProjectManager's task management calendar

Fill Out Details

Tasks are more than priorities and due dates. They are small jobs that need to be executed by the team. Therefore, you need a space in which to provide directions and more.

Fill the field for descriptions and add directions on executing the task. Then attach any relevant documents or images directly to the task so your team can consult them as necessary.

A screenshot of adding a start and end date on a task in ProjectManager

Assign, Track & Add Recurring Tasks

When your task list is complete, you need to execute it or assign that work to your team. Once the work begins, you’ll need to track its progress to make sure you’re on schedule.

Use the pulldown menu to assign the task to the appropriate team member. Track their progress on the real-time dashboard, team page, with one-click reporting and more.

If the task repeats, set up a recurring task by updating the recurrence settings on the task card. You can find it under the task name between the due date and priority.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

Once you’ve created your task list, you can’t just sit back and reap the benefits. A task list is a living document and requires occasional maintenance. Maintenance, in this instance, is more than simply crossing out those tasks you’ve completed. You always need to look over your task list, reevaluate your priorities and edit as needed.

Best Practices

Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your task list.

  • Be as thorough as possible. It’s easier to delete than add, so add everything no matter how small to capture everything you have to do in one place. If you need to edit, you can trim down the list to only essentials.
  • Assign each task with a number to identify it. This helps you when referencing the task, and facilitates communication when the task list is shared with a team. It also makes it easier to search for if you have an extensive task list.
  • Divide your task list into different categories. You’ve already done this in terms of priority, but that’s only one category. You might want to organize it by project phase or by which department or team is responsible for executing that task. This allows you to keep track of your work and check on its status so nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Turn your task list into a graph, such as a timeline chart. This lays out all your work chronologically on a horizontal timeline and provides you with perspective. This view can help you better plan your schedule, as you’re seeing every task in relation to the larger deadline.

Things to Avoid

It should be clear what is needed to make a task list, but it deserves reiterating. There are shortcuts you might take to just get everything on paper, but it’ll be a problem down the line.

  • Not estimating the duration of the task. Without a time estimation , your task isn’t part of the larger project schedule and can bog you down when you don’t have the time to spare.
  • Using different methodologies/mediums. You might start with a list on paper, then decide you need a more dynamic digital tool and finally land on an online application. If you’re testing the waters, that’s fine, but you don’t want to have bits and pieces of your work floating around all over the place. Once you’ve measured the pros and cons, make a decision and stick with it.
  • Don’t make your task list the day you’re starting to do that work. Some people like to start the day with a task list, but it takes time away from work, which dings your productivity, and could be just procrastinating. It’s better to end the day by looking towards the coming day (or week or month) and gathering up your work then. That way you can start the day running.
  • Don’t be too unrealistic. A task list is a working document, not a wish list. Keep it loaded with achievable goals. To determine what is realistic and what isn’t, you can use the SMART technique , which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, results and timeframe. It’ll help you know what you can and can’t do.

Task lists are not the only way to manage tasks, of course. There’s a whole field devoted to this discipline called task management . This expands on the task list to include assigning, collaborating, tracking and reporting on the work.

For example, a kanban board is a visual tool that is used to make work more efficient. Tasks are represented by cards, which move from column to column as they pass through the production cycle. This allows teams to manage their backlog and plan sprints, while managers have transparency into their process.

ProjectManager's kanban boards are a great alternative to task lists

Gantt charts are a visual tool for planning and scheduling your project. They have a timeline where every task is mapped from start to finish. But Gantts can then break up the larger task into milestones, which indicate when one phase ends and another begins. They also have tools to link task dependencies, those tasks that need to start or finish when another starts or finishes. This avoids bottlenecks later on in your project.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart, showing a task list

If you’re looking for a task list tool that can go the distance, then check out ProjectManager. The tool is fully loaded with all the task management features listed above and more to help you plan, track and report on your project. Stay on track and work more productively by taking this free 30-day trial . Sign up today!

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Task List: An Important Tool for Any Business

A business cannot run efficiently without a task list as it is the foremost key to efficiency. People who feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that they need to do are often the people who are not familiar with task lists or if they are, do not use task lists effectively.

Most businesses run on a very tight deadline and if the people involved in particular business or project do not maintain a proper work schedule, then there is a huge possibility of facing a constant barrage of near deadlines and often, they will be missed.

A task list is actually a prioritized list of all the tasks and responsibilities that need to be performed at a certain amount of time. The list will contain everything that needs to be done and obviously, the tasks that have the nearest deadline are given priorities.

Creating your own task list might sound simple but using it can get really complicated since most people are just familiar with drawing up task lists but never get used to following them.

On the other hand, businesses or people who use task lists are those people who meet their deadline and are more successful because they are able to manage their time properly and therefore, increase their productivity.

When you create task lists for your projects, it’s equivalent to drawing up a specific plan on how you want to carry out your business. If there are "big tasks" that you need to perform, divide them into smaller tasks or even subtasks.

When a task is finished, you can tick it off the list. On the process, you are not just accomplishing tasks and keeping track of your progress, but you are also eliminating potential hindrances that you might face because as each task is carried out and ticked off, you will be able to foresee the next step that you need to perform.

Task lists also create short term and long term goals for the employees and companies. When each goal is accomplished (or ticked off because you're done with it), then you're not simply finishing tasks but inspiring employees to achieve higher goals because they can evidently see their progress.

A business full of satisfied employees is more successful than a company that have employees who whine more about their jobs than actually finishing them.

So what can you do for your business to make it more productive? Start using task lists today. To start, you need to find yourself a suitable task list software. I myself find Swift To-Do List the best tool for my needs. It has all the functions like recurrence, reminders, tree structure, subtasks etc., yet it can be customized thoroughly so it doesn't display anything I do not need.

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Portfolio management

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A flexible, scalable on-premises solution for project portfolio management and everyday project and work management.

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Discover more about the new planner, access support and learning resources, see upcoming features for planner, get the latest news about planner.

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Statewide child care task force meets, sets plan for the rest of the year

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(Getty Images)

A child care task force made up of 24 South Dakota lawmakers, business leaders, parents and early childhood professionals had its first meeting last month, and the group plans to tackle the issue in meetings throughout the rest of the year.

South Dakota’s lack of affordable and accessible child care has been a concern in political and economic sectors for years, especially after the coronavirus pandemic widened cracks in the child care industry and Gov. Kristi Noem campaigned on the issue in 2022. South Dakota suffers an estimated $329 million loss in productivity due to its inadequate child care landscape, according to a study from ReadyNation, a nonprofit organization focused on business and economic development across the country.

Child care bills fail but give rise to optimism about study and task force

“We know that child care is critical to both the state’s prosperity and the workforce participation of thousands of South Dakotan parents,” said Brookings Sen. Tim Reed in a news release. “It’s time we take a careful look at what we might do to better support access and quality across the state and to explore common sense reforms that might better enable the state to meet the needs of its children, families and employers.”

The first meeting allowed members to explore challenges the child care industry faces and examples of how other states are working to stabilize the industry and support the workforce.

The meetings are not open to the public, said Kayla Klein, executive director of Early Learner SD. She said it would be “too messy” if too many people attend or don’t attend all meetings, since it’ll be a “progressive learning experience.” 

Klein said future conversations among task force members will lead to an idea of what investments “might be feasible” or what bills might be introduced at the next legislative session. The task force will not only focus on child care, Klein added, but the “whole perspective” for early childhood education, including preschool.

“It’s working with legislators — and state departments, too — to figure out what they want as long-term plans,” Klein said, “and then working with advocates and getting some field perspective so we can find where to meet in the middle.”

The task force will meet in Aberdeen in June, Pierre in August, and Deadwood in October ahead of a final report detailing recommendations by the group in December.

“I think this is just a really great jumping off point,” Klein added. “It’s great the legislative body is taking an interest along with fellow advocates and stakeholders across the state to consider what types of investments South Dakota should be making when it involves our youngest learners in the state.”



The post Statewide child care task force meets, sets plan for the rest of the year appeared first on South Dakota Searchlight .

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Home insurance premiums soar 55% – here's how you can mitigate rising costs

Shopping for insurance providers is one way to lower costs.


Homeowners can take steps to mitigate soaring insurance costs. ( iStock )

Homeowner insurance premiums have increased by 55% in the last four years as losses build and insurers struggle to recoup costs, according to a recent report.

In 2023 alone, insurance rates jumped 19%, the Guaranteed Rate Insurance  report  said. Prices are forecasted to keep rising as the increased frequency of natural disasters builds and inflation impacts home replacement costs. Those living in Florida, Texas and California have been hardest hit by the increased costs and nonrenewals as some carriers pulled out of those markets.  

"One of the most evident market trends in 2023, which will continue into 2024, is continued volatility, particularly as it relates to the presence of top in-state carriers and the availability of insurance," the Guaranteed Rate report said. "In some areas, top carriers are no longer offering new policies. These exits, however, have not caused 'vacuums' as there is evidence of new carriers, especially surplus lines, in select states entering the market due to the ability to offer policies at higher premiums."

Whether your concern is hurricane damage, tornado damage, wind damage or flood damage, it's best to obtain multiple quotes from several insurance companies to compare prices and what is and isn't covered. To help you find the best insurance rate for your situation, visit Credible to compare multiple providers and choose the right option .


Home insurance adds to affordability challenge

Rising insurance costs add to the affordability challenges of homeownership. Consumers also face high mortgage rates and home prices. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage  has held steady above the 7%  range for the past two weeks, according to Freddie Mac.

Meanwhile, home prices continue to increase and are now 6.4% above their level last year, up from the 6% increase registered in January, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index  report .

Much like insurance rates, mortgage rates are forecasted to remain high as the Federal Reserve stalls on dialing back interest rates. Fed officials have said in past meetings that they anticipated rate cuts for 2024, but need more confidence that inflation is heading toward the 2% target rate. Mortgage rates are closely tied to interest rate movements. 

Home prices are likely to keep gaining, too.  Fannie Mae adjusted its home price projection  and forecasts upward, forecasting prices to increase 4.8% annually in 2024 and 1.5% in 2025.

If you have a mortgage, you're typically required to carry homeowners insurance, but you don't have to stick with any particular insurance company. If you want to save on your home insurance costs, you could shop around for the best rate. Credible can help you compare home insurance rates from top insurance carriers all in one place.


How to mitigate rising insurance costs

While rising insurance costs affect most homeowners, taking these steps can help lower costs, reduce risk and ensure you have proper coverage:

Shop for a new policy

Comparing insurance rates across multiple carriers is one way to lower costs. 

"This process is critical and can reveal potential savings, as each carrier uses proprietary formulas and algorithms to determine rates," Guaranteed Rate said. 

Increase your deductible

By increasing your deductibles, you agree to take on a larger share of the replacement costs following a claim, typically resulting in a decrease in your premium.

"Even if an individual's insurer has automatically raised the deductible at renewal, customers may still save money on their premium by further increasing their deductible," Guaranteed Rate said.

Bundle your home and car insurance

Consumers have long turned to bundling homeowners and auto insurance policies as one way to lower costs. Depending on the state, many insurance carriers offer premium discounts of up to 5% – 20% if customers bundle their policies, according to the report.

Make sure you are covered properly

Homeowners who actively check their policy can review it to see if it meets their needs and if they are paying for the coverage they want. However, be careful not to reduce coverage to the point where you are no longer adequately covered.

"Escalating inflation and trade expenses have led to instances where homeowners facing a loss realize their coverage limits are inadequate for rebuilding purposes," Guaranteed Rate said. 

If you want to make sure you have enough insurance and the right coverage for your needs, you can visit Credible to check out plans, providers and costs .


Have a finance-related question, but don't know who to ask?  Email The Credible Money Expert at  [email protected]  and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

task list business plan


  1. EXCEL of Simple Business Task List.xlsx

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    The steps below will guide you through the process of creating a business plan and what key components you need to include. 1. Create an executive summary. Start with a brief overview of your entire plan. The executive summary should cover your business plan's main points and key takeaways.

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    This section of your simple business plan template explores how to structure and operate your business. Details include the type of business organization your startup will take, roles and ...

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    Marketing Plan. Your plan should include the following marketing plan sections: Product: detail the specific features of your business's product. Price: identify your business pricing and if there will be different pricing levels (e.g., free, premium) and what exactly those levels will be. Place: name where your business will be located.

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    Business Glossary. Definitions for common terminology and acronyms that every small business owner should know. Bplans offers free business plan samples and templates, business planning resources, how-to articles, financial calculators, industry reports and entrepreneurship webinars.

  11. 10 Free Business Plan Templates in Word, Excel, & ClickUp

    7. ClickUp Small Business Action Plan Template. ClickUp Small Business Action Plan Template. The Small Business Action Plan Template by ClickUp is tailor-made for small businesses looking to transform their business ideas and goals into actionable steps and, eventually, into reality.

  12. Business Plan Checklist • Checkify

    A business plan defines the business's goals, objectives and strategies for achieving them. Research has shown the writing a business plan makes your startup more likely to succeed. Successful start-ups created their business plan a year to six months before starting their business. According to them, "writing a plan in this timeframe ...

  13. A Complete Business Plan Checklist

    Your Financial Plan section should have five sub-sections as follows: Revenue Model Financial Highlights Funding Requirements Use of Funds Exit Strategy. Supporting Documentation. Explore our 400+ sample business plans prepared for a wide variety of industries to help you start writing and planning your business plan.

  14. Business Plan Checklist

    A well-developed business plan is critical for any start-up business. To develop a thorough business plan, research your customers and competition; avoid mistakes that lead to business failure; and know how to implement a business plan and make it work. Your business plan should include a basic financial statement, all major pieces of a ...

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    In the business plan outline below, you will see the ten (10) sections common to business plans, and the twenty-three (23) sub-sections you must complete. Also, to help you out, here is my proven ...

  16. Free Starting Business Checklist Template [2023] • Asana

    Tips for starting a business with our checklist template. Invite partners and collaborators. Share your plans and to-dos with trusted partners and collaborators to craft better plans, think through risks and solve them. It's as easy as inviting them to Asana and assigning them a task. Keep priorities clear.

  17. 30+ Free Task and Checklist Templates

    Find free task list and checklist templates for Word, Excel, and PDF, including basic task and to-do list templates, as well as specific use case templates for business and personal projects. ... Use this simple business plan template to organize project tasks. The template is divided into phases so you can list tasks chronologically; it also ...

  18. Business Plan Checklist

    Overview. The first section of your business plan is the executive summary. It includes1-2 pages giving a concise overview of the business plan. The section should focus the reader on the key idea of why you believe your business initiative is successful financially. Do the following tasks to write the executive summary of your plan.

  19. 65 Startup Business Goals Examples to Set in 2024

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  20. How to Create an Effective Task List for Your Small Business Team

    Step 1: Define your goals and objectives. As a small business owner, you know how important it is to set detailed goals for yourself. The same goes for setting goals for your whole team—both short-term and long-term. In fact, 90% of people perform better with relevant, challenging, and achievable goals. That's nothing to sneeze at!

  21. Task Lists: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Tasks with Lists

    Task lists are not the only way to manage tasks, of course. There's a whole field devoted to this discipline called task management. This expands on the task list to include assigning, collaborating, tracking and reporting on the work. For example, a kanban board is a visual tool that is used to make work more efficient.

  22. To Do List and Task Management App

    To do list apps such as the Microsoft To Do app are the best ways to create a to do list on your phone. With Microsoft To Do you can easily create and sync your task lists across multiple devices so you have your to do list available whether you are on your desktop, phone, or tablet. The Microsoft To Do App sets you up for success by helping ...

  23. Task List: An Important Tool for Any Business

    When you create task lists for your projects, it's equivalent to drawing up a specific plan on how you want to carry out your business. If there are "big tasks" that you need to perform, divide them into smaller tasks or even subtasks. When a task is finished, you can tick it off the list. On the process, you are not just accomplishing tasks ...

  24. Compare All Planner Options and Prices| Microsoft Planner

    Plan and execute projects with Copilot in Planner (preview) 3 and advanced project management capabilities. Includes the Project Online desktop client and Project Online. Buy now. Or try free for one month. Trial cancellation terms apply 1. Project Plan 5. Originally starting from $55.00 now starting from $55.00.

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    Here's my pick of the 10 best software from the 29 tools reviewed. 1. — Best for automated time tracking. 2. Freedcamp — Best for free project management tools. 3. Trello — Best for visual project planning. 4. Todoist — Best for personal task management.

  26. Statewide child care task force meets, sets plan for the rest of the year

    A child care task force made up of 24 South Dakota lawmakers, business leaders, parents and early childhood professionals had its first meeting last month, and the group plans to tackle the issue in meetings throughout the rest of the year. South Dakota's lack of affordable and accessible child care has been a concern in […] The post Statewide child care task force meets, sets plan for the ...

  27. here's how you can mitigate rising costs

    Credible is solely responsible for the services it provides. Homeowner insurance premiums have increased by 55% in the last four years as losses build and insurers struggle to recoup costs ...