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Create a timetable for setting up your business – Checklist for the key steps

Before starting a business, you should draw up a timetable. This helps you to work through all important points in the correct order. In addition, the timetable allows you to see from the outset which tasks will take up what amount of time, for example. From the idea to the opening of the business inevitably some time passes.

The preparation phase

When you write a checklist for starting up your business, the first point is to gather information. You should attend start-up seminars or information events for start-ups, which are available in every large town. Information material that you can request free of charge from the Federal Ministry of Economics is also helpful. In this phase you will learn everything about support programmes that are available for starting up your own business. You will also learn how to analyse the market.

Other points include

  • the site analysis
  • the demand analysis
  • the competitor analysis
  • estimating the number of customers

With this information and the support of professional consultants, you can then prepare the business plan, in which you explain

  • what type of company you want
  • how the above analyses turned out
  • what skills you have
  • what your financial planning looks like
  • whether and what number of staff you require
  • which marketing measures you intend to carry out

The more convincing the plan is, the greater your chances of success in the next step. You go to the bank with your business plan and explain what you intend to do. If the experts find your plan well-founded, they will grant you a loan.

What happens in the implementation phase

Before you buy a site, you should get the permission from the responsible district administrative authority to operate a car wash facility there. Only then can you be sure that you can start your car wash business there.

The next step would be the purchase of the site and the car wash system including the construction. In this case, the purchase of office equipment is also required. Alternatively, if you take over an existing car wash from someone else, you sign the purchase contract and take over the permit from the previous owner.

A new installation requires a logo and/or a name. Check on the Internet to see whether your desired name already exists and, if necessary, think of a new one. Have a designer create a logo.
Plan you marketing strategy carefully. When and how would you like to first draw attention to the car wash? Do you want to create a website or at least set up a Facebook account? Also consider an interview with the local newspaper.

Apply for the funding that is available for your business plan and take out all the necessary insurance. Register with the trade supervisory authority and open a business account.
If you want your employees to wear uniform business clothing, order it in advance. Also equip the shop and order the appropriate cleaning chemicals.

Create a timetable for the opening

Invite not only family and friends, but also important residents of the town and the local press to the grand opening. Attract customers with discount offers that you announce in advance. In the days leading up to the opening, carefully go through all the steps with your employees and explain to them the behaviour you expect of them.

Creating a checklist for setting up a company with a timetable tool
There are tools that you can use for creating a timetable. You probably already have one of these on your computer: Excel offers timetables in its templates – depending on the version, you can search for "Gantt" or "Timetable". Here you can divide the individual tasks into subtasks and always have an overview of what you should have completed by when.

If you don't know enough about Excel or if you want another tool, there are several options, those that are free and those that you have to pay for. If you would like to create a timetable for the opening of a car wash, the free options are however sufficient. Ganttproject or dotproject have proven to be intuitive to use.

Summary: Draw up a timetable and bring structure to the start-up company

When setting up a company, you have so many things to consider that you can easily lose track of them. By creating a timetable, you keep track of all tasks. You will find helpful, often free tools for this purpose online.

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