What you need in your new business start-up kit

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Few times are more exciting than when you’re just about ready to launch your new business. The potential and possibilities seem almost endless, but it can be nerve-wracking too. You may have been planning your foray into business ownership for years, but in the weeks before you take the big leap, you need to make sure that you’re truly ready to handle the business that will be coming your way.

Most entrepreneurs are big-picture thinkers, capable of planning out long-term strategies and goals. However, to ensure that your business is really set up for success, don’t neglect the small picture. Tiny details like having the right supplies – and enough of them – will play a big role in how your business functions and is perceived by customers, vendors and competitors. Here is a cheat sheet for some of the things you’ll need to have as you launch your company.

* Mail supplies. If you have products that you’ll be sending to clients, start collecting the packaging you’ll need to mail them out safely and securely. Appropriately sized boxes, bubble mailers and plenty of packing material (like bubble wrap or packing peanuts) are all essential. Even if your business isn’t product-focused, you’ll need a big supply of stamps, and it’s a great help to have customized return address labels, which save time while presenting a professional appearance.

* Branded communications. Even if you’ve got the greatest business name in history, it might take a little bit for it to stick in peoples’ minds. That’s why it’s important to get your company’s name in front of as many eyes as possible, as often as possible. Have business cards, letterhead, envelopes, notecards and checks custom printed with your name and logo on them. Sites like www.Vistaprint.com are a great resource for getting quality customized paper goods and more at reasonable prices.

* A word-of-mouth army. You can’t buy word-of-mouth marketing, but you can create it. Send out invitations to a launch party and let members of your local business community get to know you and what you’ll be doing. Impress them from the start and they’ll talk about what they’ve seen, which can expand your customer base.

* Marketing collateral. Whether you hand it out at a trade show, your business location or your launch party, marketing collateral works hard for the money you spend on it. Items like wall calendars, pens, T-shirts and totebags, emblazoned with your company’s logo help to build recognition and positive associations with your business. Having them made can be surprisingly affordable and it’ll be an investment that keeps paying you back.

* Hardware and software. Computers are as essential to business as phones are, so it’s essential that you have up-to-date equipment. The initial cost can be significant, but having a fast, updated system will save you – and more importantly, your customers – a lot of headaches. Be sure to get the newest software systems that are relevant to your business.

Courtesy of ARAcontent