Depends on the business you want to start. Sounds to me like that's where it needs to start. Know what you want to do.
From there, download Dan's business plan and complete it. At that point you should have an idea of what it looks like on paper.
You'll need to check your local, state, and federal laws for what kind of entity you're going to start up. Get an EIN (tax number) right away regardless of what entity type you choose because otherwise you'll end up giving out your Social Security number every time you fill out paperwork for your business.
This shouldn't take you more than a day or two to get all the paperwork filled out.
Set up a separate checking account so that you can keep your personal receipts separate from your business receipts. The better you can do this, the better your business will function.
Gee, that's day three out of the way.
Begin implementing plan. That business plan is just a guideline. I've found that sometimes you can't do one part of the plan until another is started. This of the acrobat who's spinning plates on the stage -- he can't start spinning another plate until the first one is spinning on its own. Building a business is kind of like that. You can't start speaking until you've been blogging for awhile and have some success there that keeps it moving under it's own momentum. You can't can't do the podcast until you've been speaking for awhile and know your subject and target audience. You can't blog until you've found out what you're going to write about. See how the wheel goes round. And some plates take longer to get spinning than others.
Why lock yourself into an 18 month schedule when it may only take you 1 month to be up and running? Why stress yourself out about doing this in 18 months when the research for your book will take you 2 years? Why not blog about what you're finding in the meanwhile and build your readership as well as the first draft of your book? As Doctor Who would say, "Timey-whimey, wibbley-wobbly." It all threads around like a giant ball of yarn. The important thing is that you jump in and get moving! No, it won't be black and white. No one can make a checklist of your business for you because only you know what your life is like and what commitments you already have. Again, I repeat, don't lock yourself in -- just get started. The next step on the path will appear to you when you're moving. But if you're not moving, you'll see nothing but blackness before you.
Also, don't be afraid of the small steps. Think of a baby just beginning to walk. They are "baby steps." But to that baby, those steps are huge and unsteady. Soon, baby is running. Plates are spinning. And you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
I hope I wasn't too harsh when I wrote this last night. I have a tendency to be very black or white when I see that someone needs to just start doing instead of worry about a checklist. There just isn't a "do this, then do that, then this," map to business. Everyone gets there a different route.
With my own business, I admit that while I've been working on it but I haven't been concerned with the results. And yes, when I decided to do it, I did just jump in and start swimming. As a result, it hasn't been doing as well as I would've hoped. To be perfectly honest, part of me still feels like I'm at "Step 1: Decide what you want to do." After 4 years, I still feel like I haven't hit on the right button and I'm still looking for it. Still I keep moving and searching for the combination that will define my unique skills and abilities. I feel I'm getting closer. I also knew that it was going to take awhile to build a following -- not something that can be done overnight.
One thing I did this year that has made a big difference was to sit down and make out a budget. I had enough data to really know what my yearly costs were going to be. If I wanted to make more money, I had to plan to make more money. This move has actually been one of the best things I've done. If there's any time tables you want to put in place, it's a budget. But only you know where you want to be and you have to make it realistic. Again, I had three years of data to know where I had been and I knew where I wanted to get to. I set realistic but substantial goals in my budget. I'm pleased to say that so far I'm on track with them. But you don't have to wait. You can estimate your income and expenses when looking at your business plan.
Let us know how it goes.
They get after it ..
They do have some good info!