Grow your Business Checklist

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the startup phase of running a business. You’re in a perfect place to consider the next stage for your company. To help you with your planning, we created this checklist to offer you ideas and suggestions. Keep in mind this isn’t intended to be all-inclusive. Only you know everything you need to do to keep your business growing at the right pace for you.

Step 1: Review Your Business Plan and Strategy
  • Update Your Business Plan
    Reviewing your original ideas will help you create a more current and relevant roadmap for continued success. Check out resources for free business coaching services.
  • Review Your Leadership Team
    Checking in with your financial and legal advisors team periodically is always a good idea. You might also consider finding a business mentor or informal advisory board to ensure that you continue to have a fresh perspective on your business. Check out networking opportunities.
Step 2: Evaluate your Business Needs
  • Evaluate Your Business Structure
    If you started your business as a sole proprietorship, you may want to update your status if you’re now in a partnership or have hired employees—so check with an attorney or accountant for a review of your structure. For a list of business structures, visit the State of Washington AccessWA business structure page. Note: Any change to your business structure must be recorded with the State of Washington.
  • Consider Your Location
    When your business is in expansion mode, you might need more physical space. Check out our downtown and neighborhoods page for options on expanding your business. You will also want to check with the Planning and Development Services Department to make sure that the property is zoned for your business use.
  • Maintain Licenses and Permits
    It’s a good idea to contact city, state and federal agencies for updates on licensing and permitting process and to keep your records up to snuff. Visit our licenses and requirements page for agency contact information.
  • Master Your Operations
    Continue to establish proactive operational procedures to help you stay on top of what’s going on inside your business. Contact City of Tacoma staff for quarterly reports on over 700 industries or connect with your industry trade association to stay current.
Step 3: Grow Your Market
  • Research Your Market
    Customer behaviors change over time, so get updated information about your customers and how to reach them. Visit our market research page to find out how to obtain customized information.
  • Increasing Sales/Marketing Efforts
    Continue to learn how to generate more business from your current customers or identify new customers. For ideas, consider attending a business workshop or utilize free business coaching services.
Step 4: Consider Additional Financing
  • As you move into a phase of growth, make sure you have a good funding source that will sustain you through economic ups and downs. For detailed information go to our financing page.
Step 5: Hiring Employees
  • Don’t hesitate to delegate the workload and invest in good staff that can help you do more so you can grow your business effectively. If you need extra staff, learn the difference between hiring an independent contractor and an employee at the State’s Department of Revenue hiring page. If you decide to hire employees, you will be required to fill out a new Washington State Business Application and register them for workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. Visit the Washington State AccessWA hiring page for detailed information on hiring employees.  To find qualified workers, consider Workforce Explorer to research wage information and post job openings.
Step 6: Take time to celebrate your successful milestones!