Setting up and successfully starting your business ultimately depends on whether you have all the right boxes checked.
Did you conduct market research? Do you know your audience? Does your name truly represent your brand?
These are but a few questions you should have an answer to.
Actually, so much depends on what you do during the initial stages of your business.
That’s why you need to have everything done according to plan so that you not only set your startup for success but protect your business from trouble with authorities.
Now, is there a way to make the process easy?
This post has a comprehensive checklist you need to ensure you have everything you need to get your business going.
Let’s get into it.
1. Research Your Market
How can you tell if your business idea will hit the ground running on all fronts?
Start with market research.
Confirm the viability of your idea and whether there’s a target audience that would love your product or service.
- Is there a real problem your product can solve?
- What solution will your business offer?
- Is there an urgent need for what you offer?
- Will your business be able to maintain relevancy 5 or 10 years from now?
Then, once you’ve determined this, find out who your audience is.
What characteristics make up your ideal buyer? Think in terms of demographics, income, education level, etc.
How much will it cost you to attain them, get them to convert, and retain them?
Additionally, think of the market size and an ideal location for your business.
Then, examine competitors. Discover what marketing tactics they use, which ones deliver, and whether there’s a gap you can fill.
Next, validate your idea by finding out if truly there’s a market for what you offer.
You can do this by interviewing potential buyers and discovering whether your solution would solve their problems or whether they would buy from you.
2. Create Your Plan
Your business plan should clearly showcase your understanding of the market while also detailing your execution strategy. It should also show your passion and why you believe you will succeed.
So, what are some of the basics it should entail?
Executive summary: It should detail what your business will do and what will drive its success. It should also include a brief overview of your corporate structure and team, mission statement, basic financial information, company facts, and company growth highlights.
Mission statement: Should detail your ideal buyers, what values your business will consider important, and how you will determine success.
Company description: Describe what problems you wish to solve, your customers, your unique selling proposition (USP), location, team expertise, etc.
Service or product: What are you selling, and what sets it apart from competitors?
Organization and management: Include details on whether you want to form a limited liability company, sole proprietorship, nonprofit, etc. Additionally, outline who will run the company, their percentage ownership, and structure.
Marketing and sales: Explain how you intend to get customers, sell to them, and retain them.
Market analysis: Should expound on your understanding of the industry and target market. Who are the competitors, what makes them successful, and why will your idea make your business stand out?
Financial information: What are your projections, and how will you fund the business?
3. Name Your Business
Come up with a business name that truly represents what your business does and its values. Your business name should also be unique, short to remember, and memorable.
Doing this then makes sure your audience easily remembers your business.
Is that all?
Don’t stop at getting a name when taking care of your startup checklist.
In this below infographic created by GovDocFiling, you can easily access and download a detailed checklist of seven crucial elements to take care of when starting a business.
Check it out.
Brett Shapiro is a co-owner of GovDocFiling. He had an entrepreneurial spirit since he was young. He started GovDocFiling, a simple resource center that takes care of the mundane, yet critical, formation documentation for any new business entity.