Startup Checklist: 9 Working Steps for Your Business
August 05, 2019
8 min read
Today we share our starting a business checklist.
We have developed it based on David Rose's The Startup Checklist, advice by Entrepreneur, Fundable, Atomic Squirrel, and others. We've attempted to make this list as comprehensive and detailed as possible. However, all startups and niches are different, and you might need to add a few extra points to our list. If so, please, share your additions in the comment sections.
This is not a guidebook or an ultimate instruction manual on how to start a business from scratch. Instead, it is a handy list of all the things you need to remember when you are set on starting a company. We won't go into much detail on any of the points but will provide links to helpful resources that will provide the necessary information.
1. Create an idea
Start up business ideas are a dime a dozen nowadays. In fact, even startup incubators have RFS (request for startup) lists that outline the concepts they are willing to fund and nurture. You can use one of these or come up with your unique idea. While you are still pumped with the exhilaration of a chance to change the world, go over these steps to ensure your idea is worthy of your time and money. You should:
2. Find your product/market fit
According to the much-cited CBInsights research, 42% of startups fail because there's no market need for their product. To ensure your project never meets such an unfortunate fate, you must think about the product/market fit early on.
This elusive moment when your customers become your sales reps should become one of the revenue drivers. After all, when existing users are happy and ready to share their great experience, you're bound to attract more business than ever. To get to the point where at least 40% of your customers would be sorry to see your product disappear, you need to:
Once you know your target customer, your core offer, and its unique value proposition, you've found the product/market fit and are ready to move on to the next stage.
3. Write a business plan
Formalizing your ideas and plans on paper may seem like a waste of time, but according to HBR, writing a business plan makes you <medium>16% more likely to succeed<medium>. Besides, planning helps founders clean up their ideas, achieve their full potential, find the right people for the team, secure funding, and sell their businesses. While plenty of business plan templates exist, there's no one correct way to create yours. However, there are crucial sections you must always include, such as:
With your business plan ready, you should have a clear picture of the next steps of the new business startup checklist, and your idea is much more likely to attract investors. Next comesthe time to enact the plans you've made.
4. Line up the team
Whether you start an offline or an online business, you will need a team to work on it. Even ifyou feel you can do everything on your own and have no money to hire anyone, you need atleast a second pair of eyes on all decisions.
Think about Internet giants, such as Google, Apple, or Microsoft, that all started with a two-person team. Buzzy Clubhouse social app was launched by two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
Moreover, investors are 30% more likely to fund your venture if you have a cofounder. So before you move any further with your business idea:
5. Develop a marketing and sales strategy
It's never too early to think about marketing and sales, even if your company doesn't have a name yet. After all, even the best idea will never see the light of day unless you know how to market and sell it. Just look at Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla. With all the preliminary strategizing work done at previous stages, now you have to start implementing your plans, including:
6. Register your business and the name
Setting up a business takes lots of time and paperwork. However, you need to take yourbusiness structure and brand name issues seriously, as they are likely to stay the samefor the foreseeable future. Even if you decide to shorten or change the company name later,you will need to go through the same steps:
Depending on the country your business is registered in and your line of work,you might need to acquire a business license, a seller's permit, and other paperwork necessary to make your business legal. Use advice from the following section to stay out of legal trouble.
7. Avoid legal issues
When starting a business in the USA or anywhere else in the world, you will face dozens of legal decisions. Instead of wasting your time translating legalese into English, find a competent attorney, and ask for advice. Better yet, hire a legal advisor to handle delicate legal matters. You can even negotiate a deferred payment or offer stocks for their services if your budget cannot handle attorney's charges. Follow our starting a business checklist to avoid legal and regulatory troubles. While there are many more possible precautions, you should at least:
8. Take care of finances
Running out of money is among the main reasons small business owners fail. However, starting a business checklist accounts for more than just fundraising. Your financial strategy should include everything from fundraising and accounting to exit options. If you have several backup plans to get you out of financial trouble, your startup will be more likely to succeed.
To avoid money issues as a startup founder, you should:
9. Get product and business opportunities
Most tips on starting a business deal only with this category, avoiding the complications of dealing with legal and financial issues, or finding a reliable offshore IT vendor. Our online business startup checklist has already taken you through these hurdles, and now it's time to focus on turning your idea into a marketable and profitable product. This process requires you to:
In this business startup checklist template, we have tried to answer the WHAT of setting up a business in the USA or elsewhere. We'll explain the HOW in future posts, one point at a time, so stay tuned and sign up for updates. If you are already halfway through this checklist and are now looking for an IT vendor to help with MVP development, Freshcode is a reliable choice, trusted by startups across the globe.