Kudos! If you have been thinking about running a startup business. Now, before getting into a real business, you need to organize the launching process into practicable tasks.
We’ll introduce you to a startup checklist that ensures to cover all the responsibilities and to-do lists. To simplify this complex process, we have categorized this checklist into essential tasks and supporting tasks.
Strategized startup launch includes validation of your business objectives, financial estimation, and conclusions, getting through legal activities, and commitment to deliver extraordinary customer service.
This startup checklist will guide you through each step from commencing an idea to launching your startup company.
12 Best Startup Checklist
1. Come Up With A Great Business Idea
A great business idea can make you earn tremendous profits. But profit should not be the sole motivation for starting a business. It should suit your personal interest, target audience, and location. Running a business is a long-term decision. Therefore, you should make choices that support you in the future as well.
- Figure out your strengths and weaknesses
- Perform a self SWOT analysis
- Think of a business idea that is best suited for your strengths
- Start your research for innovative creation
- Specify what success means to you
- Consistent market research: trends and technologies
2. Do The Market Research And Evaluate Your Business Idea
Get yourself involved in market research to find out about ongoing trends, technology, and demands. Follow these steps to conduct powerful market research:
- Identify the problem your business intent to solve
- Check whether your solution serves the market purpose
- The urgency to launch your startup
- Future relevancy of your business
- Know your target market
- Identify your target audience
- Check for the market size
- Effort and cost estimation to make real customers
- Select the best suitable location to set up an office
- Compare your product features with other substitutes
- Cost estimation to deliver an exceptional customer experience
- Knowledge check of your industry
- Organize an efficient team to execute your plan
- Assign job responsibilities to all the team members
- Make an annual investment plan
- Make an investment plan for pre-launch
- Prepare a comparison sheet for your total costing and sales forecast to determine profits.
- Determine your business goal and duration to achieve it.
- Find out time duration to reach out to the market
- Get your business idea validated
- Conduct public surveys to ensure your product will solve their problem within their financial capacity.
- Decide whether your product is priced correctly for potential customers.
3. Personality Analysis To Be An Entrepreneur
Evaluate yourself to check whether you have the required personality traits to be a successful entrepreneur. These traits include innovative vision, persistence, ability to face challenges, extensive pressure handling skills, highly enthusiastic and appealing. Go back to the time when you showed these traits practically to understand your own personality.
The reality is that business doesn’t shine through overnight, it takes continuous effort and patience to make it successful. Initially, you might face challenges that will make you irresolute and skeptical about your ideas. Confidence and an optimistic approach can change your startup game. Such an approach pushes you to achieve your goals and psychologically prepares you to deal with failure.
Do not miss out on your own individuality by blindly following popular entrepreneurs trending on social media platforms like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Most of the entrepreneurs are not college dropouts. They are experienced people with powerful marketable ideas.
4. Get Family And Friends’ Support
Inform your friends and family members about your startup plans and their influence on your personal and professional life. Appreciate constructive criticism and ignore destructive criticism for your startup growth. You’ll have numerous challenges to face. However, supportive family members and friends are a great encouragement to fight those challenges.
5. Look For A Mentor
Find a mentor who knows the market and has enough experience in the same industry you are trying to get into for your professional and emotional evolution. Experienced mentor comes with a great business network that gives you exposure to find new clients, investors, employees etc. Do not worry- if you don’t have anyone to act like a mentor for your guidance, various websites can help you find a qualified mentor and their contact information
6. Get Your Finances Organized
To rise above your limitations and avoid getting strapped financially, you should stay prepared with a thorough financial plan that includes all the information right from cost estimation for startup launch to profit expectation in the initial years.
7. Outlook Of Your Business Plan
Expressing your ideas and strategies in words gives structure to your thoughts. As per HBR, you can increase your chances to succeed up to 16% more by simply writing a business plan. Planning helps entrepreneurs to clear up their vision, appoint the right people, raise funds, execute job responsibilities and sell their businesses like hotcakes.
There is no certain pattern to prepare your business plan. You can find several business plan templates on the internet. But there are some crucial factors that you must include in your business plan:
1. Executive Synopsis: Once you’re done with making a plan, write it down for future use. A short description of your business should convey your business ideas and information related to your products.
2. Company Representation: Present your business model, development strategies, values, agenda and structure formation.
3. Product/Service Information: Provide detailed information about the solution that you are about to offer in the market along with that special purpose you have committed at the time of its invention. Do not forget to mention the pricing model of your product.
4. Market Analysis: Here you can regulate all your market research into your target market, competition and domain as a whole. You can also add clients’ personas and categories.
5. Marketing And Sales Strategies: Try creating a buzz in the market during your project launch, attract leads and convert them into happy customers. This part includes both the primary marketing mechanism with different platforms and customer relationship management(CRM) tools.
6. Team Formation: It’s essential to think about your employees’ strength and assign job responsibilities according to their skills. You should prepare yourself for the upcoming potential growth and how many skilled professionals you might recruit to support sudden blooming.
7. Financial Demands And Plans: Mention all the estimated costs for manufacturing the product, hiring professionals and other plans to establish your startup. This part determines the investment amount you need to execute your business idea. Similarly, you should incorporate revenue flow, profit forecast, sales objectives and other financial variables that can influence your financial state.
Once you have a right tick on your business plan, you can move forward to the next step of your new business startup checklist.
8. Organize Your Team
Whether you choose an online or offline channel to set up your business, you can’t perform business by being a one-man army. You need a team to execute your ideas into action. You might want to do everything on your own due to a lack of finances for hiring people, but at least you need one person to support you while making decisions.
1. Form A Management Team: Appoint one or more people to assist you to manage job responsibilities and uniform business decisions.
2. Develop A Business Culture: Figure out your startup objective and its significance. Keep them into consideration and utilize them in marketing during your scaling period.
3. Frame A Communication Structure: Choose the preferred methods of communication, build a communication hierarchy, make your own meeting templates, and set up a wiki.
4. Effective Selection For Project Management And Tracking Tools: Keep monitoring your performance progress and identify restrictions to streamline the process.
5. Sign Up For An Outsourcing Technical Partner: Distribute tasks between internal and offshore teams for increased productivity within your budget.
9. Make Marketing And Sales Strategies
Marketing and sales strategies put your brand in the spotlight by attracting people’s attention to your product. No idea can serve its purpose without following marketing and sales strategies.
This startup checklist includes your target audience, the way you are going to sell your product, how much profit you would make, and once you are done with it, you can give yourself a thumbs up to launch your startup.
1. Brand Identity Development: Make decisions based on the intensity you intend to stimulate and value transmission through the product. Keep your message clear and consistent on all communication platforms. Developing business identity helps you elevate brand recognition and faith.
2. Online Activeness: Once you have decided on your target audience and brand identity, you can set up your social media and promotion accounts to attract prospects. Email newsletter, blog content, and updated website are equally essential for marketing and sales strategies.
3. Setting Up A Sales Funnel: You can’t break even relying only on traffic generation. You need to convert these leads into real customers. You need to make compelling conversion strategies to ensure the maximum conversion rate at all times.
4. Setting Up Sales Tools: CRM is the topmost priority in this startup checklist. Whether you use simple or modern methods to keep your records like spreadsheets, ready-made or customized CRM tools, it’s necessary to document your sales and customer details for an organized sales structure.
5. Sales Target: When your business plan is ready, you are aware of the sales you need to make to empower your business growth. Guide your team to achieve the desired target, analyze problems if they fail, and respond promptly towards its solution.
10. Complete All The Legal Formalities
Take care of all legal issues that can affect your brand reputation. Follow these steps to get your business legalized:
- Make a legal business structure
- Get your business and domain name registered
- File for trademark protection if you will link your business name with the product identification.
- Get any federal and state licenses or permits that you may require to run your business
- Get your Employer Identification Number(federal business tax ID number)
11. Perfect Bookkeeping
Accounting means documenting and keeping records of all the revenues, expenses, and changes in your assets. Accounts management and tracking are crucial for your business management. The process includes your company’s receipts, payments, invoices, and cash flow. Now you can simply manage your books using convenient accounting software like Quickbooks– one of the smoothest methods to manage accounts for small and medium-sized businesses. Another option is outsourcing, where a professional accounting firm handles your business accounting.
12. Know Your Taxes
This startup checklist would let you know about the business taxes. You should have a plan to manage your taxes successfully. Setting up your business location plays a vital role in tax evaluation. If you want to establish your business in a specific jurisdiction, you should get informed about the following taxes right away:
- Corporate income tax
- Capital gains tax
- Dividend tax
- Tax on foreign-source income
- Tax treaties with other countries
Avoid risking your business reputation by paying taxes on time. Owners should know what taxes they have to pay and when. Consulting an accountant for professional advice on taxes at the early stage is suggested.
The Team MarkComm Pitch is made up of people from marketing backgrounds, from digital marketing & content marketing backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. Team is passionate about creating unique, accurate, and engaging content.