Start up Check List

Learmonth Marketing Business Checklist

Organizing what needs to be done before you launch and what  you can take care of down the road makes it easier to prioritize your tasks.

Determine viability

Here you need to be brutally honest - Is this something that you can make a profit doing or delivering? Will you have enough customers to cover costs and make a profit?


Create a business plan

It’s really easy to think that you don’t need a business plan but you do!! This is one of the most important aspects of starting your new business. Think through all the details. Refer back to your business plan with every new step you take with your business.


Figure out the money

Most startups take a lot more time to get off the ground than you expect (bank on at least a 2 year plan). Know where your living expenses will come from for the first year (savings, a job, spouse’s income, etc.). If you need financing for the business, start investigating as soon as possible.


Get your family behind you

Spend time to make sure they “buy into” your startup. You will have enough challenges without resistance from family.


Choose a business name

Brain Storming can be fun! Get your family and friends to help if you can't come up with something that really feels right.

 


Register a domain name

Get a domain to match your business name. Learmonth Marketing can help you set this up.


Incorporate/figure out legal structure.

Register your business,  join associations, etc.


Set up your website

Get your website up and running as soon as possible. It is necessary for credibility. Learmonth Marketing can help you with creativity matched specifically to your business.


Register social media profiles.

Getting set up as quickly as possible will make marketing on social media sites easier down the road. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Learmonth Marketing can help you with all your social media platforms.


Start your revenue stream

Start generating revenue as soon as possible. At the early stages of a startup there is never enough money- resist the temptation to wait until things are perfect.


Rent retail or office space

Rent only if necessary until you get a certain amount of clientele, but always keep looking for that spot to call your own. Which area? Is this a prime area?


Order business cards

They are inexpensive, get LOTS of them!! You will be doing a lot of networking! Without cards you lack credibility.


Open a business bank account

It’s all too easy to use your personal bank account to pay for business expenses, but it becomes a snarl to untangle later (especially in how it relates to taxes).


Set up your accounting system.

Once you have your bank account set up,  choose an accounting program. Start right away! Few things will doom your business faster than books that are a mess.


Upgrade your smartphone and choose apps

As an entrepreneur you are going to be on the go – a lot! It is very useful to have a good phone with good business apps.  Get a credit card swipe device to accept payments too.


Consult your insurance agent and secure coverage.

Insurance plans, business insurance, associations.


Are you hiring? Hire your first employee.

Depending on what kind of start up or budget you have, there are many ways of getting help. Take on a co-op student! Contact the local colleges and high schools.


Work your network

Reach out to former co-workers and colleagues, as well as friends and family. Don’t pressure them to buy your services. Instead, tap into them for introductions and help with other things on this startup checklist.


Refine your pitch

You need a good elevator pitch for many reasons: potential investors, customers, prospective new hires, bankers. If you can’t persuasively and clearly pitch your business, how can you expect key stakeholders to buy in?


Secure your IT

Whether you’re running a tech company or not, you likely have sensitive data on computers and devices that you want protected. Protect it from intrusions and disasters. BACK EVERYTHING UP! IT problems can derail a fledgling company.


Get a salesperson or sales team in place

In many start-ups the business owner starts out as the chief sales person. But to grow you need a dedicated sales function so you can focus on activities other than day to day sales.


Get a mentor

It’s all to easy to work in your business rather than on it. A mentor who has succeeded in your industry can provide you with priceless advice and serve as a sounding board.

 

 

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