Planning for a Startup ? Find out the 10 Checklist for your Startup.
Determine viability – Be brutally honest. Your startup needs to be something you can make a profit doing or delivering. Ask yourself: would you buy it? Run the numbers: will customers pay enough so that you can cover costs and make a profit?
Create a business plan – It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t need a business plan, but creating a business plan with financial projections forces you to think through details. Keep your plan a living breathing thing that you revisit and adapt regularly.
Figure out the money – Most start-ups take a lot more time to get off the ground than you expect. Know where your living expenses for the first year will come from (savings, a job, spouse’s income, etc.). If you need to finance your business start investigating as soon as possible.
Choose a business name – You want a name that will stick in your target audience’s heads. And it shouldn’t already be taken by another company.
Register a domain name – Get a matching domain to your business name. An AOL email address or a website with free hosting and a name like mysite.wordpress.com makes it seem like either (a) you are not running a real business or (b) you don’t plan to be around long.
Incorporate / figure out legal structure – Incorporating your startup can protect your personal assets. Talk over structure (corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship) with your attorney and accountant.
Apply for an EIN – An Employer Identification Number (EIN) helps you separate yourself from your business. You’ll need it if you plan to incorporate your business or open a business bank account. Plus, with it you can avoid giving out your social security number (an opening to identity theft)
Investigate and apply for business licenses – You may need one, if not several, business licenses for your startup, depending on your industry and where you are located.
Set up a website – Get your website up and running as soon as possible. Today, it’s necessary for credibility. Even if your product is not yet built, you can start with company information.
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 gnarl to untangle later.