Starting a business checklist: Create the perfect one
Angelica A.
June 16, 2020
  |  

Starting a business checklist: Create the perfect one

Angelica A.
June 16, 2020
  |  
Company Forensics - Learn from the mistakes of VC-funded startups | Product Hunt

Join 100,000 entrepreneurs who read us every month

We've got it!
You'll be hearing from us soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

This starting a business checklist can be helpful for any startup founder and entrepreneur. That's why we're giving you a business startup checklist divided by categories. The idea is to make it easy to follow up with your progress as you start a business. 

Another reason we created this business startup checklist is how overwhelming it can be for business people who feel ready to start a company to tend to the enormous amount of tasks behind getting a company off the ground. If that's your case, please don't beat yourself up over a typical business struggle. 

It's okay to need a little organizing before we can successfully create the company of our dreams or just the next one on our list. We just don't want anything to keep you from building your startup, so here are a few ideas to get you going.

1. Get your idea rolling

Maybe you're only as far as having a great business idea. That's excellent! It doesn't mean you've got it all figured out, but don't just worry about it! Take some time to get to work on it. 

If you think what you got so far is too little, take a look at Cherry Ventures in our list of European seed funds. They only ask for a great team, a firm founder, and the strong idea you already have. We won't sugar coat reality, of course. The truth is that there are tons more to do to start a business in 2020. But let's keep looking at helpful steps to achieve a bit more than getting stuck with a thought for now:

Talk to your friends and family

Start by sharing your idea with your private network. Though you'll most probably have unconditional support from your close inner circle, which is risky in many aspects, take advantage of their opinion and how they back you up by running your idea by them. Having the green light and motivation of those we love is not the safest foundation to go through with a new company, but it's an excellent first indicator just to see how they react to it.

Take their feedback into account, listen to their questions, and initial impressions. There's lots of valuable insight that can come from this simple practice. You'll probably end up telling them all about your plans, anyhow, so why not come out of your head for a little and give your thoughts some air?

Check your idea's viability and your motivation

To start filtering your business idea, you should start by considering if there's a real problem you're trying to solve with this new product or service that's on your mind. 

A few questions to add to your food for thought are:

Are you solving a real problem? Is this something you would buy? And, more importantly, are you sure you want to start this process? 

In asking yourself all of this, be brutally honest with yourself. If done right, this simple exercise can spare a lot of resources, precious time, and lots of your and other people's money in the long run.

Consider your business plan options

Okay! Let's say you're moving on with your project. It's time to set aside some time in your business startup checklist to learn what a business plan is and how to get one done correctly. Beware, though, we don't vouch for a business plan creation per se. Here's a word by our CEO on why we'd advise against that. Pick up that read as it might just save you countless hours of a gigantic headache with the same exercise being necessary as much-needed business homework. 

Come up with a market analysis

And this is a lengthy task, one that will require much research. However, it's crucial to help you determine if you've got your hands on a viable business. Another good tip: help yourself out with our market analysis template for structure. There's also a video at the bottom of that by Dream It's Steve Barsh, an angel investor you'll appreciate watching.

Work on a name

You might have ideas on your company name, already. Yet, when the time comes to choose one, you need to make sure it isn't taken by anyone else before you keep using it. Take some time to check it out to make sure it's free. You should especially make sure it's the ideal one for your overall business branding, strategy, and so much more!

2. Team and infrastructure 

Come up with your team

Pinpoint your co-founder(s) or the experts, hopefully very qualified specialists, in the areas that will be key to your business. It's crucial to work with people with whom you can keep a long-standing business relationship, but also who bring value to your business table. Consider their backgrounds and expertise. And keep an eye out for their knowledge in the field into which you'll make a living. 

Distribute responsibilities amongst your team members

Make sure everyone knows their place and role in the company.

Define your location and lease office space

You could wait until you have a legal and financial team to go into any leasing. The same applies to the point below. But this all goes around coming up with the perfect environment for your company and its respective culture. 

Get equipment for your office

At first, get just what's necessary. It's part of every list as you work on a starting a business checklist. Just bear in mind that you can keep growing as you go.

3. Clearing legal and financial aspects

Choose the accounting and legal teams

The most straightforward aspect is determining who'll be your right hand when it comes to legal and finance. If you need an accountant, make it a case to pick a great one. And if you need help with legal, it's time to look for people in your area of business that have the expertise you need to walk you through every loophole. You'll probably need them to navigate the following items with a lot more ease, but we'll jot these tasks down for you as they'll be essential to your business.

Choose a business structure

It's one thing to set your business up as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or a sole proprietorship, to name a few. And, depending on your choices, your legal and financial obligations will change. 

Figure out where you stand on taxing

Tax laws might vary depending on your region or where you plan to do business. Get the help you need to have your taxing in order. 

Open a business bank account

If you haven't got funding in your bank already, it might be best to wait and see what your finance team has to say about the right institution to meet your needs. 

Look into required licenses and permits

Apply to any entities that need to issue any pertinent licenses for your business. 

Look for funding

We could also call this an easy "find money" task if that makes it more evident. Overall, you'll probably need some investors, right? It's time to consider beyond savings and family or friend loans into your primary sources of funding to scale your company. Figure out your strategy. If you'll need to look for investments, seed funding, credits, or grants, then it's great to add a breakdown of those areas as part of your tasks. We know each program is a world full of lists and requirements, so it's best to consider this one a significant phase of your startup creation cycle. 

Get insurance

Figure out what you'll need, for how much and from whom. Scout your options and plan accordingly. 

4. Branding

The branding section of a starting a business checklist is a bit more self-explanatory, so we'll just give it to you as it comes. 

There are always tons of options to navigate as you start planning your new business. There's a myriad of providers, different pricings, and many different designs at which you'll need to look. We wish you luck as you hopefully tailor your branding to suit your company goals and market fit ideally. 

Of course, we're a bit biased in our preference for our consulting and design services here at Slidebean. With accessible pricing, we think we're an option that's just top of the line for any starting business founders and entrepreneurs to get an outstanding design done just right in industries we know very well. Yet, even if you only resort to our free AI-powered tool or go anywhere else, please make sure you get a top-notch quality design for all your virtual and printed material. In such a competitive business landscape, cutting back on time and coming up with impressive branding is just essential material for any starting business.

Branding essentials to start a business

  • Get a domain with your business name and email and create a website.
  • Create a logo
  • Open up your social media.
  • Order business cards
  • Create something to show to people about your business
  • Work on your pitch deck
  • Get the word out, invest in proper marketing for your company, come up with a marketing strategy.
  • Network. Get out there, talk to people, get a mentor, meet others from your industry, and create connections.

For this last point above, and as you get to your pitch deck design, rest assured there's tons of material to check. Maybe our list of 35 best pitch deck templates can start giving you a hand on that. 

Create your pitch deck