From An Idea To Success: The Basic Startup Checklist

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Kickstarting your own company may definitely sound like a challenging undertaking of epic proportions. However, with a good plan in place and a strong will to work down your checklist—it’s not! Of course, to get everything in line and start your new business, you will have to work really hard and commit your time and effort to work on it at all hours of the day. 

From brainstorming your initial idea to developing a comprehensive business plan, lining up a team of workers that will help you achieve success, registering your business and the name, selecting your domain name, and getting an affordable website hosting package that will align with your initial startup budget, all this will fall onto your shoulders as the entrepreneur behind your new startup. Sometimes you might feel like everything is a bit overwhelming, which is pretty standard.

However, getting set up comes down to making sure that you’ve checked all the boxes, which is precisely what this comprehensive startup checklist aims to help you do. Below, we’ve broken the tasks down into manageable categories to help you complete each stage of getting started.

startup founder holding pencil checklist

Validate your idea

Nowadays, startup ideas are a dime a dozen. Therefore, even startup incubators these days tend to list outlines of concepts they are willing to fund and nurture. And while you might be pumped with the exhilaration of a chance to change the world, you need to go over the steps below to ensure your idea is worthy and validate it before you move further: 

  • Validate your idea by ensuring it solves a real-life problem and that you can actually monetize it. 
  • Check your idea’s viability, as you need to ensure that there’s a solution to the problem and that your idea can solve it. 
  • Get an idea of the potential target audience and the competition and evaluate the market size. 
  • Expand your reading list and even subscribe to some online courses to learn how to start a business.

Acknowledge your market fit 

Did you know that 42% of startups fail because there’s no actual market need for their service or product? To evade such an unfortunate fate, you need to consider your product’s market fit from early on. To do that you need to: 

  • Identify your target audience. Once you do identify your target customers, create the few personas or archetypes that can most likely become brand advocates. 
  • As opposed to focusing on trying to satisfy every desire and need, focus on one core offer and make it irresistible to the target customers. 
  • Tighten your value proposition by identifying the benefits of your product that your clients can’t get elsewhere.
  • Once achieving the market fit, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee its long-term existence. For that reason, always stay flexible and evaluate your target audience’s needs and your core offer by taking into account market trends and customer feedback. 

When you know your target audience, you have your core offer, and know its unique value proposition, you’re ready to work on your business plan.

Your business plan 

While formalizing your plans and ideas on paper may seem like a waste of time, writing your custom business plan makes you more likely to succeed. In fact, the business plan will help you clean up your ideas, achieve their full potential, find the right people for the team, and secure funding. 

If it’s your first business plan and you have no idea how to do it on your own, you can always download a free startup business plan template pdf file, and go from there. Your business plan needs to include the following segments: 

  • An executive summary. 
  • Company and offer description. 
  • Comprehensive market analysis. 
  • Sales and marketing plans. 
  • Team structure outline. 
  • Financial plans and requirements.

Develop your sales and marketing strategies

Once you have a sound business plan and know who you’re going to sell your product to, the ways in which you’re going to achieve that, and how much money you’re going to make in the first couple of years, you are ready to take the plunge and make everything official. Now, it’s time to develop your sales and marketing strategies, which include working on the following aspects: 

  • Developing your brand identity. 
  • Consider how you’re going to build your online presence. 
  • Set up your sales funnel process. 
  • Set up your sales tools. 
  • Write down your sales goals.

Team recruitment 

Last but definitely not least, depending on your product and scaling up efforts, there’s a limit to how much one can take as a startup founder. Chances are, you’ll need a team around you, or you’ll risk getting overwhelmed by the ever-growing to-do list that comes with startups. Indeed, beginning with a group of skilled experts might be challenging, as most startup founders operate on a tight budget.

Well, if you’re not ready to hire a team, you might want to consider outsourcing some of the tasks you’ll face along the way and even getting a co-founder on board. A co-founder can take a considerable load off your back, especially if they possess complementing skills. Then, when you’re ready to scale up, you can bring in the right professionals to fill the voids in different areas of your new company.

Final words

Building a startup from the ground up is never an easy task. However, you’ll have a considerably better chance of succeeding if you decide to devote yourself to the key areas mentioned in the article above. After all, delivering a brand new winning product or service is all about understanding the target market, solving clients’ problems, and a lot of hard work. 

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