Once you get over the initial excitement, it’s time to break down the process of launching your Coeur d’Alene startup into manageable steps.
New Business Checklist: 27 Things To Do Before Launching a New Coeur d’Alene Business
- Determine viability
Be brutally honest. Your startup needs to be something you can make a profit doing or delivering. Run the numbers: will customers pay enough so that you can cover costs and make a profit.
- Create a Coeur d’Alene business plan
It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t need a business plan, but creating a CDA business plan with financial projections forces you to think through details.
- Figure out the money
Most startups 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 financing for the CDA business, start investigating as soon as possible.
- Line up suppliers and service providers
Finding a good source of inventory is crucial, especially in certain types of. This is also the place to price shop and begin putting together the actual cost of your products or services.
- Get family behind you
Spend time to make sure your spouse and other close family are prepared for the challenges you will face as a new Coeur d’Alene business. You’ll have enough problems without resistance from family.
- Choose an Coeur d’Alene business name
You want a name that will stick in your target audience’s heads as well as being search engine friendly. Make sure that another company doesn’t already take your new name. Do Google searches and use a corporate name search tool to see if the name you have in mind is not already registered and protected.
- Register a domain name
Get a matching domain to your Coeur d’Alene business name or use an area-specific name to enhance your search engine results with a smaller budget.
For example, your companies name is Pete’s Auto Repair, and it is in Boise.
However, no one is going to find you on the internet unless they type in your exact name. So, using an area-specific domain name will allow you to come up when someone is searching for auto services in your town.
For example www.AutoRepairBoise.com
- Logo and Images
Before you get too far into the designing of your websites, signs, labeling, etc. you must first have your Coeur d’Alene company logo.
- Telephone and Fax Numbers
On the surface, choosing a great telephone number sounds easy enough. However, you should consider every aspect before making that final decision. First, you need to know what area you are providing your products or service. If it is local, then having a local number would make you perceived as more trustworthy and less of a risk. If your area is greater, then you must now think about what it will cost your customers to call your place of business. The more hassle imposed on your future customer, the less likely they will go with you instead of your competitor.
For those who do not like to use the phone, make sure you clearly display your email address.
- The legal structure of your Coeur d’Alene business
Find a business entity that suits your needs today. You can always opt to do a conversion in the future.
- Apply for an EIN
An CDA 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.
- Investigate and apply for an Coeur d’Alene business licenses
You may need a business license for your startup.
- Open a business bank account
It’s all too easy to use your personal bank account to pay for business expenses, but it becomes an extreme hassle to untangle later.
- 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 Coeur d’Alene company information.
- Register social media profiles
Getting set up on the major social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to start) will make marketing on them later easier.
- Rent retail or office space
If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll need to sort this out early. If you plan to run a retail business, pay attention to foot traffic, accessibility, and other factors that will affect the number of people that will walk in your store.
Make sure that you have a business address to receive mail and payments. If you are working from a home office, then opening a mailbox at a local postal company with your company name would work great.
- Order Coeur d’Alene business cards
As a startup, you will be doing a lot of networking. So make sure you order plenty of CDA business cards.
- Set up your accounting system
Once you have your bank account set up, choose an accounting program.
- Assign responsibilities to co-founders
If you have one or more founders, you must decide who will do what upfront. Put it in writing. Co-founder disagreements can destroy your Coeur d’Alene business.
- 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.” Nothing will be perfect until you discover the problems while on the job.
What You Can Do A Bit Later…
While you don’t want to put off these tasks too long, they don’t need to be checked off your list before you launch.
- Consult your Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and secure coverage
Depending on the type of CDA business you’re starting, you may need insurance of one kind or another, like liability, workers’ comp, or health insurance, especially if you hire full-time staff.
- Hire your first employee
Depending on the type of Coeur d’Alene business you have, you may need staff from day one. You could also outsource to freelancers, interns, and third-party vendors.
- File for trademarks and patents
The best thing to do is to consult an attorney early about the need for patents.
- Work your network
Reach out to former co-workers and colleagues, as well as friends and family.
- Don’t waste time on “partnerships.”
Be careful about wasting time on “business partnership” discussions. Your CDA business won’t be attractive to potential partners unless and until you start making headway.
- Refine your product, and marketing and sales approach
As you go along, you will learn more about the marketplace. Use customer feedback to refine your product and service offerings and your go-to-market approach.
- Get a salesperson or sales team in place
In many startups, the Coeur d’Alene business owner starts out as the chief salesperson. But to grow, you need a dedicated sales function, so you can focus on activities other than day-to-day sales.
Your checklist might be longer than this but 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.