Business Checklist

Here is a list of things you need to consider as you begin the process of starting a business. Remember, actually visiting the National Entrepreneur Center for FREE business coaching, low-cost training, or the powerful networking events is always a good idea… at every stage of your business!

PRE-LAUNCH STAGE

IDEA

_____ Brainstorm your idea - Think outside the box!

_____ Skill Match-skills inventory - What do I do best?

_____ Knowledge Match – Do I know a lot about this business?

_____ Friends & Family – Are my family and friends supportive of this idea?

RESEARCH

_____ Patent/Trademark - Do I need a patent to protect my product or idea?

_____ Competitor Analysis - Who else does this? Why are they successful? Or not?

_____ Collect Demographic Data - Who is going to buy this?   What would they pay?

_____ Market/Industry Size - Who is my target client?

_____ Regulations - Are there state or federal laws that govern this industry?

_____ Feasibility Planning - Can this make money?

GUIDANCE & ASSISTANCE

_____ Visit the National Entrepreneur Center - Locate resources, networking and other assistance.

_____ Meet with Advisors - Set an appointment with a business counselor.

_____ Talk to Family & Friends - Seek advice from others.

IDEA TESTING

_____ Interview people who know the industry.

_____ Professionals - Line up professionals you might need.

_____ Associations - Seek out any related trade organizations.

_____ Focus Groups - Test your idea and your product at every opportunity.

_____ Prototyping - Do you need to build a working model?

_____ Process Flowcharting - Write down everything that needs to happen before you open.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

_____ 3 & 5 year sales projections.

_____ Project your expenses and cash flow.

_____ Identify sources of funding.

_____ Estimate your expected returns.

_____ Calculate a break even & various financial ratios.

MARKETING PLAN

_____ Develop a detailed Sales Strategy.

_____ Decide how you will get the word out about your business.

_____ Determine the costs of your promotion and advertising plans.

_____ Determine your financial allocations to marketing, advertising, and promotion.

BUSINESS PLAN

_____ Develop your road map for success.

REGISTER

_____ Register your business with the required local, state, and federal agencies.

_____ Determine your corporate structure.

_____ Choose a business name.

_____ Apply for any required licenses.

STATE
COUNTY

_____ Determine occupational license & zoning requirements (these vary by city and county). www.orangecountyfl.net

CITY

_____ Determine occupational license & zoning requirements (these vary by city and county). www.cityoforlando.net

TAXES

_____ Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) at www.irs.gov

_____ Register with state of Florida sales tax - Florida Dept. of Revenue.

LAUNCH

_____ Visit the National Entrepreneur Center for individual assistance, ongoing training, and support resources.

_____ Protect your financial resources by keeping overhead low and focusing on activites that produce income.

_____ Launch your marketing plan to ensure that clients are aware of your services.

_____ Establish strong financial controls and record keeping.

GROWTH STAGE

_____ Sources of funding for growth.

_____ Networking options to expand your market share.

_____ Marketing strategy and message.

_____ Employee acquisition and retention.

_____ Outsourcing tasks.

_____ Leasing vs. purchasing of equipment.

_____ Efficiency and streamlining techniques.