Your Business Start-up To-Do List: How to Begin

A great idea is the genesis of any successful business. Many entrepreneurs know that “Aha!” moment when the thought “it would just be so much easier if I could get this note to stick to my page!” magically becomes the Post-it® note — now amplified from its original pale yellow to be available in rainbow colors, finishes, and sizes.

If you’re ready to start your business, you’re already in possession of an idea you think will succeed. The next thing on your Business Start-up To-Do List is research the market. Does your idea solve a problem, fulfill a need, or offer something desirable? Is there anything similar out there? Who are your competitors? What do you bring that’s fresh and different to the table?

In a parallel process to figuring out those elements, you also want to check in with yourself that this is the right time, mentally and physically, for you to undertake this exciting and challenging process.

A formal business plan is essential if you plan to seek funding from other sources, but even if you don’t, it’s a valuable tool that will clarify and solidify your idea. If you’re lucky enough not to require outside funding because you are using your own start-up funds, creating a simple plan will keep your goals up high and keep you on track as you reach your milestones.

This far in you will have thought about what your business structure will look like: is it an LLC? A sole proprietorship? You may choose one direction at the beginning and shift to something completely different as you get underway. Paperwork and, potentially, legal advice are a part of this process, as is choosing a name (and a domain name) that suits you and your business needs. You’ll want to make sure you are covered with the proper licenses, registrations, insurance, and permits in advance of your launch.

If your business is the brick-and-mortar variety, you’ll need to find a location that works. If it’s a home office, you’ll definitely want to plan how to shift your living space so that it doesn’t unbalance the flow of your home. In particular, if you live with other people, it’s beneficial to discuss any upcoming changes in advance so that everyone can be operating from the same vantage point. At least in theory!

Are you hiring employees? Working with contractors? What about your accounting structure, the backbone of every well-run business? The earlier in the process you address all the moving parts the better your business will function down the road at a high level.

With these things checked off your list, your new business is essentially ready to roll out. Marketing, promotions, perhaps a free offering, and a social media blitz should be on your radar. Stay connected to your business plan, which is a fluid document that should grow and morph with your business and function as a touchstone and an inspiration all in one.

Good luck!

If you need legal help, don’t hesitate to contact me at the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Lawyer. Phone: 720-258-6647. Email:

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