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Checklist of what your startup needs

Getting started in your business and marketing

What if we could give you a checklist of the few things you need to start in business, early on, to be taken seriously?

From the seedlings of an idea, we have people getting in touch with us in the very early stages.

If you’re here, you may also be considering your own business. Or you’ve made some headway, but don’t know if you’re ready to go to market.

Time for a checklist!

Checklists keep you on track, make you feel like you’re making progress. And some things, like registering domain names, are quicker so you can really feel there’s momentum.

This will help you get ready

And as for implementation, we can help you and point you in the right direction.

All of these are possible to adapt and change as your business evolves. Businesses go through rebrands, name changes, logo evolutions, and of course as you test the market, you’ll adapt your offering.

But let’s still look at the key ingredients – the checklist itself!

A checklist of 9 things

Unlike the image above, the below is fleshed out. How did I do this? I combined two, and most of the time assume people have a business name, and there are alternatives to business cards these days.

This is all explained below!

  1. Business idea: Begin by brainstorming and refining your business concept. What problem does your business solve? What unique value do you offer?
  2. Business plan: Create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, target market, revenue model, and growth strategy. Ahh – how do you do that? Start by just answering the questions “ What are you looking to achieve?”, “Who will this help?” “What’s the problem I am solving?” And go from there. This plan will guide your business decisions.
  3. Market research:
    • Understand your target audience, competitors, and industry trends. This could just be by talking to people in your network and asking for introductions. At any level, even with the first 10 people you speak to, you’ll learn and this will help you make informed decisions and tailor your offerings to meet customer needs.
  4. Business name:
    • This is super tough. I’ve written an article about it. Choose a memorable and relevant business name. Ensure it’s available as a domain name (more on that next).
  5. Domain name:
    • Your domain name is your online address. It should reflect your brand and be easy to remember. If it’s long, it should be easy to spell. Search for available domain names and register one that aligns with your business. There are lots of tools to help with this.
  6. Logo design:
    • A well-designed logo creates brand recognition. While there are lots of free tools online, people often get frustrated and come to us! We have an amazing process for designing logos, which involves understanding you and your business, giving you choices, and allowing space for feedback and variation. Or, if you are bootstrapping, there are plenty of online tools to create a logo that represents your business visually.
  7. Landing page:
    • A landing page is a single web page designed for a specific purpose (e.g., capturing leads, promoting a product). It’s essential for early marketing efforts. See our article about the ingredients of landing pages.
  8. Business card (not 100% necessary)
    • Business cards are still valuable for networking. Include your logo, business name, contact information, and a brief tagline. I use them as a way to remember who I met. My phone stores this info as I often connect with people on LinkedIn but the physical presence of business cards reminds me to follow up.
    • Non-card options: As an alternative, if you have a fairly new iPhone, it’s really fun to use the trick for iPhones bumping each other for instant exchange of contact details. And try out the QR code connection options on LinkedIn.
  9. Email address:
    • Gmail and Hotmail may be great services, but you definitely need a professional email address that uses your exact domain (e.g.,  

Remember, each of these elements contributes to your startup’s overall success. Take the time to plan, create, and execute them effectively.

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