Women of the Flooring Business

Getting Started Checklist

Starting a business isn’t the hard part, getting setup is a matter of checking all the boxes and this checklist aims to make sure you cover all the right ones. 

Find a good idea, test your idea and do market research.

⬜ Conduct a SWOT analysis to determine your strengths and weaknesses
⬜ Come up with a business idea that caters to your strengths
⬜ Define what Success looks like for you
⬜ Define the “problem” your business is solving
⬜ Summarize the “solution” your business offers
⬜ Define your Target Market and Ideal Customer
⬜ Create a Customer Avatar
⬜ Figure out the best place to set-up shop; Brick & Mortar or Virtually, find your office
⬜ What advantages does your solution have over competitors
⬜ Outline the team that will help you to execute your idea
⬜ Create a basic financial plan (estimate expenses and forecast sales)
⬜ Map out business milestones or goals and when you plan to achieve them
⬜ Validate your idea: interview potential customers, do they have a problem you can solve and how much will they pay for it? Ask your colleagues and other people in your field for their input. Gather Data: Conduct a Survey, Hold a Focus Group….
⬜ Complete a thorough Competitive Assessment

You may need a formal business plan, but if you don’t: put together a one-pager and skip this section.

⬜ Write your executive summary
⬜ Write your Company Overview
⬜ List your products and services and the problems they solve
⬜ Flesh out your target market details
⬜ Create a Marketing and Sales Plan
⬜ Outline Key milestones and metrics
⬜ List your Management Team
⬜ Create a Financial Plan
⬜ Include an Appendix
⬜ Create an Elevator Pitch

Create a Brand

⬜ Choose a name for your business or choose a brand name you know you can trademark.
⬜ Decide on your “brand message,” also known as your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. Building and maintaining a strong brand (both personally and for your company) is a product of thought leadership and relationship management activities. These activities are easy to neglect but can dramatically increase your credibility in the eyes of your market.
⬜ Develop a Tagline
⬜ Identify your Brand’s personality and tone of voice — what you say and how you say it
⬜ Define your Font and Color Scheme
⬜ Create a Logo

Make it Legal. . . Before you start this section, Find an Attorney if you think you may need some help.

⬜ Decide on a legal structure or business structure (LLC, d/b/a. . . )
⬜ Register your Business Name with the State and/or County
⬜ Run Analytics to discover keywords that will benefit your business.
⬜ Register a domain name that matches your Business Name
⬜ File for Trademark protection if you will use your business name for a product or service
⬜ Obtain Federal and State licenses or permits that you need
⬜ Obtain your Federal Tax ID number (also called your EIN)
⬜ If you plan to retail products, request a Tax Resale Permit and learn how and when to file Sales Tax Returns.

Get Financed. . .  if you need it

⬜ Estimate your Startup Costs
⬜ Decide whether you will use personal finances, loans or an investor
⬜ Prepare the relevant Financial Statements
⬜ Sales Forecast
⬜ Profit and Loss Statement
⬜ Cash Flow Statement
⬜ Balance Sheet
⬜ Refine your Elevator Pitch (for Investors)
⬜ Apply for Financing
⬜ Open a Business Bank Account
⬜ Setup an Accounting System
⬜ Know your Exit Strategy

Set-up Shop. . . . .

⬜ Find a Business Location. If you’re a digital nomad, designate a work environment
⬜ Decide whether or not to extend Credit to your Customers
⬜ Purchase Insurance (Workers Comp, G/L, Property, Casualty, Life, Disability)
⬜ Define your staffing needs
⬜ Draft job descriptions
⬜ Post advertisements for Jobs
⬜ Interview and hire employees

Setup your Technology. . . If you need help, find an IT Consultant

⬜ Point of Sale (POS) Systems
⬜ Billing and payment systems
⬜ Accounting
⬜ Email GSuite for Business includes E-mail addresses & is one of my favorite tools. 
⬜ Phone Systems 


⬜ Create a Marketing Plan 
⬜ Network, network, network (talk to people)
⬜ Design and Install Signage to maximize exposure to passerby’s 
⬜ Stationery, Invoices
⬜ Brochures and Fliers
⬜ Create a website
⬜ Get your website listed on key directories
⬜ Get setup on a System for getting 5-star Reviews
⬜ Create a Referral Program
⬜ Get Setup on social media platforms. Decide which ones you can commit to updating consistently and start with those. But go ahead and check all of them for your @username’s availability. Even if you never use some of those platforms, it helps to ensure that no one else is using the same name as you.
⬜ If necessary, create t-shirts or uniforms
⬜ Let the Press know when you’re opening
⬜ Organize an Opening Day

This list could go on and on, but if you cover these you’ll be well on your way to success. Speaking of success, here’s the big secret that I learned over the course of my career… 

True success is born when triumph in business is an answer to your calling.

My calling is to help illuminate the path to success for other visionary women.

Please join our Private Community on Facebook. As the saying goes, “Rising Tides Raise all Ships.”  WOMEN OF THE FLOORING BUSINESS FACEBOOK COMMUNITY was created as a place for highly-driven women to connect and support each other in success.

Be sure to say ‘Hi!’ and share your #BigGoal once you join. You can ask for help with any of the steps listed here and anything else that’s on your mind. I’ll personally respond with tools and support.

Michelle signature graphic