Know Your Finances
List your financial strengths and weaknesses
Pay attention to credit history available cash/assets, and current financial obligations, outside resources. Carefully assess your financial health by comparing what you own to what you owe.
If considering the business as an investment, seek the advice of an investment professional.
Meet with a Financial Advisor or CPA:
Develop a Business Plan
How will it Operate? What Will it Cost? What is your business strategy and goals?
The purpose of a well written business plan can mean the difference between success and failure. Please remember failing to plan is planning to fail. Small business owners say the SCORE templates as a resource are FANTASTIC.
What are the sales revenues in your geographic area for your product / service?
Will overall total sales increases or is demand at capacity? What percentage of the total do my sales figures represent? Complete a Market Study taking into account both demand current supply and pipeline supply:
What is your marketing strategy?
Write a marketing strategy as part of your business plan, then test the marketing to see if it will be successful and cost effective:
Where will your geographical location be? How much space do you need? Lease or buy?
Complete a cost verses benefit analysis of the location you desire. Map the location overlaying the area demographics. Consider zoning carefully. Determine the market and if it would be best to own or purchase?
Are you prepared to maintain complete records of sales, expenses, payables, and receivables?
Take inventory of your skill set in book keeping and accounting. Be honest with yourself, will you keep on top of this or should you out source it? Many companies have gone under due to large accounts receivables that were able to be collected but were not due to lack of consistent follow up.
Do you have a Tax and Accounting Advisor?
Every company should have a Tax Advisor either a E.A. or a C.P.A.:
Do you have a Legal Advisor?
Every company should have a legal advisor before trouble starts Find one here:
Risk Management, Insurance, Emergency / Succession Planning Strategy?
What risks do my product/service represent? What insurance options are available to minimize risks? At what cost? What measures can I take to reduce risk? Find a trustworthy insurance agency:
Who will you Bank with? Why?
Find a trustworthy bank, or credit union. Consult your banker about establishing checking accounts, a line of credit, and/or borrowing requirements:
Do YOU Have the Money? To Borrow or not to Borrow?
Determine how you will finance your business.
Do you have personal cash: savings, family investment, or equipment that can be converted to a company asset? Complete personal financial statements; Balance Sheet and Inflow/Outflow analysis. List the resources you will commit from your analysis (cash and assets). Determine if that is enough or will you need to seek cash from other sources?
Consider options: lenders, suppliers (trade or credit), "angel" finance, venture capital, insurance companyCan you meet the 5 "Cs"? (Positive Credit, Collateral, Credibility through Experience, Cash Equity, Capacity to Repay) Have initial meeting with lender or investors to assess ability to raise capital. If you don't have 25-30% of the business's start-up costs and/or you have a poor credit rating, you may find it difficult to secure outside loans.
Is your Business plan and loan proposal draft complete?
Review business plan or loan proposal with SCORE or SBDC advisor. Identify lender or investor and make appointment:
Permitting for Construction