The Startup Checklist
In this post we'll cover what I deem to be essential questions you ought to ask yourself before launching your startup. Im going to avoid the basics & formalities including but not limited to: incorporating, legal formation, business licenses & permits, EIN, setting up a business bank account, insurance, administrative & other menial work.
Problem & Solution:
- What is the problem I am trying to solve?
- What is my solution?
- How am I going to solve this problem better or differently than others who are trying to solve this same problem?
Market & Customer:
- Who is my ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)?
- How big is this market I am trying to take on?
- Do I have potential customers I can reach out to for customer interviews to stress test my idea? Y Combinator has a great guide for conducting effective customer interviews.
Marketing & sales
- What's my go-to-market strategy?
- How am I going to get my 1st, 10th, 100th, & 1,000th customer?
- Do I have an online presence starting with a basic website & social media presence?
- How will I create foundational content for my brand?
- What is my brand name, tagline, & logo?
- Do I have a great story worth sharing?
- Can I create a defendable moat or can a competitor replicate my business with ease?
- How am I going to monetize?
- How much is 1 customer worth to me over 1 year? 5 years? Life time value?
- How much can I afford to spend to acquire 1 customer?
- What are my gross margins?
- Will I be benefit from economies of scale as I grow?
- Do I have founder-market-fit?
- Do I have domain expertise in this industry?
- Who is my team going to be? Do I need co-founders, partners, or subcontractors from day 1?
- How much money do I need to launch?
- How long is my runway? In other words, how long will this money last me?
- Should I bootstrap (self-fund with personal savings), raise a small friends & family round, apply to a startup incubator, or raise a seed round of venture capital?
You'll want to have a concrete answer to all of these questions before you launch. It's a great way to get your ducks in a row before launching.
I also reccomend reading my other post, Pitfalls to Avoid When Starting A Company.