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The Startup Checklist

Justin Novak
February 3, 2024
5
min read
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The Startup Checklist

Intro:

In this post we'll cover what I deem to be essential questions you ought to ask yourself before launching your startup. I'm 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:

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?

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?

Economics

  • 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?

Team:

  • 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?
  • What is our competitive advantage?

Initial Investment:

  • 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?

Conclusion:

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.

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Justin Novak

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