Know YourselfPersonality • How do you react to failure? • Are you ever satisfied? • Take an Entrepreneur Personality Test (Appendix)Resources • Professional Experience • Your Network • Financial SecurityDon’t quit your day job unless you can afford not to be paid for a long time.
Vision/IdeaWhy this industry & business concept? • Solving a problem? • Enough demand & margin in your product? • Competition?Name it something simple (don’t waste time on this) • Initial branding is changeable • You need something real/tangible.Initial value statement and elevator pitch • You’re selling yourself. Be confident & humble
Learn QuicklySignup for newsletters (Appendix)Log on to potential competitors and winners/losers in your industryStart a business plan - If you write a good business plan, there are two likely results: • You plan ahead - Your anticipate potential marketing, management and financial problems. In doing this, you decrease your likelihood of failure. • You opt out - In writing the business plan, you’ve determined that your business idea isn’t profitable. Businesses that fail at the planning stage are the most cost effective.
Network Like MadGet out there, meet & share with • Industry Peers • Partners • Employees • Mentors (Industry & Founders Experience)Meetups, Panels, Conferences & Georgetown Events • Meetup.com is a must • Find Georgetown GroupsGracefully Ravage LinkedIn • Find valuable connections • Why would they want to connect with you? • I’m on LinkedIn – Now What?
Setup Your Initial Image Buy a domain name and post a landing page with a short dscription of your vision - GoDaddy $12-24 for URL & 1 year simple site. Google For Business - $70/year for email, docs, etc... Business Cards – VistaPrint 250 cards for $10 Practice explaining the vision so you can talk the talk.
Helpful ToolsCommunications (Gmail) • Email Reminders - Boomerang • Sales CRM Tool - YesWare • Connect with Social - Rapportive • Auto-manage Contacts - Write That Name • Scheduling Meetings - ScheduleOnceContent Management • WordpressCustomer Communication • MailChimp
Lean Startup & Customer DevelopmentCustomer Development is a scientific approach that can be applied by startups and entrepreneurs to improve their products success by developing a better understanding of their consumers - Steve Blank -Lean Startup is an approach that relies on validated learning, scientific experimentation, and iterative product releases to shorten product development cycles, measure progress, and gain valuable customer feedback. - Eric Ries -See Appendix
Prepare Some DocsPitch DeckFinancial ProjectionsContinue Work on Business PlanDocuments & Info Requested By - customers, partners, friends, family, etc…
Talk to the Legal ProsAsk for references to find a lawyer - your friends, family and results of networking in industryA lawyer who knows your industry can be HUGE help (ask for referrals).Legal Tips Article
Understand FundraisingUnderstand YOU ARE NOT READY TO RAISE MONEYLearn from previous founders - Founder of Angel ListSBA (Grants & Loans), Debt, Friends & Family, Angels & VCsIs your type of company or industry being funded?
Taking AccountFeedback - what has it been and has it been helpful?Network - who have you met and have they been helpful?Are you keeping track of your progress?Happiness - are you happy/satisfied?
Prepare for what’s nextAccounting - Start with Quickbooks then move to professional servicesPrepare to hire - make sure you get along with your first hires and do not issue them too much equity unless you would consider them a cofounderMake sure you’re legal - Business Startup ChecklistFundraising