Many entrepreneurs plunge into a business venture so blinded by the dream that they fail to thoroughly research the market, the business requirements, and legal matters related to the business idea. Before you invest time, effort, and money, use this checklist to determine the feasibility of your idea, to identify any problems, and to plan your business start-up properly.
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Business Start-up Analysis CheckList

Many entrepreneurs plunge into a business venture so blinded by the dream that they fail to thoroughly research the market, the business requirements, and legal matters related to the business idea. Before you invest time, effort, and money, use this checklist to determine the feasibility of your idea, to identify any problems, and to plan your business start-up properly.

Idea Feasibility

Have you clearly defined the business you plan to start? YesNo
Have you clearly identified the product or service you plan to sell? YesNo
Does your product or service satisfy an unfilled need? YesNo
Will your product or service serve an existing market in which demand exceeds supply? YesNo
Will your product or service be competitive based on its quality, selection, price, or location? YesNo

Market Analysis

Do you know who your customers will be? Yes
No
Do you understand their needs and desires? Yes
No
Do you know where they live? Yes
No
Will you be offering the kind of products or services
that they will buy?
Yes
No
Will your prices be competitive in quality and value? Yes
No
Will your promotional program be effective? Yes
No
Do you understand how your business compares with
your competitors?
Yes
No
Will your business be conveniently located for the people
you plan to serve?
Yes
No
Will there be adequate parking facilities for the people
you plan to serve?
Yes
No

Start-up Analysis

Have you chosen a name for your business? Yes
No
Have you chosen to operate as sole proprietorship,
partnership, or corporation?
Yes
No

Your Business and the Law

Do you know which licenses and permits you may need to operate your business? YesNo
Do you know the business laws you will have to obey? YesNo
Do you have a lawyer who can advise you and help you with legal papers? YesNo
Are you aware of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements? YesNo
Are you aware of regulations covering hazardous material? YesNo
Are you aware of local ordinances covering signs snow removal etc.? YesNo
Are you aware of Federal Tax Code provisions pertaining to small business? YesNo
Federal regulations on withholding taxes and Social Security? YesNo
Are you aware of State Workmen's Compensation laws? YesNo

Protecting Your Business

Have you examined the following categories of risk protection?

Fire YesNo
Theft YesNo
Robbery YesNo
Vandalism YesNo
Accident liability YesNo

Business Premises and Location

Have you found a suitable building in a location convenient for
your customers?
Yes
No
Can the building be modified for your needs at a reasonable
cost?
Yes
No
Have you considered renting or leasing with an option to buy? Yes
No
Will you have a lawyer check the zoning regulations and lease? Yes
No

Merchandise

Have you decided what items you will sell or produce or what service(s) you will provide? YesNo
Have you made a merchandise plan based upon estimated sales to determine the amount of inventory you will need to control purchases? YesNo
Have you found reliable suppliers who will assist you in the start-up? YesNo
Have you compared the prices quality and credit terms of suppliers? YesNo

Business Records

Are you prepared to maintain complete records of sales income and expenses accounts payable and receivables? YesNo
Have you determined how to handle payroll records tax reports and payments? YesNo
Do you know what financial reports should be prepared and how to prepare them? YesNo

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