10 Things to Research When You Start a New Business

“Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe.”

–John Muir
  • 20% of new businesses fail in the first two years.
  • 45% of business fail in their first five years
  • 65% of businesses fail in their first ten years

Source: Investopedia

Well. Doesn’t that just make you so excited to exude all kinds of energy into starting your own business? Yea I know. Me too.

But here we are. When I get scared, I tend to ask a lot of questions. Starting a business is scary, so I have a lot of questions! I am also a life long learner. It’s one of the things I love about working in marketing. I get to learn new things all the time. On Monday I am a social media manager. And Tuesday I am a contractor. And Wednesday I am a criminal defense attorney. And Friday I am a stylist.

So research things before you start. Here is a list of ten things to start with. After, I will once again, reveal my embarrassing brain dump.

  1. Is there a need for your service? ARE YOU SOLVING A PROBLEM? Is this is a global problem? For me, quarantine forced so many people to work from home… women are giving up their careers left and right to be home with Zoom Learners… businesses shut down, couldn’t afford rent, lost storefronts, and are selling online only. I see digital marketing as an area that will have deep needs for a long time. I also see a business as an opportunity to help. There are a lot of men and women who are doing both right now: breadwinners and homemakers. I would like to build a business that supports talented individuals who are also working from home.
  2. How to Write a Business Plan. You will need one. Specifically, check out the one-page business plan… AKA ONE PAGE EXECUTIVE BUSINESS PLAN
  3. Competitor Analysis: Who is doing what you want to do? Why are they successful?
  4. Target Audience: Who will pay you for these products and services? Why? How old are these people? Where do they live? What are their families like? Where do they work? What do they do for fun? What media do they consume? Where do they get information? What is most important to them?
  5. Name: I feel like this is not that important if you are just starting out.
  6. Marketing Plan: What is your brand? Is it masculine, feminine? What colors? Do you use tools in your business? Can the tools be integrated into a logo? Do you need social media? What are key search engine phrases and ad words you need to focus on? What types of inquiries are taking place online when people are looking for your type of service? What strategy will you use for your social pages? How will you measure if they are effective or not?
  7. People: Do you want a business partner?
  8. Legal: Will you be an LLC, C Corp, S Corp, Non-Profit? This one screwed me up for a long time and stopped me dead in the water for two weeks. I finally made an appointment with my tax guy and he said I am not making any money right now, so I don’t have to worry about it. But if you are thinking of a name, search for it on California Corp Search. It’s a nice way to waste time one night. Rabbit holes, ya know?
  9. Bank: Open a business bank account to separate your business expenses and personal. You can write off your home office, the car you drive, phone, internet,
  10. Amazon: Oh boy. Be careful here. It is really easy to build a crazy insane Amazon Wishlist when thinking of the things you need to buy for your new business. Domain names, software, subscriptions, Pro accounts, lighting, technology, cameras, but build the wishlist, because you can use it to apply for grants! YAY!

Things I Researched When I Realized I Wanted to Start a Business

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