Before you get started, do your research. How is your idea unique relative to the competition? Often forgotten, you need to be passionate about what you are planning on doing. You will be breathing life into this business for a long time so you must have a passion. You also need a core team that includes an accountant, lawyer and marketer that will help you in building your business plan. If you don’t have those resources at your fingertips, start with an organization like ShareKitchen or the Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center (www.cvwbc.com).
You will need financial projections in order to have sufficient capital on hand. Be realistic and conservative. New businesses seldom actualize their vision out of the gate so plan for the unexpected early on – even the best laid plans go through periods of trial and error. Be flexible and willing to change plans as necessary. Throughout, get help and advice from people more knowledgable in your business than you. If you can, work for others in the field prior to venturing out on your own. Know your personal strengths and secure team members knowledgable in the areas where you are weakest.
How is your credit? Remember to pull your credit report. If you have had problems, you need to work on fixing things. If you see an error on the report, write the credit agency with proof that the negative item was not accurate. If you have had problems, be ready to address problems with your potential investors or bank. When it comes to raising your capital, most start-ups rely on founder funds or those of friends and family. The reality is that few other than those who know you best are willing to lend or invest in start-ups.