How to Start a New Business

This checklist is provided to serve as a guide. These are the main content areas that should be included in your business plan. Complete this checklist then contact us at 773.508.5885 or info@rpba.org to schedule an appointment.

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Executive Summary

  • A one paragraph summary of your proposed business concept, target market, goals and objectives.

Business Description

  • What is the name of your business? Type? Location? Full-time or seasonal? Proposed hours of operation? Proposed/existing location? What zoning licensing and/or permits does/will your business need?
  • Business structure (Sole proprietorship, Partnership, Corp, S-Corp, LLC Corp)
  • What is the status of your business (startup, expansion, etc.)?
  • What makes the business unique? Why do you feel confident that this business is a good idea?

Product/Service Description

  • What is your product/service? What are its features? How is it unique?
  • How will your product/services satisfy needs? What are the benefits of the product/services?
  • How are you pricing your product/service? How does your pricing compare to the competition?
  • What concrete evidence do you have that there is a demand?

Operational Management Plan

  • Who will manage your business? What is the management’s experience and qualifications?
  • Will you have employees now? In one year? How many? Will they be full or part time?
  • How will you train them? Will they be paid a salary or hourly? Are there fringe benefits?
  • How will you manage your finances, record keeping/professional resources?
  • What equipment will you need?  Who will supply it?

Financial Plan

  • Total estimated income for your initial year, by month and quarter?  Based on what assumptions?
  • What will it cost to open your business (including build out) and sustain it for 12 mos. (without making a profit)?
  • What will monthly cash flow for 1st year be? (spreadsheet)
  • What are your personal monthly financial needs, given that it often takes a business at least a year to generate any profits?  How will you provide for your own livings costs in the first year?
  • What sales volume do you need to make a profit the first 3 years?
  • What are your projected assets, liabilities, and net worth at opening?
  • What is the value of your equipment?
  • What is your financing strategy? Potential funding sources?
  • How will you use the money you get from lenders or investors?
  • How will your loan be secured? How/When will you repay it?

Marketing

  • How will you market your business?
  • What is your target market and how will you reach those customers?

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Rogers Park Business Alliance
1448 W. Morse Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: 773.508.5885
Fax: 773.508.9488
Email: info@rpba.org