5 Things to Do Before Launching Your Company

[tweetmeme]So you’ve decided mompreneurship is for you. You’ve found an idea that solves a real problem and you’ve vetted it with more than just yourself. You’re ready to launch your company, right?

Not quite yet.

Having a winning idea is a great start but there are other things to consider. I’ve chosen five tips from my favorite mompreneurs on what to do before launching your company.

1. Set a time limit and then forget it.

Upfront, determine how much time you’re comfortable taking to see if you can make your idea work. This time might be a period away your career or changes in your schedule that impact your kids. Is it six months? A year? Once you have set a comfortable time limit, put that worry aside and get down to business.

2. Define a Go / No Go budget and stick to it.

Calculate how much of your own money you’re able to invest in giving your idea a go. Even if you get outside financing, investors or the bank will expect you to use a portion of your own money. When you’ve reached your budget limit, take a critical look at what you have learned. Make the hard decision about whether or not to continue. You may even decide you need to change course and push your idea in another direction.

3. Embrace the business plan.

No, you won’t be able to answer all of the questions in the business plan at the start and some of the sections will make you quake in fear. But do it–even if you’re not going to show it to any one or raise funding right away. The business plan will help you solidify your ideas and guide you in finding important answers. Remember that the business plan should be a living document. Continue to nurture it as your company grows and changes. It’ll keep you focused and you’ll be that much farther ahead if you do decide to go for funding.

4. Find a sounding board who is not your best friend or your mother.

Objective advice is critical when starting and building your own company. You don’t need yes people around you; you need people who will ask you the tough questions. My favorite small business organization, SCORE, has experienced mentors and valuable resources for startups and most of their services are free.

5. Hire an accountant.

Small business accountants are great resources. They will help you organize your finances and often have large networks of professionals who can help you launch and grow. If you’re not comfortable hiring an accountant just yet, at least get a good accounting software program. There are many costs associated with a startup and you’ll want a solid record of what you’ve spent (and earned!) right from the start.

In the next post, I’m sharing my real-time journey on launching a new product with, “Why Would Anyone in the World Want My New Product?”