21 Excellent Productivity Apps for Entrepreneurs

21 Excellent Productivity Apps for Entrepreneurs

Being productive is essential for everyone, especially when starting a business; there always seem to be a million things on your to-do list and you don’t know where to start. Being productive helps you do better at your job and save you time (which means more free time). If you value your time, then you should find ways to increase your productivity.

You can become more productive by practicing good habits and by having the self-discipline to stick to those habits. Another method to increase your productivity would be to use apps that enhance your work performance.

Here are the top 21 apps every entrepreneur should be downloading to make the most of each day.

  1. Pasteasy

If your job requires that you copy and paste a lot of data, then this app is for you. This app is a lifesaver. It lets you copy pictures, texts, screenshots, barcodes and other media from your smartphone to your computer. It even has a clipboard feature where you can keep track of all the things that you’ve pasted.

  1. SaneBox

SaneBox is well… it’s an app that keeps you sane. How?

Most of the time, reading emails can be a big time waster and it sometimes gets really frustrating when you’re shifting through newsletters and spam mail. For most people, this added stress is enough to make you go crazy!

SaneBox removes this annoyance by using intelligent filters that sort your email. It moves your emails to sorted folders so you can focus on the important ones first. It also uploads emails with file attachment directly to your cloud, which saves you the trouble of finding them.

  1. Toggl

Toggl helps you simplify your time tracking. You can simply keep track of the time by a simple click. So you don’t have to waste time by looking at the time.

  1. Shyp

Shyp helps you by minimizing the work needed to ship boxes to other people. It saves money since it automatically finds the best rates available. You don’t have to worry about the package being lost since it also has a real-time tracking feature that allows it to keep track of the packages that you are sending.

  1. Wunderlist

Wunderlist helps you streamline tasks and disseminate them to other people. It creates artistic and beautiful looking to do lists that people would like to see. Its artistic looks will help inspire action in you and your workers.

  1. Mind Meister

If your job requires creativity and innovation, then the Mind Meister app would be a great help. It’s a web-based browser app that helps keep your creativity going. It creates collaborative mind maps to help you connect with more than seven million people all over the globe. It even has a chat feature to help you keep in touch with other people.

Merging ideas with other people might be just what you need to perform well.

  1. Slack

Moving from cubicle to cubicle just to talk and coordinate with fellow coworkers is a big waste of time and a big hindrance to getting the job done. Slack helps solve that problem by allows you to contact each other without the need to move around the office.

It is a messaging app that allows you to chat and send a file to fellow workers. It also gives you notifications if something comes up so that you don’t have to check your phone from time to time for updates.

  1. Fantastical

Fantastical is Mac calendar app that is compatible with other operating systems. Fantastical syncs with other calendars and it compiles the events and dates to help you plan out your schedule. It also gives you notifications so you don’t miss out on events.

  1. Cube Anywhere

Cube anywhere helps you keep track of time and it also helps you keep track of your projects and works. It can integrate with your other contacts as well, which saves you a lot of time and a whole lot of effort.  It’s very similar to Toggl but with the added benefit of being able to keep track of your work on multiple devices.

  1. LinkFixer Advanced

This app is pretty self-explanatory. Broken links are an annoyance and they can be quite the hassle. LinkFixer fixes those broken links so you don’t have to sift through your whole work just to correct one lousy broken link.

LinkFixer can also be used to transfer multiple files at once with reducing chances of errors. Another hidden feature it has is that it can be used to modify the details of your broken links.

  1. RescueTime

RescueTime is another time tracking app that helps you manage your time wisely. Asides from the time tracking feature, RescueTime also gives you insight and advice on how to make the most out of your time.

  1. Contacts Plus

Contacts Plus is a contacts managing app that give you instant access to your contact’s information without moving to another tab. It saves you a lot of time and it prevents you from being distracted from your work. It also comes with a backup feature that helps you keep your contacts even if you lose your phone or if your data gets wiped.

  1. Let’s Lunch

LetsLunch is basically an app that helps you get the job done during lunch breaks or work breaks in general.

What does it do? It basically integrates with your contacts and calendar to help you find opportunities to network with other people. So you can do business and be more productive even during your breaks.

  1. Droplr

Droplr is a very convenient and handy tool that allows you to share graphics with other people. It doesn’t just send pictures to other people, it also allows you to put explanations and annotations in those pictures. It saves you a lot of time in explaining, and it helps you convey the message with as little words as possible.

  1. Speechnotes

Speechnotes helps you save time by converting your words into notes. It’s basically your own private secretary. It allows for switching between spoken words and typed dictations, it also keeps track of your vocabulary so that it can easily adjust and make the necessary changes to effectively translate what you’re saying.

  1. BaTo.Life

This is your own personal taskmaster. This app allows you take short breaks during work without suffering much in productivity. When you’re breaks have gone too far, BaTo.Life will be there to call you out and help you get back to work. Input the allotted time for your break and when you exceed the time, the app will close all other applications and force you to get back to work.

  1. Dart

Dart helps you get to the point and avoid making unnecessary time wasting replies.  If you are answering emails and giving the same sort of replies to your contacts, then the Dart app was made for you. With a simple click of a button, you can send standard replies instead of coming up with long answers yourself.

  1. Freedom

Freedom is very similar to the BaTo.Life app. It has a very ironic name since it doesn’t actually make you free, in fact, it restricts it. Freedom restricts your access to various websites so that you can focus on your work.

  1. RunYourMeeting

RunYourMeeting is a tool that helps you manage your meetings effectively. It increases the accountability of your attendees by making them commit and by monitoring their attendance and participation.

  1. Zapier

This is one of our favorite automation tool in the office.  Zapier simplifies your work by creating a designated workflow for you to follow. It creates “zaps” or triggers that automatically do your task for you. An example of a zap would be to send files to a certain person with a click of a button or send messages on a certain time period.

It saves you time by automating parts of your work.

  1. GPS for the Soul

This isn’t exactly an app that will help you in the office but it will help you keep you your sanity in the long run.

GPS for the Soul is a free Android and iOS which helps you relieve your stress. It tracks your location and finds nearby locations for you to unwind and release stress.

Here are other ways to be productive.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

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20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

You don’t need to take too many months to prepare if you’re really determined to start a business. Instead, you can complete these steps in a few days.


When you’re pondering the prospect of starting your own business, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad details of the process. You can end up spending too many months preparing, and during this time you might even hesitate and lose your nerve.

The truth of it is that you really don’t have to spend a lot of time to prepare to start your own business. You just need to focus, and with the following checklist of steps, you need to take you can be well on your way.

  1. Come up with a business idea. You need a business that best suits your preferences, skills, and interests. Pretend you have to ask for some seed money from a prospective investor. You have to make sure you have the skill set and the background for the business idea you’re offering. To make your idea more concrete, you have to serve a particular need or solve a specific problem. You need to identify this need or problem so that you can customize your solution and design your business accordingly.
  1. Do market research. You can go online for this, starting out by checking out your competition. If you’re starting a plumbing business, then you better know how many plumbers there already are in your town. You should also find out the level of demand for the business service or product you’re thinking about offering to the consumer public.
  2. Choose a unique business name. Uniqueness is more important than how catchy your business name is. You can always do a quick web search, though you also need to check with your state department of revenue that no one else in your state is already using the business name you’re considering. A trademark search will also be necessary. Check GoDaddy.com for a domain name.
  3. Define your target market. You can find lots of apps online that can help, and you can always conduct your own surveys.
  4. Pick the location where you’ll be working. Most people start by working at home, but that may change later on. But you have to find workspace options that you may need to use eventually, such as when you’re meeting with clients.
  5. Set up your website. That means buying your domain, obtaining your web hosting (we uses MediaTemple), and building a website. It probably will help a great deal if you let a pro handle all this, although you will have to pay for these services. The point is that a website is a must—people don’t really trust new businesses without websites these days.
  6. Put up phone service. Even though just about everyone has a smartphone these days, it’s still a good idea to have a business phone setup to make things a lot more professional. You can still use your smartphone, but the other people at the other end of the line will see your business phone number instead.
  7. Set up your customer database. You’ll need this if you regularly interact with customers. If you find keeping lots of contact information on Rolodex cards, then you certainly will find a database a lot more useful/
  8. Use lead generation software. Leads tell you where you can focus your sales tactics so that you don’t waste time contacting people who are unlikely to become your customers. You can find software that can identify these likely customers for you, and you can use them with your database.
  9. Get your business on social media. You should have a business profile on the social media platforms where you will find your most likely customers. You should also consider getting on Yelp and Google My Business.
  10. Obtain the business licenses you’ll need. You can do some research on the state licenses and permits you’ll need, along with the fees you have to pay.
  11. Get your Employer Identification Number if you have workers. The EIN will be required by the IRS if you’re going to operate as a partnership or corporation, or if you’re going to hire workers. You can just go to the IRS website for this.
  12. Open a business bank account. The most convenient bank is the one where you already have a personal savings account. But you can check out other banks in your area if they specialize in business accounts. You’ll most likely need your EIN, the documentation you needed to register your business with the state, and a copy of your business license.
  13. Invest in accounting software. Try FreshBooks and QuickBooks, along with Zoho Books and Xero. You’ll need this type of software to keep track of your revenues and expenses, and the reports will be necessary come tax time.
  14. Draw up a marketing plan. Again, you can go online and find templates you can use to promote your business. Your plan needs to identify your target market, as well as the ways to reach and advertise to these potential customers.
  15. Write your business plan. A business plan comes in handy to help you focus on the tasks you need to do to start and develop your business. This business plan also will be necessary when you’re looking for investors. This business plan will include a general description of your company, the data from the market analysis you’ve done, information about the products or services you’re offering, and some financial data.
  16. Obtain the funding you need. You can go to a bank or a relative to obtain a loan, and perhaps use up some of your savings. But you should also see if there are grants available for your business. Crowdfunding may also be possible.
  17. Think about trademarks and patents. You can discuss this with an attorney, though if a lawyer does all the work the fees can go into the thousands of dollars.
  18. Prepare a logo. A logo helps your business to stand out, and it can be very useful for marketing. We use 99designs.com and Fiverr.com for this task.
  19. Think about insurance. At the very least, you may need professional liability insurance. Check with your insurance agency to find out what your business insurance needs and options are.

You can do some of these steps in just a single day, so there’s no good reason to feel overwhelmed about the preparations you need to make. Starting a business can be a risk, but you can’t reap the rewards if you don’t take the plunge.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

5 Technology Trends Startup Should Follow Right Now

5 Technology Trends Startups Should Follow Right Now

Be current with today’s technology trends if you want to get ahead (or even just keep up) with your competitors. Here are the most important tech trends for 2019.

Technology trends come and go, depending on the current landscape of the business world. It’s best if you can come in on these trends to get ahead of your competitors so that you can reap the benefits. If you’re lagging behind, you better catch on quick to at least keep up.

So which tech trends are important? For 2019, these are the trends to note:

1 Using Facebook Messenger for Marketing

For years now we’ve heard how sooner or later Facebook will no longer be popular. Yet this behemoth of a website still draws in 1.3 billion users a month. That’s the kind of audience size no business can ignore, which is why it’s crucial to do your marketing on this platform.

Then there’s Messenger, which is a handy tool that can do a lot of stuff for you. It can boost brand awareness, enhance the shopping experience, and demonstrate that you actually care about customers. One great example: this can help resolve various customer complaints and questions in less a minute on average.

2 Using Social Media as a Retail Platform

A lot of companies have already started using social media for marketing by engaging with customers directly. Of course, it occurred to someone (to an increasing number of companies, in fact) that you can also use this platform to engage with customers by selling to them directly. It’s a pretty logical extension of the principle.

Right now a number of social media platforms are doing their bit by making it easier for companies to sell their wares directly. Instagram has the Stories platform, while you have the Shoppable Snap Ads on Snapchat.

3 Optimize for Voice Search

More and more people aren’t typing in the words in the Google search box. They’re now just using voice search. A lot of households now also have auto assistants like Alexa and Siri.

These people who use voice search also use a much different set of keywords. They tend to ask complete questions, so you better optimize your website to match those likely questions.

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4 Assist in Paying Employees’ Student Loans

This is a rather innovative way to attract and retain top talent, especially tech talent. There are no repayment providers that enable employers to provide assistance to their employees when they’re paying off their college debts.

5 Use Square to Offer Customer Financing for Purchases

Square is great. It became popular among many small business owners when it first enabled formerly “cash only” small businesses to finally take customer credit cards so these businesses won’t miss out on making a sale.

Now, Square has come up with its Installments service. This time, Square acts as a middleman between merchants and customers, so that customers can buy items worth $250 to $10,000. It’s like Square is the credit card company, and customers pay Square back through fixed monthly installments for 3 to 12 months. The APR varies, from zero up to 24%. It’s available in 22 states, but this number should grow soon.

Also, check out these 6 Easy Steps to Optimizing Your Voice Search – And Why It’s Important

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

The Best Apps for LA Residents

The Best Apps for LA Residents

Everyone has a smartphone these days, and there are plenty of apps you can download and use to make your life easier and less boring. If you’re a resident of Los Angeles, you can also find some extremely useful apps that can make life in LA just a tad less intimidating.

The more obvious apps you need to get include Uber, Waze, and Google Maps. You probably have these apps already, and if you don’t you better get them now. After downloading these apps, you can then get the following:

Roaming Hunger

If you’re a fan of food trucks, then you need this app on your smartphone. Roaming Hunger can help you find the food trucks close you where you are. You can find the schedules for these trucks, plus you get menu information and reviews of the various food trucks as well. Download iOS

The Infatuation

This is the grandmother of all LA restaurant apps. It covers just about every restaurant in Los Angeles, and no other app is as comprehensive as this one. You get reviews for each restaurant, along with ratings, links to the menus, and even photos of the food. You also get maps to the restaurants too. Even the design of the app is undeniably elegant, and it’s a pleasure to use. If you have a bunch of friends trying to decide where to eat, this app can really help you guys out. Download iOS

Polis Assist

It’s long been known that you can’t live in LA without a car. But that means parking can be a headache for you. After all, LA does have some rather weird parking signs in so many places.

But you can download Polis Assist, and you get a lot of help. This app can tell you the times when you can or cannot park in certain LA streets, as sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason for the schedule. This can save you a lot of parking tickets, plus the app can even tell you how much the parking meters cost in the various areas. Download iOS

ParkMe

Here’s another parking app, and it’s for those who are tired of planning meticulous routes through the city only to spend half an hour looking for the most affordable parking option.

ParkMe shows you all the different parking lots in LA on a map. You’ll know how much each of these parking lots will cost you and whether they accept credit cards. The app even tells you how full the parking lots are. You can find out when they open and at what time they close, or if they have covered parking. You can even use the app to pay in advance in some cases. Download iOS

Our Malibu Beaches

One of the perks of living in LA is that you get to visit Malibu. That’s an area encompassing 21 miles of terrific beaches. These are actually open to the public according to the California Coastal Act, even if the entitled homeowners in the area put in gates and post security guards. Some of these people even put up No Parking signs!

These homeowners can make it hard for you to get to Malibu, but the Our Malibu Beaches app can help you navigate around these obstacles. It’s designed by environmental activist Jenny Price, and it shows info on 43 beaches in Malibu. You get to find out how to get to the beach you want, how you can get in, and where you can park. It even shows you all the illegal signs you may encounter and safely ignore. In addition, the helpful info includes tips on where you can put your blanket and where the bathrooms are. You even get a nice history of the beach. Download iOS

5 Every Day

Are you feeling bored with no exciting idea of what to do while in LA? Download this extremely minimalist app that will give you suggestions—5 of them—so that you can explore LA and find a bit of fun and excitement. These suggestions all come from longtime LA residents who love the city and want you to love it too. Download iOS

Modern Hiker

This is the app for LA hiking, even if the website is a bit buggy. The mobile app version is terrific though, and you can use the app to find great hiking paths. You can also use the app to make sure you’re keeping to the right trail so that you don’t get lost. Website

Taco Locator

Do you like tacos? Who doesn’t? This app shows support for your taco fetish by finding the taco places nearest to where you are, along with photos and reviews. It’s a simple app with a simple function—finding the tacos! Download iOS

Ecology Center’s Farmer Market Finder

Are you looking for a farmer’s market near you? Visit this website (the mobile version), and you get a map to all the farmer’s markets in LA. You also get a schedule as to when they’re open. It’s technically not an app at all, but then it’s super-useful for those who want fresh ingredients for home cooking. Website

MyLA 311

This is the official app of LA, and surprisingly it doesn’t suck at all. This app lets you do various stuff, like pay your DWP bill and request removal for graffiti or bulky items. The app also lets you report a sidewalk repair problem or a pothole, and homeless encampments too.

Of course, if you’re a cynical fellow you may think that this is just an app for show and the officials won’t actually do anything. But astonishingly, these officials actually address most of the problems reported here. When you fill out a report about a problem, you get a ticket number and even an email when the city has dealt with the problem. Download iOS

To be fair, there are lots of apps available for LA residents. But many of them are embarrassingly useless and terrible. Try out these apps instead, and you may find LA life much easier and more to your liking!

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

Want to Work at a Startup? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With These Simple Tips

Want to Work at a Startup? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With These Simple Tips

If you’re looking for a job at a startup, no other social networking tool will be of greater help to you than LinkedIn. The vast majority of startups use it as their primary candidate search tool, so you need to do a version of SEO on your LinkedIn profile to make it stand out.

Even if you are happily employed, you owe it to yourself to be well represented on Linkedin, as you NEVER know what will come your way. LinkedIn is the first place companies go to find out about you.

Here Are The Must-Haves

Right from the very beginning, your profile has to stand out from the rest of the riff-raff. Startups are a lot about the mission of the company their building. Show why you are passionate about working for their company by sharing your experiences that align with their mission. Startups want to find someone who loves their company almost as much as they do.

So, first, make sure that you have the basic steps covered. This starts with a professional-looking profile photo to help them recognize you. It’s been found that you get 9 times more connection requests when you have a photo than when you don’t have one.

You also need to make sure that your profile is updated with the latest information. It must include your present industry, company, and position, so that you’re better able to connect with the content, groups, and jobs you’re interested in.

Your current location is also crucial, as this type of listing helps searches made by recruiters, former coworkers, and fellow alumni. With your location listed, you’re 10 times more likely to be found.

A good profile can immediately display your work affiliation and location, your contact info, and your list of connections. It can feature your education history, though you can also hide this easily if you don’t want to highlight it. You should also add videos and images to your summary.

Make your profile stand out from others by adding your FUN side to it.  Use emoji, symbols and visual cues in your profile will definitely help to make it stands out from the crowd in a positive way especially if you use them conservatively. Make sure you don’t overuse them. You don’t want your profile to appear unprofessional.

Keyword Your Skills

Recruiters spend hours searching on LinkedIn looking for top performers. And when they find them, they will contact the top performers. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a top performer by highlighting your skills in the summary and experience section.

With the ever-increasing data available about you, the candidate, many companies are using innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to quickly weave out the low performers. AI technology has the ability to quickly sifts out keywords and key skills in your resume. Customize your profile with keywords that represent the required soft and hard skills found in the job listings. Incorporate these terms throughout your profile, particularly in the “Key Skills” and “Work Experience” sections will definitely help. Remember, hiring managers to need to know what industry you are an expert in, what technologies you are most fluent in, and which types of products/services do you have the most familiarity with.

You can start by featuring your top 3 skills on your profile. These are the skills for which you want to be recognized. You can also categorize your skills so that others will find it easier to find out if you have the particular skills they’re looking for.

One example of categorization is to have categories such as Skills in Technology and Tools, Industry Expertise, Interpersonal Skills, and Miscellaneous Skills. You should take care of the order of the skills you list within each category, as the most important ones should be at the top of the list. Don’t forget to update these lists as you gain more skills. Whether you learn a new program or even just a new musical instrument, include them all here.

These listings matter a lot, in case you still don’t realize their importance. If you have at least 5 skills on your profile, you’ll get 17 times more profile views. Recruiters and other people who can help you advance in your professional career can send up to 31 times more messages.

You can finish off the profile by adding more clues to who you are aside from your work and educational experience. Mention every charity or community work you’ve, and don’t forget to add new awards and accomplishments. Always update, as you’re never really done with your LinkedIn profile.

This might interest you: Top 5 Items that Job Seekers Need to Remove from Their LinkedIn Profile


 

Cadre is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. Cadre is building a talent network utilizing AI and Machine Learning to help solve the tech talent crisis across their portfolio of 85 startups throughout California, Seattle, and Austin.

 

Jason Stomel
Contributor
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.
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Jason Stomel
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.

A 30-Point Checklist for Your Startup

A 30-Point Checklist for Your Startup

Do you want to make sure your new startup succeeds? Here’s a nice list of what you have to do for your startup.

Everybody seems wants to do a startup these days. But before you’re dazzled by the prospects of billions of dollars, here’s a list of what you really have to do first:

  1. Find out if your business is actually viable. It’s not enough to say that you’d buy something you offer. You have to determine with utmost honesty if you’ll have enough customers to actually make a profit.
  2. Come up with a business plan. This will help guide your path. Make sure you have financial projections in there so you know if you’re still in the right path.
  3. Deal with the financing. Figure out how much money you need to get your business started. Then see where you can get that money.
  4. Pick your business name. It should be original and memorable.
  5. Get your family to support you. It’s going to be hard enough to start a business, and it’s harder when your family thinks it’s going to fail.
  6. Set up your legal structure. You may need a lawyer for this. Incorporating your business is essential, so you can protect your personal assets.
  7. Apply for an Employer Identification Number. Don’t worry; EIN numbers are free. This number will be needed when you incorporate or open a bank account solely for your business. You can also use this in lieu of your social security number.
  8. Apply for a business license. Check with the SBA for what to do.
  9. Open a business bank account. You ought to separate your business and personal finances ASAP.
  10. Choose an accounting program. You don’t want your books to be a mess.
  11. Register a domain name for your business. Make sure it’s a real commercial domain name. A website with free hosting looks to amateurish.
  12. Start building your website. Nowadays, not having a website for your business is suspicious.
  13. Set up your social media profiles. You need to reserve your brand ASAP. You also get ready to market on these social media channels later on.
  14. Begin generating revenue immediately. Don’t wait until things are perfect. You’ll need that revenue to add to your financing.
  15. Determine if you need an actual office. If you can do everything online, then you can use your money for other expenses as you hold off getting an office. But you’ll need an office if you expect customers to actually meet with you.
  16. Get some business cards. They’re nice and handy marketing materials, and they’re helpful for networking.
  17. Define the responsibilities of all cofounders. These should be in writing, so there are no disagreements as to who has to do what as time passes.

After your launch, make sure you then do these things:

  1. Access free advice. Consult with friends who’ve started their own businesses, check with the local SBA, and find other online resources.
  2. Find the right business apps. These can help while you’re on the go.
  3. See if you need insurance. Your business may need health insurance, workers’ comp, or liability insurance.
  4. Hire an employee. Sooner or later, you’ll find that you can’t do everything yourself if you want your business to grow.
  5. Set up your source of inventory. You may also need suppliers and service providers.
  6. Get legal advice on patents and trademarks. Your lawyer can again definitely give good advice on this topic.
  7. Enhance your network. Tell your family and friends about your business. This doesn’t mean you nag them into buying your products. But they can introduce you to people and they can recommend your business to their own friends.
  8. Focus on making sales and attracting customers. Hold off on chasing business partnerships in the meantime.
  9. Practice your elevator pitch. You need to be persuasive when you encounter financiers, potential customers, and new hires.
  10. Back up your IT. You need to protect your sensitive information contained on your computers.
  11. Consider a salesperson. You may be the head salesperson of your startup at first, but you need someone to focus on day-to-day sales while you concentrate on other aspects.
  12. Pay attention to customer feedback. What your customers have to say can help improve your products and your approach.
  13. Try to find a mentor. Find someone who has already succeeded in your niche to help you out. Their advice can be tremendously helpful.

You may also like this list of 21 Excellent Productivity Apps

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

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