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The Startup Checklist is the entrepreneur’s essential companion. While most entrepreneurship books focus on strategy, this invaluable guide provides the concrete steps that will get your new business off to a strong start. You’ll learn the ins and outs of startup execution, management, legal issues, and practical processes throughout the launch and growth phases, and how to avoid the critical missteps that threaten the foundation of your business. Instead of simply referring you to experts, this discussion shows you exactly which experts you need, what exactly you need them to do, and which tools you will use to support them and you’ll gain enough insight to ask smart questions that help you get your money’s worth. If you’re ready to do big things, this book has you covered from the first business card to the eventual exit.
Over two thirds of startups are built on creaky foundations, and over two thirds of startup costs go directly toward cleaning up legal and practical problems caused by an incomplete or improper start. This book helps you sidestep the messy and expensive clean up process by giving you the specific actions you need to take right from the very beginning.
- Understand the critical intricacies of legally incorporating and running a startup.
- Learn which experts you need, and what exactly you need from them.
- Make more intelligent decisions independent of your advisors.
- Avoid the challenges that threaten to derail great young companies.
The typical American startup costs over $30,000 and requires working with over two dozen professionals and service providers before it even opens for business and the process is so complex that few founders do it correctly. Their startups errors often go unnoticed until the founder tries to seek outside capital, at which point they can cost thousands of dollars to fix or even completely derail an investment. The Startup Checklist helps you avoid these problems and lay a strong foundation, so you can focus on building your business.
In other words, this book is designed for a very specific type of business starter: the entrepreneur who is deliberately setting out to create a scalable, high-growth business designed for the twenty-first century; a business that will hire employees, issue stock options, raise money from outside investors, grow rapidly and eventually either be acquired by a larger company or “go public” through an initial public offering. Starting that kind of business gets very complicated, very quickly, and making even small mistakes at the beginning can cause problems at every later step along the way.
These mistakes include the fundamental (starting a business that just doesn’t make sense) to the painful (hooking up with people whose interests are divergent from yours) to the tragic (getting equity allocations wrong at the beginning and never being able to recover), all the way to the really, really expensive (making simple mistakes at the incorporation level that result in five- and six-figure clean-up costs the first time a serious investor is thinking of supporting you).
This book is your one-stop checklist to starting off right. It assumes no prior knowledge about business – just a strong desire to create something seriously big, and to do so in the most effective, most efficient and least expensive way possible. David S. Rose, a serial entrepreneur who is one of the world’s leading startup investors, walks beside you throughout the process, providing the background you need to understand the whys in addition to the whats and the hows. He takes you step-by-step through the nitty gritty practical tasks of starting up a high-growth venture, introduces you to the latest online tools that will save you time and money, points you to the standard books that should be in every entrepreneur’s library, and gives you a peek behind the curtains of the angel investor and venture worlds.
Among the concrete steps covered are:
- Translating your idea into a compelling business model.
- Allocating equity among your startup team.
- Incorporating as a Delaware “C” corporation.
- Recruiting your boards of Directors and Advisors.
- Measuring your business with data analytics.
- Establishing a stock option plan.
- Understanding the funding process.
- Crowdfunding with online platforms.
- Negotiating investment term sheets.
- Reaping the benefits of success through acquisition.
About the Author
DAVID S. ROSE is the New York Times bestselling author of Angel Investing; founder and CEO of Gust; and founder of New York Angels. He is an Inc. 500 CEO, serial entrepreneur and early stage investor who has founded or funded over 100 companies. He was named as “world conquering entrepreneur” by Business Week and “New York’s Archangel” by Forbes, he was the Founding Track Chair for Finance and Entrepreneurship at Singularity University.