Starting up a new business can be challenging. Fortunately there are many resources available to help you succeed as a small business start up; however, the number of small business start-ups that actually succeed are around only 5%. By having a strong business plan and following the ten steps of starting a new business, you will greatly improve your potential for success.

Business Startup Checklist:

  • Step 1: Write a business plan – Get The GeoWize Advantage
  • Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training
  • Step 3: Choose a Business Location – Get The GeoWize Advantage
  • Step 4: Finance Your Business
  • Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
  • Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)
  • Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number
  • Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes
  • Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
  • Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities


The very first step is to write a Business Plan (you will need this for Step 4 – Finance Your Business)

Small Business Site LocationA critical component of every small business start up plan is a comprehensive Market Analysis. A market analysis covers the following topics:
Industry Description and Outlook – Describes the industry, including its size, historic growth and other trends and characteristics. Then, it lists the major customer groups within the industry.
Information About the Target Market – Narrow the target market to a manageable size, both in market type and in defining the geographic trade area. The GeoWize services and reports provide a rich and comprehensive view of the industry state within the target trade area.

GeoWize will help you identify the best geographic trade area for your business, whether defined by physical boundaries (e.g. streets, highways, rivers, mountains, etc.), standard geographic areas (e.g. city, county, state(s), zip codes, MSA, etc.), rings, drive times, drive distances; thresholds based on demographics, expenditure/income levels, or areas based on transportation and supply constraints. Once the trade area is defined reports can be generated for demographics, expenditures, Tapestry profiles, supply & demand, and more than fifteen hundred other attributes.

For business to business (B2B) enterprises, GeoWize offers a strategic market analysis that identifies every business, from a domestic database of more than 14 million businesses, in the US that represents your target market.

Find a niche rather than trying to appeal to too many target markets. Research and include the following information about the target market:
Distinguishing characteristics – What are the critical needs of potential customers? Are those needs being met? What are the demographics of the group and where are they located? Are there any seasonal or cyclical purchasing trends that may impact your business?

GeoWize’s Demographic and Income Profile report delivers insight into the population, gender, age breakdown, income breakdown, ethnicity, growth trends, and a five-year forecast of each attribute. The Market Profile provides deep detail on the demographic and income makeup of the trade area, plus a detailed evaluation of educational attainment and employment statistics. The Retail Goods and Services Expenditures report provides current and forecasted expenditure statistics. The Retail MarketPlace Profile report gives supply and demand perspective on a spectrum of retail markets.

Size of the primary target market – In addition to the size of the target market, data about the annual purchases the market makes in the target industry should be included. Identify the forecasted market growth.

The GeoWize Retail Goods and Services Expenditures and the Retail MarketPlace Profile reports deliver the information required for this portion of the market analysis portion of the business plan.

Amount of the market share that can be gained – What is the market share percentage and number of customers that can realistically be captured for the defined trade area? Explain the logic behind the calculation.

The supply and demand data in the Retail MarketPlace Profile report provide for quickly identifying exactly how much market share remains for capture by new businesses.

Pricing and gross margin targets – Define the planned pricing structure, gross margin levels, and any discount that the plan will use.
Competitive Analysis – The competitive analysis should identify competition by product line or service and market segment. Assess the following characteristics of the competitive landscape:

  • Market share
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • How important is your target market to competitors?
  • Are there any barriers that may hinder entry into the market?
  • What is the window of opportunity to enter the market?
  • Are there any indirect or secondary competitors who may impact success?
  • What barriers to market are there (e.g., changing technology, high investment cost, lack of quality personnel)?

GeoWize utilizes standard industry codes to identify competitors, map their locations relative to the prospective business site, and to provide deep intelligence regarding them.

Regulatory Restrictions – Include any customer or governmental regulatory requirements affecting your business, and how you’ll comply. Also, cite any operational or cost impact the compliance process will have on your business.

Choose a Business Location – Business Site Selection

One of the primary factors involved in running a successful business is selecting the “right” location. As they say: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!! The small business start up plan process of selecting the right location involves knowing the market, either retail or business; understanding the competition; being fully aware of the supply and demand, and having a good grasp of market leakage in the target trade area.

Business to Consumer Small Business Startup Plan

For retail (B2C) enterprises, GeoWize can provide a comprehensive market and competitive analysis of the target market to identify prime areas for finding business sites. Once a site, or a number of sites are identified, a detailed comparison of all of the prospective sites can be provided to facilitate the selection of the “BEST” business location. Check out the GeoWize services for selecting the best B2C business location…

Business to Business Startup Plan

For business to business (B2B) enterprises, GeoWize can provide a comprehensive market and competitive analysis of the target market, including consideration of logistical factors, to identify prime areas for finding business sites. Once a site, or a number of sites are identified, a detailed comparison of all of the prospective sites can be provided to facilitate the selection of the “BEST” business location. Check out the GeoWize strategic market analysis packages…