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Want to Start a Business? Make Sure You're Set for Success

Starting a new business as a Native entrepreneur involves careful planning and consideration. Here's a checklist to guide you through the process:

  1. Business Idea and Research:

  • Define your business idea clearly.

  • Conduct market research to understand your target audience, competition, and industry trends.

  • Identify the unique selling points (USPs) of your business.

  1. Business Plan:

  • Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your business goals, strategies, operations, and financial projections.

  • Include a section on how your business will positively impact the Native community, if applicable.

  • Consider seeking assistance from organizations that support Native entrepreneurs in creating your business plan.

  1. Legal Structure and Registration:

  • Choose a legal structure for your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC) considering factors like liability, taxes, and ownership.

  • Register your business with the appropriate local, state, and federal authorities.

  • Obtain any necessary permits or licenses required for your business operations.

  1. Finances:

  • Determine the startup costs and ongoing expenses.

  • Explore funding options such as loans, grants, investors, or crowdfunding.

  • Set up a business bank account to separate personal and business finances.

  1. Brand Identity:

  • Develop a strong brand identity including a business name, logo, and tagline.

  • Secure relevant domain names and social media handles for your business.

  1. Marketing and Sales Strategy:

  • Create a marketing plan outlining how you will promote your products or services to your target audience.

  • Establish your online presence through a website and social media channels.

  • Identify potential sales channels and distribution methods.

  1. Operations:

  • Set up your physical or virtual workspace.

  • Determine your suppliers and establish relationships with them.

  • Develop processes and systems for efficient operations.

  1. Human Resources:

  • Determine if you need to hire employees or if you will operate as a solo entrepreneur.

  • If hiring, define job roles, responsibilities, and compensation structures.

  • Ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations.

  1. Insurance:

  • Assess the insurance needs of your business (e.g., liability insurance, property insurance) and purchase appropriate coverage.

  1. Networking and Support:

  • Join Native entrepreneurship networks or organizations for support, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

  • Attend relevant events, workshops, and conferences to expand your knowledge and connections.

  1. Community Engagement:

  • Engage with the Native community and seek opportunities for collaboration or partnership.

  • Consider how your business can give back to the Native community through initiatives such as mentorship programs or donations.

  1. Continuous Learning and Adaptation:

  • Stay updated on industry trends, market changes, and new opportunities.

  • Be willing to adapt your business strategies based on feedback and evolving circumstances.

Starting a business requires dedication, resilience, and continuous learning. By following this checklist and seeking support from relevant resources, like a Financial or Success Coach at Pacific Northwest Tribal Lending, you can set yourself up for success as a Native entrepreneur.

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