Starting an LLC: What to do First
"If you don't identify a real problem, nobody will care about the solution."by Dr. Maiysha Clairborne
The eager entrepreneur wants to jump right into creating all aspects of his/her business idea. Name of the business, get a federal EIN number, build a website, form a limited liability company (LLC)...
Be careful. Most people jump the gun on filing their LLC for their business.
Maybe you can't wait to start with these foundational things, but you need to be sure that your business is going to be viable. Here are three things that you must think about before starting an LLC.
#1 What's the Problem?
Don't worry, this is not the type of problem you should run away from. If you're a new entrepreneur, make sure that you're clear about the problem that YOU want to solve. This may seem obvious to some, but for many others, it's actually not. You'd be surprised at how many people have an idea, but they're not clear about the actual problem that said idea solves. In order to get to that, you have to do some research. It's what I call "the not-sexy-part of it."
So you have this idea. It's your passion. But you need to test and verify. One of the ways you can do that is by asking people (who you think have the problem) if that's a problem that needs to be solved.
When I was thinking about transitioning out of my business, I thought about a problem to focus on: The relationship between doctors and patients. I went out to the community. I pitched these ideas to a couple of universities and tried to get some feedback from academics and physicians. During my research trying to figure out what was behind this fractured doctor-patient relationship, I quickly found out it wasn't relevant. While it was a concern, it wasn't a burning issue. What was actually there was a whole underlying burnout situation.
I then jumped to burnout coaching. I could verify that burnout was a problem, and most importantly, it was a problem that needed (and wanted) to be solved. Since then, I've transitioned to entrepreneurship, helping medical professionals practice on their own terms.
But my point is that the first thing you have to do is to be 100% sure of what problem you're solving. Is there actually a desire for that problem to be solved?
#2 Come Up With a Solution
Create a solution to the problem you identified. You can create it as:
- A consulting program
- A coaching program
- An online course
- A book
Consider offering a beta program or beta version of your product, that way you can test it out. This gives you the opportunity to see whether your solution works and to get testimonials"
Tweak and adjust along the way. Decide if it's the solution you want to provide or try another format/content.
#3 Sell, Sell, Sell!
With a clear problem and an even clearer solution, you need to start selling. The beta version of your product could be free or a low-price paid version. If you charge for your beta, you've actually tackled #2 and #3 at the same time!
It's all a chain. If you don't identify a real problem, nobody will care about the solution. If you don't have a solution, you won't have a product to sell. If you can't sell, then you don't have a business. So I always recommend having a clear vision of the problem, making sure there are a need and a desire for that problem to be solved, and create a solution that people are willing to pay for.
After all of the above steps are successfully completed, then it's time to start your business to think about getting your LLC.
It's Not Over
These are part of the foundations that I teach in my programs and in my foundational masterclass. If you want to know more about the other foundations to start your business in a solid way, check it out here.
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The bootstrapper says:
You don't have a business until you have a sale.
Once you have a sale, you have a business, you are launched and all you need to do is tweak a process that is already working.