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Todd Connor

CEO and Founder of Bunker Labs

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From Concept to Company: How to get Started Building Your Business

May 31, 2016

This step-by-step process will guide you as you build your business from a concept to a company.

You have already proven your strength and perseverance in the military. Now you’re ready for the next venture in your life. You have a brilliant concept in mind for a future business. You have discussed it with close confidants, and you are convinced that it will be a welcome addition to the industry. But once you’ve solidified the idea, where do you go from there? How do you take your idea and grow it into a legitimate business with an address, a name, and (hopefully) a profit? This step-by-step process will guide you as you build your business from a concept to a company. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you an outline of the most important steps.

1. Write a business plan and obtain financing

This must be your first step. Your business plan should include the reason why you want to start the business, your financial plan, legal company structure, marketing plans, and some version of a SWOT analysis. Many entrepreneurs will try to inflate their potential earnings as a way to entice investors. Do not do this. Your business plan is as much a guide for you as it is a tool to find financing. If you create a solid business plan, you will be better prepared for all of the hurdles you will inevitably face during the start-up phase and even years into your successful business. As a current or former member of the military, you might qualify for a VA loan. Learn more at the Veteran Entrepreneurial Portal on the VA’s main website. You could also work with us to get an angel investors or alternative financing options.

2. Find a location

Choose a location with a strong community where your business will be able to thrive. Analyze the existing businesses in the area and make sure your company will fit in. Also, make sure to choose a location with the appropriate zoning. Obtain any licenses and permits you might need in order to get started. Spread the word that your business is going to arrive. Consider using social media or fliers throughout the area to promote the company and invite customers for an open house. If you’d like a collaborative environment where you and your business will receive helpful feedback and support, consider joining Bunker Labs’ Incubator Coworking Space. You’ll have access to a wide network of mentors, partners, and executives that can help your business succeed.

3. Register your business and get a tax ID

Choose a “Doing Business As,” name that will resonate with your audience. If you skip this step, your business will be named after you, whether or not that’s what you want. Consider the message you are trying to convey and how you will be able to promote the business name within your industry. You will also need to register with the IRS to obtain a tax I.D. Check with your state government to see if there are any special programs for military or ex-military entrepreneurs.

4. Get started!

This might be the hardest step because you have to face all of the fears you have cultivated during the planning process. But once everything is in place, it’s time to set your plan in action. As you run into hurdles, consult your business plan or mentors for guidance. The mentors at Bunker Labs are more than happy to guide you along the way. You can also get involved with our networking events to help grow your business.

Starting a business is a daunting challenge with no map and no set rules. But watching your long-dormant dreams begin to take shape is a tremendous reward for your hard work. As you and your business grow, you will learn everything you need to know. Seek assistance when you need it, and be an active participant in planning for your future.

This article was originally published on the Bunker Labs Blog.

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