Sustainable Bliss

never stop learning!

1 - The idea

Articulate Concept

  • provide detailed description of product, customers, how business would operate

Define Business Customers

  • define which businesses would pay for your good/service

Define Consumer Customers

  • define which consumers would pay for your good/service

2 - Research to Confirm Concept

Customer Research (Consumers and Businesses)

  • review census data to vet that customers are out there
  • interview potential customers to determine depth of needs

Local Competitor Research

  • review business data to determine if marketplace is crowded
  • review competitor websites and come up with list of their strengths

Industry Research

  • define list of industry standard product and service offerings
  • review customer needs and come up with list of gaps that you could fill

Best Practices

  • come up with examples
  • define optimal customers
  • research and document industry standards
  • create clear approach on distinguishing this business

3 - Firm up Preliminary Idea

Reassess and Redefine Concept Come up with Business Name

  • check business name on fictitious name site
  • check business name on trademark site

Website Prep

  • buy website URL
  • decide where to host website

4 - Create Pricing Model

Research Competitor Pricing and Service Offerings in Local Area Define Your Costs, including

  • marketing
  • raw materials
  • long term equipment investments
  • subcontractors
  • travel time and cost
  • product delivery method
  • follow up

6 - Create Financial Infrastructure

Set up Small Business Finance Software

Get Business Phone Number

  • one quick and free option is Google Voice - free phone number that forwards calls to this number to your phone or to a voicemail account

Establish Business Bank Account

Sign up for a Business Credit Card

  • suggestion: San Diego County Credit Union - debit card connected to business bank account
  • Capital One

Determine Insurance Needs

  • equipment - initially might be able to use rider on personal insurance, may be offered by industry associations
  • general liability
  • professional indemnity insurance

7 - Legal Filings


Business License



Fictitious Business Name

  • San Diego County - do check, file $42, after filing publish once a week for 4 weeks in an approved county newspaper
  • State of CA - specific to corp, LLC, LP

Trademark / Copyright

8 - Branding



  • pick 2 or 3 colors
  • complementary - oposites on the color wheel
  • harmony = 3 side by side:
    • 2 blues + 1 green
    • 2 browns + 1 red
    • 2 reds + 1 yellow
    • 2 yellows + 1 white
    • 2 white + 1 blue

Social Media


  • Buy website URL
  • Define hosting platform / website creation  / URL registry 
    • Wordpress via GoDaddy. Bluehost or similar platform
    • Squarespace
  • use 2 business colors
  • implement SEO
  • implement best practices from competitor research
  • create mobile version (phone, tablet)
  • decide how email should work
    • gmail 'send mail as'
  • list of sites that you want to link from
    • local business organization
    • business customers
    • partners and suppliers

Business Card

9 - Create Business Plan

Sections of Business Plan

  • competitive advantage
  • define mantra
  • define mission
  • define vision
  • define measures
    • specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time driven
  • define method
  • define mechanics
  • define checkpoints
  • do SWOT analysis

11 - Marketing

Online Marketing

  • craft targeted website
  • identify websites to advertise on
    • yelp, google
    • customers
    • suppliers
    • local customer industry groups
    • local associations for your industry
  • google pay per click

Direct Marketing

  • develop postcard
  • craft sample library / portfolio book
  • national industry group


  • present at local customer industry group
  • develop story for local magazine or news organizations
  • local chamber / business organizations