Most people will tell you that to start a startup you need a good idea. However, a good idea is merely the spark for a potentially successful startup. Turning an idea into a startup company is no small feat.
It will take a lot of hard work, dedication, long nights and quite a bit of failure before you will get to where you want to be, which is why we put together this guide. Take a look and find out some less stressful ways to get your startup off the ground.
Construct a Business Plan
The key to any successful business venture or any project really is to have a plan. A well thought out business plan is how you get to see if your idea is actually viable.
Essentially, you use a business plan to outline your plan for your company’s future. In a business plan, you typically describe your company and its goals and how you plan to achieve those goals.
A solid business plan will typically project your business strategy for 3-5 years. This way investors can see if your company is actually sustainable. And be as detailed as possible. When it comes to talking to investors and getting funding, they want to know exactly how you are using their money.
A business plan is a step that no entrepreneur can skip. Whether or not you have a business plan can potentially make or break your startup.
Get Proper Funding
After you have a polished business plan, it’s time to get capital to put that plan into action. Now, keep in mind that startup costs vary depending on your industry or situation.
First, you need to take a good look at your financial plan. This is where you can do the hard math and see how much you really need. When you do this, it is important to be realistic about your finances because in most cases, you will probably need more than you initially thought.
Funding can come from a number of places. Banks are an obvious choice. However, banks tend to only give out loans to businesses and companies that have a lot of collateral to fall back on.
Fortunately, there are other ways you can get funding:
- Family and friends
- Angel investors
- Venture capitalists
Once you have an investor on board, get your funding and move to the next step.
Legally Protect Your Startup
With how risky startups can be, you want to take the right precautions to protect your assets and make your startup practically bulletproof.
Here are a few things you should do:
- Incorporate or legitimize your business
- Get provisional patents and a lawyer to help you with licensing agreements to protect your ideas
- Be mindful of corporate regulations
- Research what business contract you need
Taking the steps to legally protect your startup and your creative property further ensures the longevity of your business. Legal issues can spell out a number of problems that could lower the appeal of your business to investors and potential customers.
Build a Strong Team
Startups are a difficult venture to take on alone so try and find yourselves colleagues or employees to help you grow your startup. The number of people you need is totally up to you, but it is always a good idea to start small.
If you are not sure what to look for, take a look at your own skills and identify your weaknesses. Those weaknesses are the areas that can be filled with skilled and talented people. Moreover, you want to find people you trust and who can help grow your business.
Try networking with other industry professionals at local mixers. Join online discussions and forums or connect with people through professional social media platforms like LinkedIn.
You should also look to incorporate a lawyer, a financial advisor, and an accountant into your team. These people will help save you money and keep you on the right side of the law.
On that note, try to invest in a good insurance agent. Especially if you have to hire a lot of employees, an insurance agent can get your good rates and coverage for an affordable price.
Next, it is time to establish your customer base. The first thing you need to do is draw customers to your business and there are three easy ways to do this: build your own website, have a strong social media presence, and be a skilled marketer.
Each of these methods are key to sharing your business and your product ideas with the world. Especially with how prevalent the use of the internet is, it is important to establish your accessibility through user-friendly websites and well-curated social media profiles.
Moreover, it is through these channels you are able to gauge your customers attitude and mentality so you can adjust to answer whatever needs they might have.
Once you open those channels and start connecting with customers, you have to get them to make a purchase. And after that, you have to figure our clever ways to keep those customers. The key to that is customer service.
Like I said above, use your social media channels and websites to stay in contact with your customers on a regular basis. This way you can stay on top of knowing what changes and upgrades you need to make to keep your customers engaged.
Overall, establishing your customer base is truly where your startup becomes a reality.
Starting a startup is never a simple, straightforward path. Although we have offered some great steps to follow, startups can surprise you. As such, always expect the unexpected. Anticipate the risks, the mistakes and the roadblocks so you can turn them into something motivating instead.
No matter what, do not get bogged down by the mishaps. A little time, effort, and smart planning can get you out of just about anything. We hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any questions or comments, let us know!