There are so many aspects that come together to create a startup business. Obviously you need that money making idea, but you also need to know how to put that idea into action.
Making the decision to start a new business isn’t one that you take lightly. In fact, it can be one of the hardest and most important decisions you can make. You are putting all your hopes, faith and probably finances into one basket and hoping that it will all work out fine. It’s a giant leap of faith, and it’s about having faith in yourself and in your ideas, and that concept of relying on yourself and no one else can be terrifying for many people. But once you have taken that leap, and have struggles through those first steps towards establishing your business, you will look back and think that it was all worth it. A successful business always starts with a confident person deciding that what they have to give is better than what’s already out there, and that they know how to convince the world to think the same way.
There are so many aspects that come together to create a startup business. Obviously you need that money making idea, but you also need to know how to put that idea into action. From there you need to build your brand. Every business needs to spend some time and energy sorting out a simple but elegant website that is completely functional for everyone, as well as building a mission statement to live by, and finding a way to connect with their clients. You need to build a professional presence on social media both for yourself as an entrepreneur and for the business itself, and you have to remember that who you are online now directly affects your company. Posting anything offensive or inappropriate will turn away customers and investors alike. Your standing as a new business is a delicate one – where CEOs of huge multi-million dollar companies seem to get away with saying the most outrageous things, it’s because their brand can withstand the damage done. Your baby company can’t.
Almost 48% of new businesses fail in a year – but many of those businesses will have started out wrong in the first place. A new business is just like building a house; if your foundations are unstable then the whole building is going to come fall down around you.
Starting on the right foot isn’t just about having the right plans and equipment, it’s about the attitude you have going into this venture, and about the people you surround yourself with on a daily person. There is zero room for negativity when starting up a business, you need to surround yourself with light and love and support – you know you’ll make it, so everyone else will know it too.
The right plan
Putting together a business plan always starts with the same aspects, and the first thing you need to establish are the ‘whats’ of the company: what is the product, what makes your business stand out, what can you do to make your business stand out? All of these questions work to establish exactly what your business is about. You then need to look into the ‘how’ – this is the most important and the most stressful. Figuring out how you are going to start a new business can easily incorporate leaving an old job, risking your savings or even taking out a loan, which are all huge risks to make. But they might also be completely necessary. Even if you are the only one to ever look at the business plan, you need to sit down with a pen and paper and write out a step by step plan of how you are going to begin your business.
What is your product/service and how are you getting that started and established?
Building the brand – starting the website, social media and advertising. Think about colors, images, tone, a name and a tagline.
Connections – you need to reach out to investors and the community. Make a note of other businesses or investors that might be interested in working with you. Do the research, don’t just think of things from thin air.
Finances. You need to know how you are going to fund your startup, and how you are going to keep that momentum. Most businesses don’t start making a profit for the first year at least, so how are you going to fund this? And also in finances; what is your forecast? How much are materials going to cost, and how much do you expect to charge for your product? From there you can work out a loose idea of a profit forecast.
All of this is a base for you to get started; obviously things will change, and you might get to exercising the second half of step four and realise your estimations were completely wrong – but that’s okay! You have made it to step four – your business is well under way. You just have to recalculate constantly as you go to make sure that you’re not going to shoot yourself in the foot.
The right attitude and mindset
No business is going anywhere with an owner who isn’t confident and who can’t see a positive outcome. You need to be completely in love with your idea, with the whole process, and have zero doubts as to the success of your business. Don’t be blind to issues – you need to be able to recognize when something isn’t working, and when to change what you’re working on, or how you’re working. But you have to have faith in your business, and not waver in the belief that you are going to succeed. And, as arrogant as it sounds, you need to believe that you are the best in your field. But there is no point believing that if it’s not true. Do everything you can to make sure that you are delivering a great product at a great price, and that way your belief will be real and others will feel the same and have the same faith in the business as you do.
The right tools
You need to create a stable platform from which your business can be launched, and that all involves having the right tools to begin with. Look into third party companies like www.zimamedia.com for content and SEO marketing, apps like www.bamboohr.com to help with your HR needs, and even look into using site like www.freelancer.com to find the right freelance employees for blog writing, photography and even bookkeeping. You also should start to think about your office space and how to fill it. You might just be working out of your home at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a decent computer with all the right programs to work with. Nor that your home office shouldn’t be a nice, creative space to work in. With technology the way that it is, you can happily run your mini empire through a tablet or laptop, just make sure that you are using an external hard-drive, so that you don’t run out of storage space – it also works to keep your device up to speed.
The right people
Surrounding yourself with the right people, in and out of work, is so important. Negative people will just pull you down. In work you need to partner and employ people who are willing to put in the time and effort, who are creative and innovative enough to help further the business. You also need to make sure that they are presenting the same professional front online that you are – there is nothing more damaging to a business than having it’s employees slate it online.
In life you need to have supportive people who are with you every step of the way and who you can lean on when times get hard. Maybe not financially, but definitely emotionally. This will be a stressful time and you need to be able to vent to people who are willing to be there for you and help where they can.