If you want success, wealth, and freedom, the best path for you might be growing your own Startup or Business. It’s one of the few proven ways to achieve both time AND money freedom.
With a successful business, you’re in control. You get to live the way you want, have the things you want, and make your unique mark on the world.
It gives you unlimited income potential and control over your time and energy.
You can use this guide as your blueprint for launching your startup company.
1. DEVELOP AN IDEA FOR YOUR STARTUP
One of my biggest challenges for startup founders is figuring out which ideas to pursue and which ideas to put on the back burner.
No matter who you are or how big you hope to grow your business, figuring out what product to build and what services to offer is a huge challenge.
When you’re first considering a new business idea, skip the formal business plan and jot down the basic components of your idea. At a minimum, you’ll want to cover the following:
Why are you doing this? What’s your mission? All new businesses need a sense of purpose. Are you trying to improve people’s lives in some way? What are the core differentiators of your business that set you apart from the next person trying to build a similar business?
What problem are you solving? You need to be solving some sort of real problem that exists in the world. If you aren’t solving a problem for potential customers, then how will you get people to buy your product or service?
Who are you solving this problem for? As important as having a problem to solve, is having customers that have this problem. Knowing who your ideal customer is and how you can find them is critical to starting a successful business.
How are your potential customers solving their problem today? This is where you want to write down a few notes about your competition. What choices do your customers have today? How is your solution better?
Do you think you can make money? You don’t need to worry at this early stage about in-depth financial forecasts, but you should do some basic back-of-the-napkin calculations to make sure your idea can be profitable.
2. EXPLORE THE MARKET
Market research is a critical component when you’re launching a product, try to improve your existing service, or when you’re just looking to be a step ahead of your competitors. It will provide you with all the information you need to make a better business decision.
It’s easy to dismiss the importance of marketing research. After all, when you first think of a business idea, spending hours on market research is the last thing on your mind. Most of us would rather start making and selling products right away than think about the value of marketing research.
Shockingly, talking to potential customers about your new business idea is the step that most entrepreneurs skip. Not talking to your potential customers raises your chances of failure substantially, so head out the door and start talking to people as soon as you can.
Be sure to talk to as many potential customers as you can, so you get multiple points of view.
3. MAKE A BUSINESS PLAN
Having an idea is one thing, but having a legitimate business plan is another story.
Whether you’re starting a small business or exploring ways to expand an existing one, a business plan is an important tool to help guide your decisions. Think of it as a roadmap to success, providing greater clarity on all aspects of your business, from marketing and finance to operations and product/service details.
Of people who start companies with a completed business plan:
36% obtained a loan.
36% received investment capital.
64% grew their business.
Of the people without a business plan:
18% obtained a loan.
18% received investment capital.
43% grew their business.
A proper business plan gives you a significant advantage.
So how do you make a business plan?
In simple terms, a business plan is the written description of your company’s future.
You outline what you want to do and how you’re planning to do it.
Typically, these plans outline the first 3 to 5 years of your business strategy.
The business plan needs to be the first thing on your list because you’ll use it to help you with some remaining steps.
4. SECURE APPROPRIATE FUNDING FOR YOUR STARTUP
Businesses need finance for a variety of different purposes, but there are some common reasons why businesses apply for funding. Reasons can include business grants and loans for working capital, to buy machinery, to hire more staff, or even re-finance existing loans to reduce monthly costs.
Once you secure the appropriate funding, you can proceed to the next step of launching your startup company.
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
You’re going to need some help while launching your startup company.
So where do you start?
Surrounding yourself with the right type of people can help success come more naturally to you than being around those who might hold you
Whether we realized it or not we become like the 5 people we spend the most time with. We start behaving like them, thinking like them, looking like them, we even make decisions based on what we think they would want us to do.
It’s widely known that one of the best ways to improve on a skill is to practice it with someone who’s better than you
So, who are the top 5 influencers in your life? Do they make you feel positive? Do they inspire and motivate you to be the best version of yourself? Do they support and encourage you to achieve your goals? Or, do they tell you that “it can’t be done”, “it’s not possible”, “you aren’t good enough”, “you will most likely fail”.
6. FIND A LOCATION AND BUILD A WEBSITE
Unlike the conventional method of starting up a business without a website, a startup with a website helps you to know the response of your potential customers towards your service, products or latest idea.
Consumer behavior has changed over time to adapt to the evolving technologies in the digital era.
Your website can help you generate business, increase brand recall value, promote goodwill in front of customers and target audience, as well as deliver strong marketing messages.
If customers are searching online for a service in your industry, you want them to know that you exist, even if you’re not quite open for business yet.
You can even start generating some income through your website.
Once your website is up and running, you need to expand your digital presence.
Utilize social media platforms like:
Your prospective customers are using these platforms, so you need to be on them, as well.
7. BECOME A MARKETING EXPERT
Good marketing helps you to put your products and services at the front of every customer’s mind. Marketing helps you to establish your brand, and makes you the first option to turn to when in need of a specific product.
Without proper marketing, your business cannot have a lasting impact. Marketing gets the word out about your business. It allows you to connect with potential customers and inform them of all the services you offer. It builds brand recognition and fosters healthy competition between businesses.
You might have the best product or service in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then your startup can’t succeed.
A customer base is the means by which a company will make sales and generate revenue. It’s important for a company to continually analyze its customer base in an attempt to maintain and expand it, since your company probably won’t survive long without a sufficient customer base.
A large customer base gives your business a better chance of reaching out to more people and expanding the base. They help spread the word to people who may be unfamiliar with your business. Normally, customers do not like buying their goods and services from places where no one is buying.
9. DON’T FORGET ABOUT RISKS
When Launching Your Startup, Consider These 5 Risks
1. Market Risk :
Is there a market for your product? Is it necessary to somebody? Will people pay for it? Answering these questions is one of the main tasks before releasing your product to the market. If this risk falls in your favor, your business is to succeed.
2. Product Risk:
Another top priority while creating a startup is to identify your product, its features, problems that are solved with its help, and its worthiness to be invested in. If you are not able to do it, obviously potential customers will not be interested in it.
3. Team Experience:
Risk One person cannot cope with all risks by himself or herself. That is why the issue of team is a topical one. You should build a team of such specialists who have enough experience and knowledge of the business area. Besides, the team is necessary to develop ideas concerning product’s building, it’s bringing to the market, etc.
4. Financial Risk:
Most startups require investments to get up and running. At first, it can be your friends, family, angel investors and venture funds. It is necessary to identify business boundaries when you are searching for new investments. Your potential investors pay attention to your ability to articulate a business plan, to reach each new stage of development successfully.
5. Risk of Copycats:
There is always a risk that competitors will copy your product. It is particularly topical for IT industry. It is easy to give your idea away while searching for investors or executors. It is also possible if the development is not dynamic.