Research & Refine your Business Idea
No matter what kind of startup you’re planning to create, making sure you have a detailed concept is a fantastic idea. It allows you to avoid winging it and potentially leaving yourself open to avoidable failure and instead helps you to begin the process on solid ground.
As you begin your planning, there are a few things worth considering. These include the structure and planning of your business, what you’re going to sell and whether or not you’re going to go it alone. These things can get you going on your path to a successful startup.
Planning Your Business
The most important part of the process is to start. That said, a little bit of planning can go a long way towards success. This will include things like deciding the structure of your business, understanding how taxes will function for the business and how and where you will hire employees.
Keep in mind the importance of providing goods or services that people want. Having plenty of demand will ensure that you’re meeting a need rather than just putting a product into the world that is superfluous. In addition, considering the money spent on starting up can be a key factor.
One of the most important pieces of advice out there when it comes to a startup is to just get started selling something. It doesn’t have to be the most unique idea, just something that will fulfill a need. Once you get going, you can start to determine what customers are looking for and what doesn’t have a lot of demand.
Because of this, it’s important not to spend too much time seeking out that one perfect product. Otherwise, you can get caught up in the planning and never move on to actually selling something. However, if you get started then at the very least, you’ll gain the experience needed to sell better products.
While it may not seem obvious, finding someone to co-found a startup with you can be greatly beneficial. Not only will a partner be able to help with managing the work and keeping things afloat, but it can actually entice investors more than simply working by yourself.
This is because they see that there is a team behind the product, rather than one person with an idea. In addition, co-founders may offer skills that you aren’t as strong in, helping to balance out the startup overall. Just make sure to find good people who are willing to work hard to get the business running.
Creating your Business Website
A website is a great way to add a touch of professionalism to your startup. It provides easy access to information for customers and potential customers and allows those who have tried out your product to leave feedback. While the prospect of getting unpleasant reviews might seem frightening, the information they provide can let you know what customers are looking for.
Building a website doesn’t have to be a complicated thing. Squarespace, Wix and similar sites allow you to build a website in an intuitive, simple way. On top of that, you can build a website for free. Take a look at these options and determine which one will be best for your startup.
Setting up a website isn’t as hard as it may sound, in-fact, many hosting providers have tailored their service around small businesses who may not be tech savvy. We suggest going with BlueHost to host your website, they’re service is simple and easy to use/setup and they’re currently offering 60% off hosting, including free domain registration.
Additionally, creating a blog on your website is also a great way to attract organic traffic and expand your business. Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.
Marketing Your Business
Once you’ve decided on what you’re selling and have your company essentially set up, it’s time to think about marketing your product. This is how you introduce others to what you have to offer them. When they discover your product, they can then decide to purchase it if they see a need for it in their lives.
There are many options open to you when it comes to marketing, and they can really range in price. Typically, it’s ideal to keep the costs minimal as you’re getting started. However, once you’ve made a decent amount of money selling your product, you can choose to take on more expensive kinds of marketing.
Using Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to get attention on a product in modern times. There are very few people who aren’t interacting with something digital, whether it’s the internet, television or something else. Consequently, making sure your advertisements are placed in key areas can get your product a lot of attention.
In addition, there are some kinds of digital marketing that you can do, such as pay-per-click advertisements, that allow you to set your own budget. This is going to be key for startups that aren’t looking to spend a lot of money while they get their product out to the world.
Print methods are another great way to get the attention of potential customers. It allows you to catch them on their way to work, while they’re out of town or various other times when they may not be interacting with digital media.
Some great options include using brochures or mailers. These can allow you to spread the word and let customers in on deals they can use for their first purchase or for special events. In addition, it’s a print option that can be less expensive than many others out there.
The Benefits Of Social Media
The greatest benefit for a startup that isn’t looking to spend too much is that social media tends to be free. You can create a page for your company, interact with customers and share information with those who are already using social media for their own purposes.
Even better, you can combine the use of social media with paid advertisements. That way, you can get information out to those following you as well as those who may not be, without getting in their way too much. This is also another one of the options that allows you to set a budget.
Setting Goals and KPI’s
Setting goals is how you can guide your startup to success. These goals might include things like selling a certain number of products during a month or quarter. Otherwise, they may consist of a total sales goal. It’s a great idea to regularly make adjustments to your goals to keep progress moving.
In order to determine how close you are to goals, you’ll need to track your Key Performance Indicators. These will be things like the number of sales you’ve made in a given time period, the amount of customers visiting your website or making purchases, and whatever else may apply to your business.
Plan your Finances
Finances are a tricky thing, but they’re very important to handle well in order to make sure your startup is successful. In order to best do this, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first is to make sure you separate the funds intended for your business from your regular income. Having a business bank account keeps things clear and it helps you to keep track of income, expenses, paychecks and more with greater ease.
Secondly, you’ll need to think about the costs of starting up your business. Odds are, you’ll have to find a way to produce your product so that it is of a decent quality, but without throwing too much money into it.
Once you’ve calculated that cost, you’ll need to find a way to obtain it. You can do this through saving alongside co-founders, taking out a loan, or seeking help through a crowd funding site like GoFundMe or Kickstarter.
Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Running your own business is a process of constant learning. You have to continually be flexible and stay ahead of any potential problems that may pop up. This isn’t an easy thing to accomplish, but it certainly is possible. In addition, it’s best to view failures or setbacks as stepping stones.
Letting these setbacks get to you will bring down your confidence, which isn’t going to help either your business or yourself. Instead, keep in mind that these kinds of problems are normal when starting a business, and learning how to get over the obstacles in your path will separate your startup from many others.
Other things to consider when starting your startup
Your startup is likely going to need a name. It’s important that you find one that isn’t already taken, otherwise you can run into some issues down the line.
Furthermore, you and any co-founders you may have will need to decide on the structure of the business. You may opt for a corporation, sole proprietorship, LLC, or something else.
Once you’ve made all the initial decisions, you’ll also need to register your startup so that it can be seen as an official business. It’s best to make sure that the startup is running according to the guidelines and laws in your area.
Accounting & Bookkeeping:
After the legal considerations, you’ll want to have a plan for the bookkeeping aspects of your startup. Though this isn’t a fun part of running a business, it’s an absolutely necessary one.
An option you and your co-founders have is to use software that can make the task a bit easier. Choices like Quickbooks and Xero can often be quite helpful in making sure all the information you need is in one place.
Otherwise, you may choose to hire a freelancer from a site like Upwork, or a regular employee. One of the benefits of a freelancer is that they don’t tend to come with as high a cost as an employee, and can provide fewer complications.
No matter what kind of employee you plan to hire, it’s going to be important to know the expectations, rules and guidelines for handling them.
In this regard, regular employees can be much more complicated than freelancers, but they can also be relied on to work full or part time doing jobs that freelancers may not.
Make sure that you’re up to date on any knowledge needed with regard to hiring and keeping employees in your area. That way, you can provide them with a safe, effective work space.