Startups are increasing in number by the day and the trend isn’t going to let up any time soon.
People are finally waking up to the realization that formal employment isn’t the only way to go and that they can bring their ideas to life. The current economic times may be hard all over but startups can still find their place and footing if they take the right steps towards it.
A lot goes into setting up a startup and the founders need to consider several things and figure out how they will implement them before they start. Starting out involves a lot of planning and some of the things new businesses should consider are outlined below.
1. Proper timing
Launching a business needs to come at the proper time or else things might just go haywire a short while into it. Look at the industry and Forbes Magazine advises that youlaunch at a time that will be most favorable to the business and to you too. A good time would probably be when a competitor is experiencing difficulties or when there’s a wave of change that would give your startup a great platform. You must also look at your own circumstances because you are the one who will be running it, after all. You may need to put it off for a while if, for example, you are already expecting a baby and are due soon.
The other angle to look at with timing is how long you take to actually get it off the ground. It can be very scary starting out and the tendency is to drag out the inception as long as possible usually because of fear that it might fail. This doesn’t mean that you should rush things but just don’t waste time waiting for only you know what.
2. Money and a budget to go with it
Many believe that as long as they have a large amount of seed capital they will be able to start off and make it big. That’s only half the story though. You do need enough capital because the business needs to start out and remain afloat before it begins to earn revenue and finally break even; while all the time maintaining efficiency according to Neal Cabage in an article that appeared on Inc.com.
You also need to have a very detailed budget, right down to the last penny. What will you spend that money on? This is the only way you’ll be sure that the money will be enough. And the budget must be done BEFORE you begin the spending. If it feels like something that may give you a little difficulty get the help of someone who can do it well because it is a necessity.
3. Discipline and flexibility
Now you have a budget and you need to stick to it. You can’t decide to spend money on extras that weren’t on the budget earlier just because nobody will ask you about it. Discipline also applies to other areas of the business like task execution. Come up with a schedule of activities or goals for every day, week or month depending on the nature of your startup and follow through.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned and you may need to change a few things to achieve your goals. This calls for flexibility though it may be difficult to make huge changes to a plan or budget that you spent lots of time on. Adapting to change is a necessary part of business and life as a whole.
4. An excellent and appropriately-skilled team
What are you good at as the founder? It can be very tempting to try and do everything on your own but you know you probably don’t have all the skills required to run the startup. There will definitely be something that you are better at than another. Look for people who can do what you can’t and will commit to the vision of the startup. That way the business runs like a well-oiled machine.
5. A product and a target market
What product are you offering? What need is it responding to and are you sure it will fill the gap appropriately? This is very important because you may indeed have a product but it may not quite be a requirement, or maybe it is too early. People may not appreciate the value of a product that’s ahead of its time.
Study your target market and learn what appeals to them. This will better help you to come up with great marketing strategies that will pull them in by the droves and get your brand noticed.That becomes your unique marketing strategy and the great product must have a unique selling point. For many years the usual suspects for branding and marketing have been pens, notebooks and other stationery but since people still need to store information and technology is taking over, something different like custom USB flash drives can be a great avenue.
Successful startups took the time to learn and plan, forecast as far as they could logically and sensibly go, got the right people for the job and tried as much as possible to spend their money wisely.
It takes a lot of sacrifice so the first few years of the business may see you becoming a hermit but once everything picks up you see that it was for a worthy purpose. Your journey may be checkered with a little failure and that’s okay. Stick to the vision and great things will come to pass.