How to Get Your Startup Business from A to Z
Guest post by Eva Benoit. Eva is a life coach helping people with anxiety and other ailments. She was in no way compensated for the publishing of this post. Harvester Solutions has not tried or used any services provided by Eva’s company.
Eureka! You’ve come up with a great business idea that you’re sure will do well, and you can’t wait to get your startup rolling. There are many good ideas floating around out there, but what makes yours any different from those created by other young entrepreneurs? How do you stand out in the sea of talent and brilliant innovators? You do it by understanding that talk is cheap and action is everything. Keep these actions in mind as you launch your idea into a successful startup.
Research the Market and Competition
Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into, what obstacles you’ll have to overcome, who your biggest competitors are, and what they’re missing so that your product can fill in the gap in the market.
Create a Business Plan
One-year plans are great to help you get started, and five-year plans can help map out your business’s growth. Transform your dream into a reality by setting goals and listing milestones that you hope to reach. Start by crafting a clear mission; a product can only go as far as its purpose. Your business plan should include whatever elements your business would need in order to thrive and prosper.
Form Your A-Team
Growing a startup requires talent and a strong business sense. Since everything exists online, it also requires someone who is tech savvy. Your company should consist of the talent (product, invention, innovation), the business (sales, finance, business development), and the techie (web/app development, which can be outsourced). As the business continues to grow, you’ll need someone to focus on relationships to keep clients happy and to develop lucrative partnerships.
Make It Official
Go through the proper legal channels and obtain the necessary licenses and certifications. Also, apply for a patent on your product and turn your company into an LLC. Open a company bank account, though it’s important to do some research to ensure you’re getting one that suits your needs. When you go through the motions and spend money on starting a business, you’re more likely to follow through. Just don’t let it all be for naught by setting up a business that’s only talk and no action.
Find the Money
Not everyone has the capital to start a business, so you might need to seek out investors or a small business loan. To get money, you must be able to pitch the viability of your product to your investors. Investors know that there’s risk, but they want you to convince them that the venture is worth the risk. With a business loan, your credit history and sales history will be taken into account rather than your elevator pitch. You can take out a line of credit, a term loan, or a merchant cash advance.
Set Up an Office
Beginner businesses often start at home because it’s inefficient to pay rent on an office space if the business isn’t generating income. When you pick a spot inside the home to act as your office, keep it distraction-free and client-friendly. Your office space should be a productive and professional environment with a dedicated business phone line and a strong, reliable WiFi connection (which could mean you need a good router).
Separate Business from Personal
Keeping your personal space away from work also helps you compartmentalize the stress so that you’re not “taking it home” after you “clock out” for the day. Establish office hours to help you stay focused and disciplined, and inform your housemates that you’re unavailable for personal matters during work hours. Working from home should be just like a regular office — your productivity shouldn’t suffer because your bedroom and your family are right upstairs.
Now that the pieces are in place, spread the word about your startup. Be proactive about reaching customers and clients, whether that means staying on top of social media or using your connections to pitch your product to the right audience. Email all of your contacts, talk about it when people ask what you’ve been up to, and share it on your social media pages. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from making your startup company publicly known — you’ll only succeed if people know you’re in business.
Ms. Benoit specializes in helping professionals with stress and anxiety, but welcomes working with people from all walks of life.