6 Things to do Before Launching Your Startup
There’s a big difference between having a great idea and creating a successful startup company. It takes a whole lot of work to start a business from the scratch as it can seem like an intimidating task.
In launching a business however, there are certain things to be considered:
1) Make a Clear Business Plan
Having an idea is one thing, but having a legitimate business plan is another story. Having a proper business plan gives an entrepreneur a significant advantage. In simple terms, a business plan is the written description of your company’s future.
It is important to 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.
On this list, the business plan is the foremost requirement, as it would help with some of the remaining steps.
2) Secure appropriate funding
To kickstart a startup, you will need adequate capital to get yourself off the ground. But there’s no magic number that applies to all businesses because the startup costs will obviously vary from industry to industry, so your company may require more or less funding depending on the situation.
For a small, part-time startup with no equipment, employee salaries, or overhead to worry about, it may only cost you lesser amount of money than bigger ventures but in the end, the cost of doing business is much higher than people initially think.
Essentially, the business plan mentioned earlier would include a financial plan which covers: Balance sheet, Sales forecast, Profit and loss statement and Cash-flow statement.
Most startups are funded largely through the founder’s personal funds, investors or banks among others.
3) Surround yourself with the right people
Apparently, no man is an island and you’re definitely going to need some help while launching your startup company. it is important to build a team of people to help run the business, especially in businesses that cannot be solely run by one person.
Once your business gets registered, you’ll need to get a federal tax ID number, as well, from the IRS.
The IRS lets you submit your business information online to get your employer identification number (EIN).
You also need to consult with a lawyer, accountant and financial advisor because they can help save your business in the long run. They can also explain the legal requirements and tax obligations based on how you structure your business.
Also, don’t forget about insurance, look around and find an insurance agent who can get you plenty of coverage at an affordable rate.
4) Find a location and build a website
Your startup company needs a physical address and a web address. Whether it’s offices, retail space, or a manufacturing location, you need to buy or lease a property to operate your business.
Oftentimes, leasing property for your business is significantly more expensive than buying and this should be considered when planning to launch a startup.
It is also important to create a website and don’t wait until the day your business officially launches to get your website off the ground and it is never too early to start promoting your business especially in this period of internet prevalence.
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 and 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: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
5) Become a marketing expert
If you’re not a marketing expert, you need to become one. You might have the best product or service in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then your startup can’t succeed.
Learn how to use digital marketing techniques like: Content marketing, Affiliate marketing, Email marketing, Search engine optimization (SEO), Social media marketing (SMM), Search engine marketing (SEM), Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
If you’re starting a small business in a local community, you can take advantage of some older and conventional methods such as: Print advertising, Radio advertisements, Television or Billboards.
For potential entrepreneurs who aren’t efficient marketers, there is no shame in hiring a marketing director or even a marketing team, depending on the size of your company.
6) Build a customer base
Following through the above prescribed methods would at this point already put you on the right track to building a customer base.
Starting a website, growing your digital presence, and becoming an effective marketer are all steps in the right direction.
In this final step, it requires putting all the efforts to the test by actually launching your startup and getting customers to patronize your goods or services.