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First 10 Things You Should Do When Starting A Business

First 10 Things You Should Do When Starting A Business

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So you have an idea for a mean lean startup. Where do you go from here? How do you grow your business? How do you know your idea will sell? Are there any myths of entrepreneurship you should know? In general, you might be wondering what do when starting a business.

Becoming the owner of a startup is a very difficult process, but this guide is here to help you succeed at growing fast.

1. Find your “why”

How do you know an idea will sell? Is it solving a problem? Making something easier? Inventing a new way of doing something? Ask yourself: why does this product exist? How did I find these ideas for starting a small business? Are you passionate about it?

Whether you’re starting a business with no money or millions, creating a product without believing in it is a sure path to failure, so make sure that you’re down for the ride before you hop on.

A startup is a very special type of business. You aren’t just looking for an idea that can grow over years, you’re looking for quick, explosive growth so you can disrupt your industry.

With that being said, are you disrupting your industry? If you don’t think you have a revolutionary idea, chances are it won’t be the result you want.

2. Find a market

Ask yourself these questions. Is there a desire for your product or service? How many people would be interested in your offering? What is the target economic class? Where do your customers live and where can your startup reach? How many similar options are already available to consumers? What do potential customers pay for these alternatives?

Two words that go hand in hand are entrepreneurship and innovation. Make sure you can see where you innovate. As mentioned before, if you aren’t disrupting your industry the growth potential will not be high. Even if you can come up with answers to these questions, it’s always better to get many, many opinions.

This is an essential part of the steps for starting a startup, as you need customers to grow.

How do you do that? With market research! Send out surveys to friends and family, and even strangers about how useful they’d find your product. The more responses the better. If most responses are negative, it’s probably a good idea to rethink your product. But if people love it, you’re good to go!

3. Create a growth strategy

Your company is small now, but how will it grow? Without a solid plan, your business might deflate before it ever gets off the ground, or demand can completely overwhelm your unprepared team. There are a few components to an effective growth strategy to sort out before you begin operations!

Firstly, how are you funding your startup? Is it self funded? Are you taking a loan? Is there an investor you are going to work with?

Educate yourself on your options, and make sure that you have an exit strategy planned for the worst case scenario. Startups are famously volatile, so make sure you have a backup plan.

Many startups don’t need an angel investor to succeed.

While it’s definitely true that having an angel investor or venture capital backing is a definitive advantage, remember that many startups succeed, even without mass funding. Mailchimp is a great example of a firm that raised $0, yet is now poised to be sold for more than $10 billion.

Secondly, how will you create your product? It’s good to start up small, but make plans for growth. Is there a clear way to increase your production? Can you scale if necessary? Make sure your bases are covered before starting.

Lastly, what’s your growth plan? Say everything goes great! Business is booming, but your company is still small. How do you adapt to the growth you know you’ll experience? What skills do you need to hire? A startup needs high growth to be successful!

4. Determine what kind of business you want to start

Are you working alone or with a partner? Do you want to go public? Are you a business administration? Are you offering startup jobs in the job market? Your business structure determines your tax structure and your liability if something goes wrong, so make sure you are educated on what each business structure means and what it legally entails.

We’ve compiled a simple explanation on all of them, but make sure to do further research before you decide on a serial entrepreneurship streak. Each business is unique and picking the right organization for you is critical to success.

Sole proprietorship is great for solo entrepreneurs. The structure is flexible but be warned. You have full liability for any debt, so if you loan as a business and your idea doesn’t pan out, you will be personally responsible for paying it off.

A partnership is like a sole proprietorship, but with multiple people liable for debt. If you have a business partner or two, this structure may work for you.

A corporation will separate liability from you and transfer it to your startup. If you want to separate your personal liability from your company’s liability, you may want to consider forming one of several types of corporations (e.g., S corporation, C corporation or B corporation).

This is amazing for high growth opportunities, but the classification comes bearing many responsibilities and legal obligations you must be prepared for. Lastly, the most common form of small business is the limited liability company, or LLC.

Your liability is reduced, but you still have many of the advantages of being a partnership or sole proprietorship. This may be the right choice if you want to remain smaller.

5. Register with your government.

A company is a legal entity, and you need to ensure that you comply with the law before you get started. Each country has its own requirements for registration, so make sure to properly research and understand the process before beginning.

You have to register with your government before you begin operations, so this step is absolutely critical.

6. Build a team

If you’re planning for growth in the future, chances are you’re not going to go at it alone. Make sure that you have a team of employees who compliment your skills and work together well. Remember that your product is built by people.

Building a company with a team creates more resources to get things done.

Your founding team will have a massive impact on whether your startup flies or dives, and understanding what skills are lacking in your team are essential to growing. Divide responsibility, assign roles, and make sure everyone knows their purpose to create an efficient company.

7. Choose your distribution channels

You have a product, you have a team, and you’re legally a business. Great! What happens next? Well, you need to sell your product.

Are you a digital entrepreneurship project that needs to get on the App Store or Play Store? Are you a physical product that can be shipped all over the country? Who’s selling your product?

You may have a great product, but with no way for eager buyers to reach it, your company can’t get off the ground. It’s a great idea to begin reaching out to suppliers before you even finish developing it, so that by the time production has begun there are distributors eager to take the product off your hands!

8. Branding

You’ve got a solid starting point. Maybe you have some sales, or maybe you’re all set up and just ready for the customers to start rolling in. In either case, you still have this key step to go. You want customers to remember you, and so you have to do some branding!

Build a website, advertise, offer samples if that’s something you can do. Are you promoting yourself through spiritual entrepreneurship, or are you branding yourself as a serial entrepreneur? Do you have corporate entrepreneurship experience?

Make sure that your name gets out there so that when customers see your product, they know it’s YOU.

9. Open a business bank account

This might seem insignificant compared to everything else, but these little things can make your life so much easier. Accessing merchant transaction features at banks is an absolute necessity if you’re selling, so call ahead to your bank of choice and make an appointment to begin.

10. Keep track of your numbers

Keep every expense and revenue on a spreadsheet or in a notebook. Knowing exactly where your startup stands financially is a necessity when you are working with limited capital. This will also provide many benefits to the operation of your business, helping you pinpoint where your biggest costs and problems are, and making sure your business doesn’t have any unforeseen liquidity issues.

Not keeping a record of your expenses can lead to problems in the future.

Many often ask about great books to read on entrepreneurship, but the best books on starting a business will often be the ones you keep your financial information in.

Takeaway

There’s our 10 steps on starting a startup! Don’t be afraid to experiment, but know that it’s always better to have a plan than to be caught with no strategy.

While it might sound good to the ear, moving fast and breaking things is not a great business plan to use. Good luck!

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