9 Steps to help you start a startup
It can be scary to start a business for the first time if you haven’t done it before. It takes planning and hard work, not to mention the time involved. It is also difficult to sustain a business for more than five years.
There are nine basic strategies that you can use to get your startup up and running.
1. Start with a great idea
The first step to starting a business is to find a problem and a solution. Because successful startups start with business ideas that meet the needs of a specific customer group, this is why they are so successful. Your idea does not always need to be new. It’s possible to update existing products and services in a way that is better for consumers. It can be as easy as:
- Modifying the appearance of the product
- Adding a new feature
- Customers already love your product? Find a new way to use it.
Apple, for example, started with Steve Jobs’ original idea of a computer. Since then, Apple has created improved versions to better suit the market. Apple has also been constantly improving the functionality of their products, such as iPads and iPhones. Apple is adding a keyboard to iPads to make it easier to use as a laptop. This is just one example of their innovations that have led to Apple being valued at over a billion dollars.
2. Create a business plan
Once you have an idea you can start to build a business plan. This will detail your products and services. You should include details about your industry, operations and a market analysis.
A business plan is essential for getting funding for your startup. Banks will lend more money to companies that have a clear business plan.
3. Get funding for your startup
Every business owner is unique in the cost of starting a startup. Regardless of your startup costs, you will likely need financing.
- Family and friends
- Angel investors
- Venture capitalists
- Bank loans
A business credit card is also available. Many companies offer promotional rates of 0% APR. This means that you don’t have to pay interest if the balance is paid off before the end date. Fundera has compiled a list with the best credit cards that offer 0% interest rates. We have partnered with Fundera.
You risk losing your ability to pay operating costs if you don’t have the funding you need or you can’t raise enough money. This could lead to your business being shut down. This could lead to you closing your doors.
You will need to calculate your cash flow and costs in order to ensure you get the correct amount. This includes the interest rates for your loans. You can then use FreshBooks or QuickBooks to track your expenses and to help you stick with a budget.
4. Be surrounded by the right people
Starting a business can present a lot risk. You will need to have the support of business advisors, such as:
- An attorney
- Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
- Insurance professionals
In the initial stages of a small business, it is crucial to build the right team. You’ll need to be careful about who you choose.
- Remote workers are also considered initial employees
5. Follow all legal steps
Opening your dream startup can be fun, from designing your product to setting up your office, and everything in between. To ensure your success in the market, you need to follow the legal steps.
- Application for a Business License
- Registering your business name
- How to get a federal tax ID
- Application for a trademark
- Setting up a bank account separate from your main account
- Get familiar with the industry regulations
- For clients and other people you want to work with, create contracts
6. Set up a location (physical or online)
Whether you are looking to set up a manufacturing plant, open an office, or start a business, it is important to decide if buying or leasing a property is the best option. You can often get tax deductions when you manage a commercial space. This is an advantage to owning your place. It can also be rented out for additional income.
Startups often lease their first premises to be able to invest in other areas of the business. It can also be cheaper to lease a space in a prime location for your startup. Remember that rent prices can rise unexpectedly and can cause you to have to pay more or even move. While you rent, you won’t have any equity.
It’s essential to have an online presence in today’s digital age. You’ll struggle to be successful without it. Because customers are shopping online more often and using Google to search for information about your products, this is why websites are so important. Websites offer many advantages, including:
- Your store should be open on weekends and holidays 24 hours a days, to increase sales.
- We can help you reach your customers all over the globe.
- Your brand’s credibility can be raised by allowing customers to leave reviews about your products.
A blog can help you increase your online presence. You can establish yourself as an expert in your area by starting a blog. Search engine optimization (SEO), can be used to improve your brand’s visibility in Google searches. It’s a smart idea to post on social media platforms where your audience is most active.
7. Create a marketing plan
Marketing is a time-consuming task that every startup must do. Marketing is an essential expense because it can help you succeed.
- Create a brand identity
- Standing out from the rest
- Establish customer relationships and loyalty
- Increase visibility which in turn attracts new customers
- Reputational Strengthening for your Company
You should consider these startup marketing ideas:
- Social media can be used to engage customers, promote coupons and deals
- Referrals are rewarded with rewards, which leads to more business
- Offer free samples and demos in your store
- Sponsor events to help get your name out in the local community
8. Create a customer base
To ensure your startup’s long-term success, it is important to establish a loyal customer base. Loyal customers are a great asset to your startup business.
- You can increase your sales because people are willing to spend more at your company.
- Your brand sends a message that your brand is trustworthy to potential customers
- Referring customers saves time and effort when you are trying to find new customers.
Here are some ways to attract and keep customers:
- Offering a great product and/or service regularly
- To keep them coming back, launch loyalty programs
- Affiliate marketing is a method of promoting products through social media. This involves paying influencers to promote your products to your target audience.
- Great customer service is our focus
- Market research can help you better understand your customers’ needs.
- Directly asking for feedback from customers
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), which surveyed 92% of shoppers, found that 92% said they were loyal to certain retailers because they offer prices that are fair and match the value of the product. 79% stated that it was due to product quality. 4
9. Plan for Change
In the first few years of their operation, startups change dramatically. The key to success is adapting your business model to the market and industry.
These strategies will help you make sure that you are ready to adapt:
- Hire forward-thinking to ensure your team is adaptable
- You can listen to the feedback from customers, suppliers, and other people you work with
- Keep up to date with the latest trends in your industry
Businesses that are open to change with consumers’ expectations are the ones that will be able to sustain themselves for many years.
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