For every successful new business, there are thousands which fail. This means that 90% of startups don’t succeed.
Are you worried about the numbers? You should be!
But, you can be among the 10% with proper guidance. You only need to know the right strategies when starting up your business.
It takes more than capital to get your new business up and running. Keep reading for seven key steps you need to take to get your startup off the ground.
1. Analyze Your Idea
Take some time to evaluate your idea, options, and the market. Understanding how things work in the financial world is essential.
It helps you make informed decisions. Even when you’re following your instincts, let your research guide you.
Market research helps you learn if your business idea is good or bad. Many startups fail because they lack market knowledge. Get to know if people need your services or products. You might not have a unique business idea, but you can adjust one.
Learn to consider other possibilities because the market is competitive and overcrowded. This means you can think of other options like a franchise.
Also, while conducting your research, get to understand customers’ specific needs. This will help you adjust your idea to cater to such needs.
2. Perform a Competitive Analysis
A competitive analysis will help you determine your primary competitors. Get to know some of their business strategies.
Remember, you only need to learn their approach to improve yours. Again, learn your competitor’s weaknesses and strengths. It’ll help you gain a competitive strategy. No matter how big your competitors are, there’s always an opportunity you can exploit.
Learn how they interact with clients, the customer support they offer, and the level of customer service. Get to know your competitor’s marketing approach. Once you note some mistakes, learn from them.
3. Always Have a Business Plan
Having a legitimate business plan can save your startup launch. Results from studies show that people with business plans have a higher chance of succeeding.
A plan can help you get a loan or investment capital to grow your business. A business plan highlights the company’s activities for the next few years (3-5).
Include details such as business goals, marketing strategies, financial estimations, and growth opportunities. You should also add your approach for reaching your business goals.
A good plan can help you decide how to promote your brand. It’ll help you determine the right time you can start hiring employees. A good business plan keeps you on track.
4. Secure Your Startup Funding
There’s a direct link between capital and a successful business. You need proper funds to achieve an operational business.
Estimate what your company requires. It might need more or less capital, depending on the situation.
Fund your business before it can begin paying off. About 82% of startups fail because of cash flow problems and poor cash management.
Securing adequate initial funds might help your business. You can use your savings, bank loans, angel investors, financial support from family and friends, venture capital, and crowdfunding.
Ensure your capital is enough to getting your company up and running. Remember, you can use your business plan to get a loan.
But, around 22% of bank loans go to startups. Banks prefer dealing with large companies because of their assets.
With a good business plan, you can try securing funds from the other sources. An effective stock certificate template can also help you raise capital from investors.
5. Remember the Legal Factors
Most entrepreneurs focus more on growing and lifting their company off the ground, but they forget or neglect legal obligations to save more money for business growth.
This is a big mistake that can bring significant problems. You shouldn’t avoid government bureaucracy.
You may face lawsuits or fines that can destroy your whole business operations. Ensure you select a business structure for your startup company.
A business structure will help you know the amount of paperwork you need to operate legally. Such includes permits, licenses, taxes, and insurance, among others.
The structure will also help you know the amount of liability for the owner. A corporate business structure has the least amount of liability. But, a sole proprietorship generates the highest amount of responsibility.
6. Create a Website and Start Marketing
First, don’t forget to create a website. This is where your potential clients will find your products or services.
You can even have your website running before you’re officially open for business. It helps potential customers know that you exist.
Have an online presence before you start marketing. You can use social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to expand your audience.
Become a marketing expert for you to grow and expand your business. Let potential clients know about your services or products.
You can use digital marketing techniques such as:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing (SMM)
You can also use traditional methods such as billboards, television, and print advertising. Your marketing efforts will determine if your business succeeds or not.
If you’re not great at marketing, you can hire a marketing director or team. Today, email marketing, SEO, and SMM are the most effective tools in marketing.
7. Start Networking as You Build a Customer Base
You don’t need too much networking. It might make you lose sight of growing your new business.
But you can attend some networking events. This can help you meet potential customers and get to engage with them.
You might also meet an investor or business partner who can help build the business. Once you meet a potential client, ensure they buy your service or product.
From there, start building your customer base. Your client needs to be your primary priority to establish a steady customer base.
It’s important to prepare for anything. Any challenges you face should help you learn and aspire to push beyond.
Launching a startup can be hard. But, let these steps guide you through the process. Check out our blog for more business and life tips.