Beginning a startup is an exciting and life-changing event. For many people, becoming an entrepreneur is a lifelong dream where they can be creative, enterprising, and be their own boss. But before launching your startup, there are certain things you must consider while planning and during the early stages of the business.1. Do some soul-searching
Are you sure you want to do this? While creating a startup is a very rewarding venture, unfortunately a lot of people nowadays are creating startups just so they can quit their regular jobs. Many other people are attracted towards startups after seeing several success stories. Remember that startups do not succeed overnight. A lot of persistence, endurance and courage is needed to survive through the toughest stages of the businesses. Failures are common. You will have less time to yourself or your family, at least in the initial couple of years. But if you keep at it, you will eventually be rewarded for it. So make sure that you have the commitment to keep at it for the long haul.
2. Think out of the box
If you are planning a startup, you are already starting on a strong footing. Customers today expect responsive, flexible and attentive service from businesses. Small businesses and startups are better organised to provide this level of service than large traditional organizations. But you have to make sure that you offer a novel product or service to address a need that has not been addressed by the big players.
3. Have a business plan
Having a rock solid business plan is essential for success. Stakes are very high even for small startups so very few businesses can afford to fail. Therefore, a good business plan that covers every aspect of your business is essential. Not only will it provide a backup plan and a strategy to respond to business failure, but will make it easier for you to get loans or venture funding.
4. Get your business registered
Registering your statup is important and also quite simple thanks to many agents who will do this for a reasonable fee as well as online portals that allow you to sidestep all the bureaucratic red tape. Registering your business makes it easier for you to seek financing and legal support.
5. Set up a finance function
Regardless of the size of your business, keep your books in order from day one. Every transaction should be recorded in a journal (you don’t need professional software at this stage). File all your receipts and make sure you follow all accounting requirements of your state or country. Hiring an experienced accountant can make a huge difference to ensuring that your accounts are complete and your tax liabilities are all cleared.
6. Focus on quality
Customers are increasingly conscious about quality. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that customers demand quality before anything. You don’t need to have huge economies of scale or millions to spend on marketing in order to become successful. As long as you can maintain an acceptable standard of quality, you will be able to gain the trust of your customers and increase their loyalty over time.
Initially, your startup team will likely include you, a family member or a close friend. But over time, you will need more people. Plan for a diverse team with strong specialised skills. Have policies in place to create a positive and healthy workplace. Have policies for work-life balance, offer opportunities for exercise; you may even get THC test for your staff. Make sure you offer them a competitive salary for their skills and experience.
8. IT resources
Today, all startups have a strong online presence. You need to subscribe to a reliable web host who will manage your website and all online data. You may even hire an SEO expert who will assume responsibility for driving online traffic to your website. Make sure you update your website regularly to attain high search rankings and generate online sales.
9. Market yourself
There is so much competition out there that in order to survive you must market yourself continuously. Thanks to technology, there are many easy ways to market your business to potential customers. Traditional media is expensive, but cheaper alternatives like email marketing, Facebook advertising, Youtube videos and SEO marketing can be conducted by very small businesses.
10. Plan continuously
Running a startup means you will face new challenges every day. Be prepared to face these exciting challenges since these will help you to identify new opportunities for expanding your business. You will need to modify plans all the time as your business encounters new realities of doing business. At the same time, be watchful for threats from competitors as well as loopholes within your own processes and systems.