3 Tips For Your First Startup

A lot of us have great startup ideas, but no idea on how to get started on them. This can be difficult to sort through, especially if you don’t have much experience with starting a company or even the skills necessary to do so, like marketing or coding. However, despite your previous thoughts, this process can be much simpler than you might imagine. Here’s how.

Establish A Great Business Plan

A solid business plan will be the foundational step to any company’s success. Not only will this give you a sense of your mission, but it will also establish the plan for how you’re going to get there. While amazing ideas are a dime a dozen, the thing that separates the ones that end up becoming successful from the ones that don’t is their ability to put a plan into motion. If this is unfamiliar territory for you, then it’s time to bring that business idea to life.

To start, take a look at some of the templates online and explore what items you think would apply to your business strategy. An important piece to note here is no matter what, including what your revenue model is because according to Preferred CFO, 82 percent of businesses fail because of cash flow problems. And for your business, being able to showcase to any potential partners or investors be crucial.

Besides just knowing how you’re going to make revenue, another important element is if there’s revenue. This includes not only knowing in your gut where your product fits in but how to showcase it to others. In fact, according to CB Insights, 42 percent of startups (particularly in the tech sector) fail because of no market need. Which, despite how many of us believe that our product or service sounds like a million dollar idea, it’s also something that you have to prove with clear and concise research, which might be the hardest part, however, also one of the most rewarding.

Know Where Your Funding Will Come From

Once you’ve established what exactly your business will be, the next step is to seek out where your funding will come from. This is probably one of the hardest parts of having a startup since it (unfortunately) requires the most trial and error. And while that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impossible, the numbers are tight, which means your idea and execution needs to be exceptional.

Unless your idea is so technical and complex that it’ll take years of development (if that’s the case, then you’re going to need the authority to prove it), then producing an MVP (minimum viable product) is a must to showcase to investors. According to TechCrunch, only about $5 billion of VC funding went to angel rounds in the first half of last year, which proves that finding industry experts for early seed capital can be advantageous and that having a great product with market need wins every time. Although it’ll take a fair amount of legwork, producing an actual product before you seek investment will give you a much better chance of success long-term.

Come Up With A Solid Marketing Scheme

Finally, as you’re getting ready to take your product to market, the final step is to come up with an exceptional marketing scheme to truly capitalize. This can be somewhat complicated since there’s a wide variety of strategies you can take on, especially depending on the structure of your company. For example, according to Hubspot, 53 percent of b2b marketers say that content creation is their top priority, which makes sense considering that their strategy is to become a thought leader. And for your startup, learning the in’s and out’s of this is a must.

When it comes to your marketing, you first have to look at what structure will be most advantageous for your model. For example, do you need a lot of sales? Partnerships? Users? A big part of this is having a consistent mix of things like SEO, social media, email marketing, or even content marketing. Furthermore, your marketing should be focused on directly reaching your audience in a way that will make them want to be a part of your community and take a risk on a new community. This is one of the toughest parts of a new company, but it’s also one that’s going to make or break your business, so take the time to do it right the first time.

What are you most excited about with your first startup? Comment with your answers below!

Published by Kidal Delonix (1198 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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