Expert content creator, Uday Tank discusses the five main steps entrepreneurs need to take to transform their startup idea into a fully functioning business…
There is a clear distinction between a “business idea” and a “business startup.” I take it you’re here because your business goal has left the “idea” stage, and it’s now en route to becoming a startup.
Take a moment to appreciate the efforts you’ve put in up until now…because it takes a different level of dedication to transform an idea into something that can be called a startup.
Are you done patting yourself on the back?
Now let’s talk business. How can you get this startup of yours off the ground? And by “off the ground,” I mean, getting all the right heads in, selling or offering your first service, and becoming a force in your industry to be reckoned with.
If you’re like most startup entrepreneurs, I’m sure there are tons of ideas currently running through your mind. But, like most of them, you aren’t too sure which are the best ideas, which should be prioritised, and which should be exempted.
Anyways, you need not rack your brain too much, as we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Below are some actionable steps you can take to get your business startup off the ground.
Create a business plan
First and foremost, have you written your business plan yet? I know you’ve probably read it a thousand times and now it’s become more of a cliché. But, like seriously, have you written out your plans for this business yet? And by that, I mean getting a pen and a paper and writing out everything you think you’re going to need or do to make the business a success.
If you haven’t, then you may need to bookmark this post and come back later to read the remaining steps because, without a sound business plan, there is no way you can achieve these remaining steps.
Typically, a business plan outlines what your business is going to look like in its first 3 to 5 years. It gives you clarity, how you want to move when to make some decisions, and how you intend to grow later.
And if in case you still doubt the importance of business plans, please take a look at these interesting numbers from the Neil Patel blog.
Of people who start companies with a detailed business plan:
- 36% secure a loan
- 36% obtained investment capital from investors
- 64% grew their business in the future
Of the people that don’t create a business plan:
- Only 18% were able to secure loans
- Only 18% were able to secure investment capital
- Only 43% achieved business growth later in the future
Now that you’ve taken the first step – creating a business plan, the second step is about how you’re going to get funding. But before you think about looking at the various business financing options that are there, you need to first reflect on what the financial analysis in your business plan is saying.
For example, say your business is about starting a restaurant. Do you know how much it costs to open and run a restaurant? Even if you start a small restaurant shop, it’s likely going to cost you anywhere between a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars.
Don’t know how to estimate the projected financial requirements of your business? All you have to do is research and predict realistic financial numbers.
Okay, now that the financial analysis in your business plan has revealed the amount you need. How do you think you’re going to raise that money? Typically, the options available are:
- Savings: save till you reach your target capital. To hasten your savings goal, you can take up a side gig in addition to your primary source of income. Start stowing a part of the income from the multiple streams you now have in a savings account. Although it might take a while, you’ll reach your goal in the end. Don’t know how to start a side hustle? Freelancing online is a good example. You can check out tips for starting your own business.
- Bank Loans: You probably know about this already. But, of course, you need to know that only 22% of business loans go to small businesses. The rest are reserved for the top dogs in the industry. So you might face some difficulties accessing this option.
- Investors: Investors can be angel investors, friends, family, venture capitals, or colleagues. If you punch very well at the wall, you’ll likely find one somehow. But be careful when you tread this path because many of them might be interested in your business equity.
- Grants: Look around to see whether there are government or non-governmental grants around you.
Get the right people in
Now that you know the direction in which you want to move (business plan) and how you want to get your capital (business funding), the next step is to start thinking about the people that are going to work with you. Once again, you’ll need to reflect on the logistics aspect of your business plan to know the number of people you’re bringing in.
If you’re a small business, you’ll most likely need a team of few individuals. Other than your members of staff, you’ll also need to think about a lawyer (for the legal backings of the business), and accountant (for proper financial analysis), and a financial advisor (you’ll always need bits of advice at different points in the business).
Choose a location and build a website
It is no news that your business needs a physical location to call its home. Well, along with that, you’re also going to need a digital location to call home too, that is, a website. Start researching properties around you, to find one to lease, rent, or buy, depending on your budget. Also, don’t wait until your business launches before you start building a website. You can start now and use channels like social media to start advertising it.
Become a marketing expert
Now that you have a website, you need to put it to good use. Along with this website, you’re going to have to learn how to use the various digital marketing tools out there to market your business. In the end, all the traffic and attention you get via these digital marketing strategies will be directed to your website. So you see why it’s important to create a website ASAP. Some of the most popular digital marketing strategies you can use include:
- Content marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Email marketing
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Business Referral Schemes
Even though you have no fundamental knowledge in any of these digital strategies, you can learn about them online, one at a time. The time when you’re still seeking business funding can be used to learn about these strategies. Learning and mastering them will save you costs because many of these strategies might cost a few hundred, if not thousands, of dollars to get an expert to do them for you. As for business referrals, you can click on that link to find out how you can get them easily.
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