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A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Startup

  • Written by Diana Smith


As much as being your own boss may seem challenging, it can also be an utterly rewarding endeavor. At the same time, it’s an emotional rollercoaster and a risky undertaking. Most startups crash and burn and only the chosen few manage to tap into a steady revenue stream. The million dollar question is how to make a leap from a brilliant idea to profitable operations.

Well, this takes a great deal of effort and planning. Without it, your organization stumbles, financial hiccups ensue, and you quickly face the possibility of going under. So, rely on the power of research, niche appeal, and your ability to secure funding, tools, and manpower. Here is how to get the business off the ground and launch a stable business that will generate profit.

A place beyond ideas

Success doesn’t come easy. There are so many other businesses and they all fight for a limited market share. A revolutionary idea may seem like your ticket to the elite business club, but it is only the first step. To move forward, you need to see how it works in practice. Before anything else, it’s essential to figure out who your potential customers are.

Do your homework and get to know the market. Use acquired insights to design your product accordingly. It doesn’t have to be a groundbreaking idea, just something that people will actually want to own and pay for. Preferably, it’s better and more exciting than what customers have right now, a product that solves a particular problem or fulfils a specific lifestyle need. Do you have something like that in mind?

Legal and financial legwork

When forming a startup, one of the key decisions is related to type of incorporation. Do you want to go for LLC, S-Corp, or a C-Corp? The truth is they all have their pros and cons you have to assess. Your choice will profoundly affect the way you run and manage your business. It determines everything, from control and ownership to liability and taxes. Thus, it would be wise to consult an attorney and get informed about all the legal ins and outs.

Likewise, you should get as much help as possible from seasoned entrepreneurs. Consider finding a cofounder with a complementary skills set. This may help you make it through the next vital stage, obtaining the finances. Namely, you have to come up with a list of expenses, create a financial plan, and identify the most suitable sourcesHYPERLINK "http://www.tycoonstory.com/startup/top-7-sources-funding-start-ups/" of funding. In general, startups opt for start up business loans, bootstrapping, loans or lines of credit, incubators, venture capital, angel investors, etc.

Manpower and tools

Furthermore, you need qualified people to handle the daily workload and propel your organization towards a long-term growth. You can’t do everything yourself, so take advantage of remote work and outsourcing opportunities. This kind of smart hiring policy enables you to save on overheads and prevent the payroll from melting your budget. Note that you can also hire staff on a contract basis. Getting the job done is your top priority, so engaging talented people is the key to pulling that off.

Next, you need to tool up. Assess your operating needs and how much it costs to get everything done. A typical office requires a desk, papers and computer supplies. What is more, you need major pieces of equipment, such as desktops, business laptops, and eco-friendly printers.

Get in front of people

Finally, establish an online presence. The internet gives you an opportunity to reach customers worldwide and you don’t want to miss out on such an opportunity. Register a domain with a name that is short, catchy, and brandable. Set up social media profiles and a business-related blog. Foster a synergy between different pieces of your digital real estate to generate the most traffic. Produce quality content and add value to people’s lives. Advance towards the forefront of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Make use of affordable digital marketing channels to make a name for yourself, generate buzz around your business, and spread brand awareness. Of course, this is not to say that you should neglect traditional marketing. It still has the power to spark people’s attention, especially of those in your local landscape or segments of population that are not overly keen on digital communication. Do whatever works for your organization, and don’t just rely on what is trendy and cool.

Coming on top

For better or worse, there’s a whole lot of prep work to handle before setting things into motion. You’ve got a long road ahead of you and you need enough fuel in the form of perseverance, manpower, funds, knowledge, and expertise.

Try to offer something customers actually want and need. Improve their lives and solve their problems. Outline and follow a solid game plan, not your gut instinct. Once your operations are up and running, master the art of scaling a startup. This is an ongoing process that is carried out in a planned and measured manner.

Rest assured that there is no other way to make it to the top of the business food chain.



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