What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know Before Starting a Startup
Launching a startup seems like a dream come true for most people out there, however, as a future entrepreneur, you don’t have the luxury of lingering in the dream world for too long. As soon as you come back to reality, you’ll be faced with the fact that 9 out of 10 startups fail within the first five years (most of them long before that).
This is due to the fact that most potential entrepreneurs
- a) lack essential entrepreneurial skills necessary to tackle day-to-day problems of the business world and b) aren’t fully aware of what they’re up against. Here are several things that every aspiring entrepreneur needs to know in order to triumph against such odds.
Composing a business plan
From the outside, it may seem as if you would be able to start a business even without an elaborate plan in a written form; however, this is a major mistake for several reasons. First of all, during your fundraising, it’s much easier to win over investors if you have a conventional business plan. Second, it’s much easier to evaluate your plan if you have it on paper (or in a digital format). Here, you need to list all the finds that came from your market research, a brief company profile, outlined structure of your company as well as a short outline of your initial marketing strategy. In this way, you’ll not only have a business idea but also a plan on how to execute all of the steps that will lead to its realization.
Registering your business
Another thing you need to understand is the importance of registering your startup under the right name and the right structure. First of all, choosing an available business name will ensure that you aren’t infringing on anyone’s trademark while doing so in a timely manner can protect you from a similar infringement. As for the structure, this is far from a mere formality, seeing as how it will affect your tax scheme, as well as your own liability. This is why, even though running a sole proprietorship is much simpler, most first-time entrepreneurs are advised to register as LLC (limited liability company).
Once you have both of these questions answered, you can proceed with the registration process itself. The greatest advantage of launching a startup in 2018 is the ability to register a company online, thus simplifying the process and avoiding volumes of unnecessary paperwork.
Hiring a skilled accountant
In the previous section, we’ve hinted at the importance of taxes, as well as how it gets affected by the structure of your business. We’ve also mentioned the prospect of running a sole proprietorship. The main reason why this is so appealing is due to the fact that it allows you to keep your personal taxes and the taxes of your startup together. This also means that if you lose on one end, you risk losing everything. By separating this, you’re protecting yourself; however, you’re making this process a lot more complex. Nonetheless, this is a sacrifice worth making.
Fortunately, this is a task that a skilled accountant can do with ease. Even more importantly, a seasoned accountant can help you find numerous deductions and improve your financial status in a simple, efficient and legal manner and also to help you avoid some financial traps.
Selling a lifestyle
When looking for a way to boost your sales, you need to understand one thing. A customer is not buying a product but a lifestyle. Think about all the smiling people on commercials, billboards and product packages. Are they really so exhilarated by the product they’re holding? Probably not. However, by magnifying this image of happiness, a brand is sending a subconscious message to their audience, a message that they want to hear.
Find out what your potential buyers need the most out of your product and make this into a primary selling point. Show them something that they are passionate about, something that will help them save time, money or do their tasks with greater efficiency and they will have no choice but to buy.
Outdoing your competitors
Another thing you should never lose from sight is the fact that your offer never exists in a vacuum. In other words, it’s always compared with offers from your closest competitors. After all, this is the main reason why shopping cart abandonment rates are so high in e-commerce. People are not leaving because they don’t like your offer but simply because they want to check out your competitors before making the final verdict.
This is also something you need to start doing. Prior to launching your startup, you need to do thorough market research, which includes a survey of your closest competitors. Keep in mind that competition might also be a good thing. If you manage to come up with a unique selling point or a superior offer, your competitors will serve as a reference point to your dominant market position.
Hiring the right staff
Your company is your team, which is why you need to keep several things in mind while composing it. First of all, as a startup, you’ll most likely work with a minimal crew, which is why every hire counts. Second, keep in mind that extroverts always outperform introverts in interviews, which is something you’ll have to adjust to. After all, you need introverts as much as you need extroverts. Finally, you want as much diversity as possible, in order to have a team capable of performing well in different situations.
Making a solid marketing strategy
At the end of the day, even the best product and the most outstanding service won’t help you if you have no way of announcing this groundbreaking discovery to your audience. This is why you need a solid marketing strategy. Nonetheless, this strategy also needs to fit your marketing budget. Aside from this, it’s vital that you manage to coordinate between digital and traditional marketing. Sadly, the latter is often neglected amongst present-day startup owners.
Finally, you need to keep in mind that nothing is written in stone. As digital marketing evolves, you’ll have to adapt. As you staff starts leaving and your business starts growing, you’ll have to bring new people on board. Lastly, no matter how good your business plan is, you probably won’t stick to it forever. Therefore, the adaptability is the name of the game and the more flexible your business structure is, the more resilient it will be.
Guest Post Written By:
Victor T. Miller, a Sydney-based business and marketing specialist who has expanded businesses over 5 years. I am a person who loves to inform people about the latest news in the industry also as sharing tips and advice based on my professional experience and knowledge.