Startups are definitely the most popular way of doing business right now, which means that a lean and fast approach is really the only way to go. Although many modern business efforts fail within the first year of doing business, doing things right is pretty much a guarantee that you’ll succeed. Those that have failed have done so for a reason and this step-by-step guide will help you avoid the unpleasant destiny of the vast majority of modern startups.
Step 1: Do a self-check
Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur nowadays, but this is not something to be taken lightly, under any circumstance. This means that doing business for the sake of money is generally not a good idea; of course, the financial aspect of entrepreneurship will always be a great motivator, but becoming successful, rather than getting rich, should always be your number one priority.
Step 2: Don’t quit your day job
I know, I know, you’re sick and tired of being just another cog in a huge machine, but that tedious, frustrating day job is currently the obligatory fuel that will help get your startup’s gears rolling. Do the 9-to-5 job and make the most out of your free time; after all, if you aren’t prepared to approach the initial steps of a small business as a matter of passion, you might not be fit for entrepreneurship, in the first place.
Step 3: Come up with an awesome idea
Sure, it is never that simple, but the idea is where it all starts. Starting a business for the sake of business might work, but when you start looking for that perfect piece of puzzle, you’ll at least want to know which part is missing, first. Think in terms of something that’s bugging you in your daily life, this is a great source of inspiration for your potential future product/service. Take all the factors into consideration, from your own skills and perks, to your base of interests.
Step 4: If it ain’t broken, find something that is
Once you’ve found your target niche and a potential business idea, think about how innovative it really is. If you’ve managed to reinvent the wheel, great! You did it! It is much more likely, however, that you’ll be dealing with improving an idea that already exists. Once you’ve found exactly what you want to specialize in, find a way to offer something better and/or cheaper, compared to your competitors.
Step 5: Find a way to get financed
If you can pay for all of your startup costs out of your pocket, great, feel free to skip this step. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the vast majority of aspiring entrepreneurs, meaning that you’ll probably have to either find someone to invest in you, or take out a loan. Prepare your financial plan to the tiniest detail and check your credit; if your score isn’t good, find a trustworthy company that offers bad credit business loans.
Step 6: Deal with all the legalities
The earlier you get all the legal aspects out of the way, the better off you are. Start with business structure (LLC, corporation, partnership, etc.) – decide what kind of a business you want to be. Pick a great name and register your business. Get your Federal and State tax ID’s out of the way as soon as possible and make sure that all the necessary permits are in order. Take care of your license, open up a separate bank account for your startup and deal with the trademarks, copyrights and patents, before someone steals your idea or sues you for infringement.
These 6 steps have hopefully covered everything that you need to start when it comes to getting a startup rolling. Evaluate yourself early on, don’t quit your day job right away, focus on the general idea, pick a financing method and deal with all the legal aspects of running a business early on.