Start-ups have been on the rise in recent years, especially as the economy has begun its slow recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. Several promising new start-ups have arrived on the scene, from Lumos, which brings power to isolated areas in the developing world, to Truthmarket, a place where people can put their money where their mouth is on debated claims. These companies have already passed the difficult stage of getting initial financing, which is generally considered to be the biggest initial hurdle of any start-up. Thankfully, the process doesn’t have to be as difficult as this implies. Here are a few short tips on how to launch a start-up of your own.
The Three Essentials
First, you need to have a really good idea. It not only has to solve a problem, but must also be potentially marketable.
Next, create a business plan. If your idea really is good, then creating a business plan should logically follow from what you intend to do.
Third on the list is definitely putting together a solid team. Start-up employees must be highly driven and highly competent. Specialization can be very useful as your business grows, but when you’re just starting out, it’s far more important that your team can work together on everything and double-check each others’ contributions.
Unfortunately, the next step is a big one: acquiring start-up capital. This is definitely one of the hardest steps in any new business. Yet a little creativity on your part will go a long way toward ensuring you can find small business investors or other sources of funding that can get you started. Create a good elevator pitch; try presenting to investors like Y Combinator or TechStars; and submit your ideas to press events like Global Entrepreneurship Week. If all else fails, consider the old standard of borrowing from your local credit union or bank.
Get to Work
Once you have capital, it’s time to get to work. Your business plan should specify exactly what you intend to have accomplished by the end of this process; achieving that goal on time and on budget will go a long way toward attracting future funding before you actually move on to monetization. Just remember that the success of your start-up depends a great deal on your ability to use already existing investments to get to the next step in your business plan. Be flexible, but always stay within budget. Following this simple rule will greatly increase your chance of success.
Article contributed by Jenna Smith