5 Crucial Steps Before Your Startup
Getting a business off the ground is a demanding mission and a task that requires a specific set of skills. You might have an idea for the next big thing, but it won’t be worth a paper it is written on if you don’t roll up your sleeves. Making a plan and putting ideas in black and white is sometimes much easier than carrying them out. On the brighter note, others have already been where you are now, and steps you need to take are visible in the ground.
Do the research
Before you can start assembling a business organization, you need to do your homework. Conduct a market research and see if your ideas have a fertile foundation to grow on. You can do the survey and see how you can reach out to your potential customers. Also, never lose sight of your competition and the services and products they have to offer. When all facts and figures are collected, do some brainstorming and write a sound and realistic business plan.
To have any chance in the fierce market arena, you need to stand out and offer something that the competition doesn’t have. A brand is a promise you are to deliver to the consumers, a business identity that is reflected in everything your company does and stands for. So, be careful when choosing a company’s name, logo, and overall visual identity. This means you should consider also website domain name, marketing material, and distribution strategy.
Secure intellectual property
If you don’t own the right for the products you intend to service to the customers, it’s like you are deciding to pour money down the drain. Protect your differentiating factors, whether it’s a patent, trademark or copyright. Once the business is incorporated, transfer them to the company’s ownership. That way you will spoil the fun for the copycats who won’t be able to do their treacherous business.
Invest in yourself
Many responsibilities and obligations fall on the shoulders of the owner/ founder of the company. You don’t have to know the industry inside and out, but taking some business training is a good idea. Connect with other people via social and business networks or blogs and do some skills talk to determine which ones you are lacking. You can’t do everything by yourself, so muse on the type of people your company will need in order to grow and prosper.
This step demands some special attention, so be prepared to do things by the book. Incorporation involves turning the business into a legal entity, and setting up an organizational infrastructure. Most startups are legally born as an LLC, S corporation or C corporation. The first two are subject to tax exemptions, while the third is usually considered a taxable entity. There are many other factors like equity compensation and business location that need to be taken into account before choosing the best model, so tread carefully.
Diamond in the rough
Building a company from the ground up requires a great deal of determination and commitment, but some skills and knowledge as well. Knowing what you want to accomplish is only the first step, with many more to follow. Plan in advance, and be prepared to be ahead of the curve. Killer ideas don’t mean much without doing a thorough research, building the organization brick by brick, and choosing a business structure that is most likely to lead you towards your business dreams.