Five steps to a successful start-up
Are you thinking of becoming your own boss? Have you spotted a gap in the market and have an incredible business idea? Most people will need a little help to get their bright ideas off the ground. Here are 5 simple steps to help you build a solid and successful business.
- Research and planning
Having that spark of innovation is the first step, but you need to sit down and think about the logistics behind it. How do you see it working? How many people do you need to hire to get the skill set you need? Do you have any direct competitors? What can you learn from them? These are the kinds of questions you need to find the answers to, and it starts by fully researching the marketplace for any other kind of service or product similar to yours.
- Create a realistic budget
Once you’ve come up with a blueprint for everything you need, you’ll have to think more specifically about the budget to get the business off the ground. Make sure you allow for everything, from the salaries you must pay, to the equipment you’ll need. If you’re thinking you don’t need any of this because it’s just you in your home office, you’d be wrong. What about supplies for your home office, materials for prototypes or software if it’s an online product? You’ll need to have branding and a website designed to so make sure you contact a few website development companies and get a quote to build your site so there won’t be any surprises down the line.
- Allow for contingencies
It’s one thing to create a realistic budget, but problems do crop up. For example, you may have budgeted a specific amount for your accountant, but when they come to review your documents, it takes longer than planned due to missing payslips or invoices. What if your car breaks down and you need to hire a rental car or take an uber? You should always allow a little extra breathing space in your budget for problems like this, so that you don’t fall at the first hurdle due to finances.
- Set up a social media presence
Now that you have a plan of action and your finances figured out, start to build a presence on social media while you set-up your start-up. It’s the best platform for you to showcase yout expertise, so don’t be shy. Be sure to get involved in discussions on places like LinkedIn groups, Twitter lists and Facebook groups.
- Contact service providers in advance
Finally, think about the additional services you will need as part of the daily operations of your business. While your website is being created or company registration is going through, get plenty of different quotes from service providers. For example, if you’re a product business, have you considered how you will ship your parcels reliably abroad? Websites like irishparcels.ie will deliver to Europe for much more affordable rates than standard mail. Make sure you look into the types of services you will need for your particular product or service and make sure you know exactly what things are going to cost before you get up and running.
The more planning you can do before you start, the better. The best way to a successful business is thorough research and proper planning.