Startups: Are You Equipped To Succeed?
It’s dangerous to go alone!
Going into business is a lot like heading off on an epic quest. You start off a little lost, sort of not understanding the controls, maybe not quite sure what you’re even supposed to be doing…and then you meet the wizened old sage in some magical hidden room of mystery.
His wild eyes glow with arcane knowledge beyond imaging as he hands you an enchanted satchel: “Within this vessel are all the things you will need to reach your goal!”, he extols before vanishing in a cloud of rainbow sparkles.
That old dude may have been a little off his rocker ( and kinda smelled like nuts ) but there is no doubt that he gave you some of the most important tools you will need to begin your journey:
Before you can hit a target you’ve got to aim. Create a vision for your business and a course of action to make it achievable.
Put simply, what do you plan to do and how will you accomplish it?
Think about your mission, your purpose, and put special focus on what you will provide that is unique compared to others in your industry.
This includes what products or services you will offer, operating costs, market viability, and also details in regards to how you will provide those to your customers.
Do you have suppliers, delivery, and marketing strategies in place? With even the smallest enterprise there are innumerable variables and obstacles to consider. Don’t let this first step slow your roll though – take some time to hash out the quick details and move ahead. There are innumerable logistical factors that come into play; and fact is, many of them are over the horizon where they can’t even be seen until you’re a little closer to encountering them.
You’ve got a cart, now name your horse.
You’ll want to name it something that has meaning, is unique, easy to remember, and if possible maybe even a little catchy. If you can’t manage that, you can always just do something like incorporate your name into the business but first consider whether it will be a strong name for a company and whether it fits with your long term branding building goals.
If you plan to create a product or intellectual property as part of your long range exit strategy think about whether the name you’ve chosen will be appealing to potential investors as well as if ownership of it can even be transferred to other parties down the road.
Once you’ve thought of a name you’re happy with, check with the secretary of state to see if it’s available, as well as run a copyright check to make sure you’re not going to be infringing on anyone’s intellectual property (more on this topics later). If both those things are clear there can be as little as some brief paperwork and $100 between you and being an “official business”.
Where’s the money come from?
You can have all the vision and ambition in the world. You can have the very best idea that’s a sure fire winner; and if you don’t have some initial coin to develop it and market, it you are almost certainly sure to FAIL – in a big way.
That’s not to say you can’t start off with nothing but your socks, and your concepts, and make a good go of it (or at the very least start assembling the parts you’ll need to make it happen) but ultimately you’re going to need funds. Dollars. Cheddar. Skrilla.
You’ll need money for branding, marketing, product development, smoozing clients, greasing wheels, overhead (like rent and payroll if you have employees); needless to say, having some money squirreled away is important. It is as they say,”You’ve got to have money to make money”.
Where do you get it? Well. You can do it the old fashioned way and beg money from your parents, friends, and family (after all, if you’ve got your pitch down, these will be the people eager to see the value in your vision and success). Beyond that, you can invest in your new venture from your own savings, attempt getting a loan from a bank, or even seek out angel investors.
Once you have the funds, budget wisely. Cut cost where you can, but not corners.
The you-ness of you. It’s your look, it’s your voice, it’s everything from your logo to your website and everything in between.
When done successfully people can look at your branding and immediately identify it not only as being your business but it should also evoke some emotion or thought in regards to what it is your business provides.
Out of all the things you might invest time and money on your branding should be among the foremost things as even though it is likely to change as your business grows it is one of the first things people will see when introduced via your business card, website, or other media, so it’s essential that it look it’s very best.
Yes, we know your cousins uncles nephew does GREAT work…but really…this is not the place to skimp on quality.
An army runs on it’s stomach. A business runs on it’s resources.
This covers many essential items that go along with just being in business. Things like server space (or bandwidth if you’re in the IT industry), insurance to cover damages and loss (especially if you’re in the service industry), a tax guy, a lawyer (on retainer?), possibly a company car (or at least fuel costs), a printer, a fax machine : essentially, all of the minutia that goes along with just keeping the lights on.
Other, less tangible, resources that are no less important include: a positive support network of colleagues and friends that you can trust. There will be countless times you will not only want, but need positive encouragement or just someone to ask “I know I’m crazy…but will it WORK?”.
Beyond Here There Be Dragons
It won’t be easy, but anything worth doing rarely is.
There will be dangers unknown and hazards unimagined; failure and pain will confront you at every turn – the important thing is not to let any of them stop you. You will fall on your face; what’s important is that for each time you fall you get up again.
There will be times that you’re uncertain, times that you want to quit and times that you out-right fail, but remember: Courage isn’t lack of fear, it’s choosing to move forward in spite of being afraid. It’s the stuff of heroes – do you have it in you?
Be Ye Not Afraid
Don’t let all this intimidate or discourage you, after all this is precisely why we are here. We aim to be the logistics and support you need to succeed: a first line of defense before you even gamble your savings into manifesting your passion.
If you’ve got questions, or ambition, we’re here to uplift those who partner with us. Let us help make your visions a reality.