“Pierre Omidyar started auctioning stuff on his personal website called AuctionWeb in 1995. When the web traffic surpassed a certain threshold, he upgraded to a business account and started charging fees from the visitors. Today, this man is counted among the most successful entrepreneurs of all times.
He is none other than the founder of the multi-billion ECommerce Corporation called eBay.”
This is just one of the many entrepreneurial success stories, which prove that a well-thought idea is enough to set the foundation for a startup empire, and that too without perceived prerequisites like business degree from a prestigious college, hefty investments, or even affluent business experience. But in order to successfully establish a startup, it is crucial to follow a tried and tested entrepreneurial guide encompassing the core guidelines, effective tips, along with the ideas to prevent common mistakes.
Given below is an entrepreneur’s guide to successful startup. This guide not only offers assistance in starting a company but also empowers the entrepreneur to expand user base, and gaining a competitive edge. Keep this guide handy to turn your business idea into a successful startup to build your dream business empire.
Evaluate Your Business Idea
If you are thinking about setting up a startup, chances are you already have a business idea. Now the first step is to take this business idea and assess it on various business parameters. Evaluate your idea with other ideas on leading business directory, create a buyer persona for the products/services, analyze the market need for your offerings, and examine the competitors in the market for precise evaluation. From performing market research to forming an audience persona, analyze all the parameters before settling down on a business idea and proceeding to the next steps.
Select A Name Your Company
What’s there in a name? Everything, when it comes to naming a company. Right from creating a brand image to nurturing it for different business purposes, a name plays a key role in setting up a successful startup. Utilize the core linguistic tricks to find a name that is clear, strong and also has a bit of wordplay to it. Research a name that reflects your business idea, find a domain name, test the name, and get it trademarked to finalize it.
Raise Funds For Your Business
Lack of funding turns out to be the biggest reason behind the failure of 94% of the startups within a year of operation. So the next step in setting up your startup is to get adequate funds to give shape to your business idea. There are various options for raising funds for the business; these are:
Crowdfunding: Raise money from crowdfunding by putting up your company with its detailed goals on a crowdfunding platform.
Bootstrapping: Self-fund your business or raise money from family, friends, and other known people to get your startup up and running.
Find Angel Investors Or Venture Capitalists: Find an angel investor or venture capitalist and explain your business idea for raising funds.
Bank Loans: Many banks offer personal loans to entrepreneurs who seek to get money for their startups.
Government Programs: Many countries have their own funding programs for startups. Explain your brilliant business idea and get funds approved by the government.
Brand Your New Company
The next and most crucial step for a successful startup is to create a strong brand image for the business. Building brand awareness starts right from word of mouth marketing and has no definite end. It is important that your company’s brand image gets imprinted on the hearts and minds of the target customer; and here’s how it can be done.
Bring PR To The Aid: Public Relations can help you build the brand, exhibit it, and educate people about it. They take the personal approach to tell the company’s story and build a loyal customer base.
Design A Related Logo: The logo of your company should reflect the brand image that you want to create. From the image and text to the colors and font, everything should be in sync with the company’s brand image.
Invest In Advertisements: Once you’ve created a logo, the next step is to make this logo reach out to the common masses. Advertising, whether traditionally on billboards, magazines etc., or digitally on websites, social media platforms etc., can certainly help you get your business out among the probable customers.
Participate In Business Meets/Workshops/Fair: Another great way to brand your new company is to participate in the business meets, workshops, seminars, and business fairs conducted on various occasions. This helps in spreading the word about your company among a vast audience.
Create A Strong Online Presence: Online presence, in today’s world, is an inescapable part of branding a company. Right from setting up a website to optimizing it for the web, strong online presence is what every entrepreneur requires for branding the startup.
Associate With A Social Cause: Another great way to increase the brand awareness of your newly launched company is by associating with a social cause. It creates a name for your company in the social networks and also gives value to your startup.
Diligently Choose The Team
Your team plays a crucial role in the success of your startup. So, you need to choose the team diligently for the growth of your startup business. Look into your network and even in other start-up communities to find the right skill set. Analyze the experience, intelligence, industry expertise, creativity, credibility, and passion for doing something out-of-the-box of the probable members before getting them on board. Look for shared values, ‘never give up’ attitude, and an eagerness to adapt to change while selecting a team. Hire and fire the employees accordingly to set up a start-up team that can overcome any challenge and task thrown at them with ease.
Implement A Marketing Strategy
Marketing the start-up is what you need to get it out in the world. Right from traditional marketing to digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing, it is indispensable that you get your products and services out in the open for people to become aware. While branding and online presence are the initial phases of marketing, there are many other steps you need to follow to get your marketing strategy right.
Search Engine Optimization: Hire SEO experts to optimize your site for search engines so that it gets higher ranking and becomes more visible.
Social Media Optimization: Social media is the go-to platform for creating awareness about any product or service.
Blogging: Start writing blogs on different blogging platforms. Connect with influencers from your niche and get them to share your content for higher traffic.
Viral Videos: Viral videos are the raging trend that can make any company an overnight sensation. Start investing in viral videos and guerilla marketing to spike awareness.
Online Advertising: Get started with online advertising and get your product or service out in the online world. Select your target audience and target them with your online ads to increase product knowledge.
Be A True Leader aka Motivator
More than anything else, your startup requires a leader, a motivator to keep going strong even after all the challenges. Roughly 20% of the start-ups take their last breath after a year of operation because of various reasons. A true leader and a motivator is someone who can keep the company going even after it has faced adversities and failures. You need to be that true leader and motivator for your team. Don’t be a demanding dictator or a brooding visionary, become a part of the team and motivate the members to work hard and stay inspired at all times.
Start by utilizing these strategies in your startup and continuously work on them to scale your startup to the next level. Adopt a ‘never give up’ attitude and keep competing for the customers in the marketplace.
Whatever you do, just do not stop! Keep researching the market, find new opportunities, hire skilled people, and offer value for money to build the flourishing startup empire that you’ve always dreamed about.
Ankit Gupta heads the content team at ExportersIndia.Com, India’s leading B2B marketplace. Owing to the passion for his profession, Ankit has a knack for sharing valuable insights with the budding entrepreneurs and small business owners. Connect with Ankit on his Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter handles to read his other insightful blogs.